MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo wrote last month about the five players ranked on MLB.com's list of the Washington Nationals' Top 30 prospects who were eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, before the Nationals made the decision to add three of the five to their 40-Man roster to protect them from selection.
As Mayo explained in the article, players who "... first signed at age 18 must be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons," and players, "... signed at 19 years or older have to be protected within four seasons."
If not, they become eligible selection by other teams who have to pay $50,000 to select players in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft and are then required keep the player on their major league roster throughout the season following their selection.
If they don't stay on the roster, they have to be offered back to their original team.
Spencer Kieboom, who was ranked 21st overall on MLB.com's prospect list, infielder/outfielder Chris Bostick (no.23), and left-handed pitcher Nick Lee (no.25) were added to the 40-Man roster back on November 19th.
First/third baseman Matt Skole, who was ranked 22nd and backstop Raudy Reed (no.26), were not added to the 40-Man, so the two were eligible for selection this morning in the 2015 edition of the Rule 5 Draft, which was held at the Opryland Resort and Convention Center, where the Winter Meetings wrapped up.
The Nationals passed on their opportunity to select any players in the Major League phase of the Draft this morning and didn't lose any prospects either, though 16 players total were selected by other teams.
In the Minor League phase, the Nationals made a selection, taking Double-A third baseman Zack Cox from the Miami Marlins' organization.
Cox, 26, put up a .304/.369/.411 line with 24 doubles and nine home runs in 119 games and 425 plate appearances between Double and Triple-A in the Marlins' system in 2015.
A 2010 1st Round pick, taken 25th overall by the St. Louis Cardinals, Cox, who was described as the "best pure college bat" at the time he was drafted by MLB.com's announcers today, was traded to Miami in July of 2012 in return for reliever Edward Mujica.
The Nationals didn't lose any prospects in the Double or Triple-A phases of the Rule 5 Draft. There were 65 players total selected.