Options limited for Sox in Rule 5 draft

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Chicago White Sox don't figure to be too active when they participate in baseball's annual Rule 5 draft Thursday.

The traditional staple on the last day of the winter meetings allows teams to add minor-league players from other organizations that have been signed for either four or five years and are not protected on their club's 40-man roster.

Players signed before they were 19 must be protected after four years.

If a player is selected, the selecting team pays $50,000 to the team that lost the player. The tricky part is that the player must remain on the major league roster throughout the following season or be offered back to his former club for $25,000.

The rule was made to prevent teams from stockpiling talent in the minor leagues without giving players a chance to make it to the majors.

"There are still a few guys floating around, and some guys that we have talked about, that will likely get selected (Thursday)," Hahn said. "But it's a different kind of draft now. It's not as fertile as it was before the added protection, which I'm fine with."

Before 2006, players signed before they were 19 had to be protected after three years and players signed after 19 had to be protected after four years.

"We're talking through one (option) and we'll see if that happens," Hahn said.

In last year's Rule 5 draft, the White Sox lost right-hander Terry Doyle to the Minnesota Twins. But Doyle was eventually sold back to the White Sox during spring training.