Every year we keep track of the upcoming Rule 5 eligible players, tracking who the Pittsburgh Pirates will have to protect the following off-season. The term typically used is "The Rule 5 Roster Crunch". That term has led to a big misconception about the Rule 5 draft.

The Pirates are at risk of losing players every year in the Rule 5 draft. They lost Nathan Adcock in the 2010 draft, and Brett Lorin this past year (although they eventually traded him for Robby Rowland). In the past, when people have talked about the Roster Crunch, the talk usually surrounds top players. The Pirates aren't at risk of losing top players. They can easily find spaces on the 40-man roster to protect those players.

The "Roster Crunch" refers to those players like Adcock or Lorin. They're guys who profile as...

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