Rule 5 Draft Rumors

Orioles Could Trade Luis Ayala

The Orioles are contacting other teams to let them know reliever Luis Ayala is available in a trade, the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly reports. The O’s would like to find space on their 25-man roster for Rule 5 Draft pick T.J. McFarland. They might be looking for players in return who aren’t required to be placed on the 40-man roster, Connolly says.

Baltimore is known to be interested in finding depth to back up Matt Wieters and Taylor Teagarden at catcher.

Ayala will make $1MM in 2013. He pitched 75 innings for the Orioles in 2012, posting a 2.64 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9.


Rockies Return Rosenbaum To Nationals

2:35pm: The Nationals announced, via Twitter, they have accepted Rosenbaum back from Rockies and he will report to minor league camp.

12:58 pm: The Rockies are returning Rule 5 Draft pick Danny Rosenbaum to the Nationals, according to Amanda Comak of the Washington Times (Twitter link). MLB.com's Thomas Harding adds, also via Twitter, that the move will become official once Colorado's signing of Jon Garland is finalized.

The Rockies selected Rosenbaum with the third pick in December's Rule 5 Draft. In eight Spring Training innings for Colorado, Rosenbaum allowed four runs on nine hits and three walks without registering a strikeout.

Last season, Rosenbaum fired 155 1/3 innings over the course of 26 starts for the Nats' Double-A affiliate, compiling a 3.94 ERA, 5.7 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9. The Xavier University product was a 22nd-round selection by Washington in the 2009 draft.

The left-hander ranked as Colorado's No. 22 prospect, according to Baseball America, who said that he "had a decent chance to be a touch-and-feel lefty at the back of a big league rotation" thanks to his ability to command an 84-90 mph fastball and a solid change-up.


AL West Notes: Lohse, Garland, Astros

Here are a few updates from the American League West:



Tigers Return Jeff Kobernus To Nationals

3:00 PM: The move is official, MLB.com's Jason Beck reports (on Twitter).

1:46 PM: The Tigers will return Rule 5 Draft pick Jeff Kobernus to the Nationals, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports (on Twitter). He will return to the Nats' minor-league system. Kobernus, an infielder, .282/.325/.333 in 330 at bats for Double-A Harrisburg in 2012. In accordance with Rule 5 guidelines, the Nationals will have to pay the Tigers $25K in exchange for Kobernus.


Athletics Claim Nate Freiman

The Athletics have claimed first baseman Nate Freiman from the Astros, according to the A's (on Twitter). The A's have placed Fernando Rodriguez on the 60-day DL to clear roster space for Freiman. Freiman hit .298/.370/.502 for the Padres' Double-A affiliate in 2012 before the Astros picked him in the Rule 5 Draft. He will need to stick on the Athletics' 25-man roster this season, or the A's risk losing him.


Quick Hits: Martin, Yankees, Tigers, Dodgers

Pirates catcher Russell Martin thought he would be returning to the Yankees this offseason, Chad Jennings of the Journal News reports. "I thought I was going to be in pinstripes. I thought I was going to be penciled in there, but shows how much I know," Martin says. "There’s really no hard feelings or anything like that. I see it as a business move, and that’s it, really." After catching for the Yankees in 2011 and 2012, Martin agreed to a two-year deal with Pittsburgh in late November. Here are more notes from around the majors.

  • Martin also says the Yankees' current catchers, Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart, are well-equipped to replace him, particularly on defense. "Both those guys can catch," Martin says. "I learned some stuff from Stewart last year just on how quick he is, first of all. Just throwing the ball to second base, and how quick his hands are. His game calling is really good. His receiving’s really good. So defensively, both those guys have got a lot of upside."
  • Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has to figure out what to do with the team's two players from the Rule 5 Draft, pitcher Kyle Lobstein and second baseman Jeff Kobernus, MLB.com's Jason Beck writes. It might be possible for Dombrowski to work out a trade with the Rays to keep Lobstein and send him to the minor leagues, Beck suggests, but swinging a deal with the Nationals to keep Kobernus will be more difficult.
  • The Dodgers have signed four international players, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. Three of those players, shortstop Dennis Santana, shortstop Carlos Aquino and left-handed pitcher Cesar Romero, are from the Dominican Republic. The fourth, Dashenko Ricardo, is from Curacao and played catcher for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. Ricardo had previously played in the Orioles and Giants organizations. The Giants released him in January.

NL Notes: Peralta, Cubs, Snider

The Diamondbacks have returned Rule 5 pick Starlin Peralta to the Cubs, AZCentral.com's Bob McManaman reports. Peralta pitched three innings for the Diamondbacks in spring training, allowing seven runs while walking three batters and striking out none. Peralta, 22, pitched in Class A Peoria in 2012. Here are more notes from the National League.

