Thursday, September 19, 2019

Expansion Draft 2020

I know we're not through the season yet but the league just announced the rules for this year's expansion draft for Nashville and Miami entering the league next season.  In short:

  • Each expansion team will get 5 picks
  • No team can lose more than one player
  • Teams that lost players to Cincinnati last year can't lose a player this year
  • Teams can protect up to 12 of their players (an increase from the normal 11)
  • Homegrown players 25 years old or younger and Generation Adidas players who have not graduated are automatically protected on top of the 12 protected players
  • Teams must protect at least 3 internationals, unless they have 3 or less, then they have to protect at least all but one
  • All players on the roster at the end of the season count as on the roster, even if they've already been told they're cut for 2020
  • Retired players don't count but if a retired player is not protected the team loses their rights to them should they un-retire
So, based on that, here's my take on who the Rapids should protect, for a couple of different scenarios:

Automatically protected as homegrown players 25 years old or younger:

Anderson, Bassett, Ford, Hundley, Raben, Serna, Vines

Automatically protected as GA, if he doesn't graduate from the program:


Required 3 internationals protected:

Mezquida, Price, Shinyashiki

Remaining 9 protected slots if we sign Abubakar before the draft:

Abubakar, Acosta, Irwin, Jackson, Kamara, Nicholson, Rosenberry, Rubio, Smith

Remaining 9 protected slots if we don't sign Abubakar before the draft:

Swap out Abubakar for Rwatubyaye

Remaining 9 protected slots if we sign Abubakar before the draft and Lewis graduates from GA:

Swap out Jackson for Lewis

Remaining 9 protected slots if we don't sign Abubakar before the draft and Lewis graduates from GA:

Swap out Abubakar for Lewis

This leaves the following players unprotected, and at most we could lose one of them to either Nashville or Miami: Blomberg, Howard, Opare, Rawls, Sjoberg, Wilson, Wynne, plus possibly Jackson and Rwatubyaye

I would say most of these decisions are self explanatory.  Blomberg is gone and Howard is retiring.  Opare, Rawls, and Wynne are MLS bench fodder where ever they play so there's no point in protecting them.  Sadly at this point Sjoberg falls into that category as well.  Wilson is just far too expensive for what he brings so there's no threat he'll be taken and if he were it would actually help us.

That leaves Jackson, Rwatubyaye, and, IMO, Smith as the three players fighting for the last 1-3 slots depending on the statuses of Abubakar and Lewis.  I ranked Smith as the most valuable because of a change in the expansion draft rules.  Smith is on a team option for 2020 and in the past if a player on a team option was selected in the expansion draft it meant that the expansion team was automatically exercising the player's option.  This year the rule changes and the expansion team can decline the option and keep the player's rights to renegotiate his contract.  That makes Smith more valuable if an expansion team thinks they can get him to take a lower number.

Jackson versus Rwatubyaye is a bit of a toss up but I prioritized Jackson as he has shown some ability to play in MLS, Rwatubyaye hasn't gotten a shot yet.

The expansion draft will be held on November 19th.

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