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Deadline for the Cincinnati Reds to protect prospects from the Rule 5 Draft is today

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The Rule 5 Draft is designed to effectively prevent franchises from hoarding too much talent and keeping them mired in their minor league systems. If you’ve got more talent than your 40-man roster can accommodate and said talent has already spent a handful of years in your minor league system sans promotion to the big leagues, well, the Rule 5 Draft allows other franchises to pick those prospects and give them their chance.

Designed to level the playing field, it’s an instrument that’s helped uncover the likes of Shane Victorino, Josh Hamiliton, and others. It takes place annually at the conclusion of the Winter Meetings, which this year will be held December 4th through 7th in Nashville.