Not addressing this to you personally, jager, but I feel the need to repeat my annual Rule 5 speech.
Every year, there is lots of FUD expressed over Rule 5 (fear, uncertainty and doubt). I have the details of every player the Cards lost (and picked up) in Rule 5 since 2002. (Commercial: It is also included in TCN’s Prospect Guide.)
Here are the players the Cards picked up in Rule 5 over those 17 years who later made a difference in MLB – Matt Bowman (career 0.3 bWAR) and John Brebbia (2.4). That is it. Hector Luna had a negative 0.1 career bWAR and it goes downhill from there.
From the 31 players the Cards lost in Rule 5 over 17 years, here are the ones who made a difference in MLB – (blank)
(Luis Perdomo has a negative 1.1 career bWAR. Allen Cordoba (whose loss caused otherwise sane people to lose their minds) has a negative 0.8 career bWAR.)
(Most believe that Mercado was traded due to Bader (and perhaps to a lesser extent the emergence of Thomas last season). I would argue that it had very little to nothing to do with Rule 5, which was still months away.)
P.S. The player the Cards lost last December in the major league phase of Rule 5, Chris Ellis, was later returned.