Last year the Reds selected Josh Hamilton in the Rule 5 draft despite only 23 games above Single-A and only 15 games anywhere since 2002 (actually the Cubs picked Hamilton and traded him to the Reds the same day). Hamilton went on to hit .292-19-47 in 90 games. This year, 18 players were chosen in the Rule 5 draft (14 pitchers). These players must remain on the 25-man roster all season or be offered back to their original club for $25K. By my count, three players (Sergio Valenzuela, Lincoln Holdzkom, Jose Capellan) have already been offered back to their original clubs (Capellan was picked up on waivers by a third team during the process). Hamilton is the rare case of a position player sticking with his new club as it is far easier to hide a developing pitcher and still get him playing time in the bullpen than it is on the bench.While it is rare for position players to stick, we have already learned that the Cardinals may keep Brian Barton as a fifth outfielder. As opening day rosters begin to take shape, let’s take a look at what is being said in the Blogosphere about the chances for the Rule draftees.
- Tim Lahey (RHP, CHC/MIN): Bleed Cubbie Blue sees the Cubs working out a trade with the Twins that would allow them to send Lahey to AAA. In fact, they speculate that Lahey will be the PTBNL in the Craig Monroe deal.
- Evan Meek (RHP, PIT/TB): Bucs Dugout predicts that Meek will at least start the season with the Pirates before being offered back to the Rays.
- Randor Bierd (RHP, BAL/DET): Bird Brain projects Bierd to make the roster and hopes the O’s give him every chance to stick.
- Jose Capellan (LHP, CIN/BOS): Capellan was originally selected by the Giants but was just placed on waivers. The Reds picked him up (Rule 5 rules still apply) and Obsessive Giants Compulsive is surprised the Giants let him go.
- Sergio Valenzuela (RHP, CIN/ATL): Valenzuela was sold back to the Braves after not making a single appearance in a spring game. The Braves then traded Valenzuela to a team in the Mexican League. Which begs the question…Are "future considerations" from the Mexican League worth the $25K the Braves dropped to bring him back? Talking Chop finds the entire situation funny and is not surprised that Valenzuela did not stick with the Reds.
- Brian Barton (OF, STL/CLE): Cardinals GM is predicting Barton to be on the opening day roster with Juan Gonzalez starting the season in AAA.
- R.A. Dickey (RHP, SEA/MIN): Detect-O-Vision is infatuated with the knuckleballer but notes that Dickey "has a looooooooooong way to go".
- Steven Register (RHP, NYM/COL): Mets Fever thinks Register might actually stick by earning the final spot in the bullpen.