On Thursday the 2012 MLB Winter Meetings will come to a close, but not before the 2012 Rule 5 draft gets underway. Of course, it probably wouldn't matter if they did come to a close before the Rule 5 draft—baseball's trading post for lost and maltreated prospects has been marginalized of late thanks to the increasing value of young players and new collective-bargaining rules, and this year looks to be no exception. Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals probably won't be involved:
The reason? The stipulation that any player they selected would have to spend the entire 2012 season on the Cardinals' 25-man roster. That's not something the Cardinals are against on principle; just last year they selected Erik Komatsu, who stuck for a while before falling out of a crowded fifth-outfielder rotation. Other recent Rule 5 picks include Brian Barton and Hector Luna, who signed recently with the Chunichi Dragons.
But this year's Cardinals have plenty of misfit prospects and spare bench parts on their own 40-man roster, and John Mozeliak doesn't appear to be in a hurry to displace any of them. I might wish the Cardinals were in a position to gamble on catcher depth like Jason Hagerty, for instance, but it's obvious by now that they've settled on Tony Cruz.