According to Jennifer Langosch, Luis Cruz has been placed on waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The move would create space on the 40-man roster for a Rule 5 selection. Teams have until Tuesday, December 8th at 5:00 PM to clear a spot on their 40-man roster for a Rule 5 pick. Once Cruz clears through the waiver process (or gets claimed by another team) a space will be open.
This also gives an early indication of what the Pirates plan on doing in the Rule 5 draft. Teams can only make a pick if they have a spot open on the 40-man roster for that pick. It’s pretty much common knowledge that the Pirates plan on making a pick in the draft, but if Cruz is the only player removed, there’s no chance of the Pirates making more than one selection. You can check out some of the available players in the draft in my preview from this past week.
As for Cruz, he has been removed from the 40-man roster once before. If he is removed a second time, he can elect free agency. He doesn’t have to take this route, as he can choose to be assigned to AAA, or re-sign with the Pirates. It will be interesting to see if the Pirates try to keep him as depth in AAA, assuming no other team claims him. If another team claims him, they would have to add him to the 40-man roster, which may be hard since Cruz is out of options.