  • Cubs manager Dale Sveum says he's satisfied with his team's position players heading into the season, Carrie Muskat and Owen Perkins of MLB.com report. Sveum hasn't given GM Jed Hoyer a "wish list" of acquisitions, Muskat and Perkins note. The Cubs acquired infielder Luis Valbuena and pitcher Shawn Camp near the end of spring training in 2012, and both played key roles for the team last year.
  • The manager of Pirates outfielder Travis Snider's former team says Snider could thrive with his new organization, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. Current Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, who served an earlier stint as the Jays' manager when Snider was among the team's top prospects, compares Snider to Jose Bautista, who became one of baseball's best power hitters after being traded from Pittsburgh to Toronto. "[Bautista] was bouncing around, and it took him a while to get it going. Sometimes what happens is they give up on you too soon," Gibbons says. "But if you're in the perfect spot and they've got time to give you a legitimate shot, that's when guys usually get it going." The Pirates acquired Snider for reliever Brad Lincoln last July.

Athletics Notes: Drew, Peralta, Nakajima, Rule 5

The A's have been pursuing a reunion with Stephen Drew, but Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle has some information on the team's fallback plans should they fail to do so…

  • A major league executive tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter) that he believes Drew will sign with the A's for one year with an additional player option for 2014.
  • If Drew ends up signing elsewhere and the Tigers do indeed find a new shortstop (possibly Drew himself), the A's would likely make a move to acquire Jhonny Peralta. Peralta and his $6MM salary would obviously be expendable to the Tigers in that scenario.
  • The two don't immediately line up on paper as a fit given the Tigers' need for a right-handed hitting outfielder (the Tigers aren't interested in Michael Taylor). However, Slusser writes that Detroit likes Jemile Weeks and would contemplate moving him to the outfield. There's no guarantee the A's would move Weeks, however, even though they demoted him to Triple-A this season.
  • Hiroyuki Nakajima is still in play for the A's, and he's seeking a three-year deal worth about $5MM annually. Most believe he'll have trouble doing better than one year and an option, though.
  • Contrary to some national reports, Grant Green and Brad Peacock were not on the table in the team's Yunel Escobar trade discussions with the Marlins.
  • The A's aren't likely to select a player in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft tomorrow, but there's a good chance that they lose 2007 first-rounder James Simmons to another club. Simmons, the 26th overall selection that year, posted a 2.98 ERA, 7.1 K/9 and 3.1 K/9 in 63 1/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A in 2012. The 26-year-old also turned in a dominant performance in the Arizona Fall League.

2012 Rule 5 Draft Results

Each year, Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings conclude with the Rule 5 Draft. For those who are unfamiliar with the event, MLBTR offers an in-depth description, but here's a quick overview.

Players are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if they aren't on the 40-man roster four or five years after signing, depending on the age at which they signed. Teams draft in the reverse order of the previous season's standings but aren't required to make a selection. If they do choose a player, they pay his former team $50K and must keep that player on the Major League roster all season or offer him back to his original team for $25K.

The results from the Major League phase:

  1. Astros take righty Josh Fields from Red Sox
  2. Cubs take righty Hector Rondon from Indians
  3. Rockies take lefty Danny Rosenbaum from Nationals
  4. Twins take righty Ryan Pressly from Red Sox
  5. Indians take first baseman Chris McGuiness from Rangers
  6. Marlins take outfielder Alfredo Silverio from Dodgers
  7. Red Sox take second baseman Jeff Kobernus from Nationals; traded to Tigers for infielder/outfielder Justin Henry
  8. Royals
  9. Blue Jays
  10. Mets take lefty Kyle Lobstein from Rays; traded to Tigers for cash considerations
  11. Mariners
  12. Padres
  13. Pirates
  14. Diamondbacks take righty Starling Peralta from Cubs
  15. Phillies take outfielder Ender Inciarte from Diamondbacks
  16. Brewers
  17. White Sox take infielder Angel Sanchez from Angels
  18. Dodgers
  19. Cardinals
  20. Tigers
  21. Angels
  22. Rays
  23. Orioles take lefty T.J. McFarland from Indians
  24. Rangers take righty Coty Woods from Rockies
  25. Athletics
  26. Giants
  27. Braves
  28. Yankees
  29. Reds
  30. Nationals

Second round of Major League phase:


2012 Rule 5 Draft Preview

The Rule 5 Draft marks the conclusion of the Winter Meetings each season, and while there weren't any highly notable selections in 2011, there have been several big names to come from the draft over the years. Josh Hamilton, Johan Santana, Dan Uggla, Shane Victorino and even Roberto Clemente have all been products of the Rule 5 Draft.  Still, the adding of an extra year of player protection five years took much of the fizz out of the draft.  Last season, Ryan FlahertyRhiner Cruz, Marwin Gonzalez and Lucas Luetge all lasted the full season with their new teams.

Here's a preview of the draft with some of the names you can likely expect to see selected…

  • MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has his Top 20 Rule 5 Draft Prospects with scouting reports for each posted free to the public. The Indians, Red Sox, Nationals, Mets, and Dodgers all have members of their Top 20 Prospects lists (according to Mayo) available in the draft.
  • Baseball America's J.J. Cooper and John Manuel provide a two-part (Part 1, Part 2) Rule 5 Draft preview (subscription required and highly recommended).
  • If you're not into paying for that sort of thing, fear not! Manuel also has a free preview in which he identifies Rays lefty Braulio Lara and Dodgers right-hander Jose Dominguez as the top two names of the crop. Manuel reports that the Astros are rumored to take Lara with the No. 1 pick. Both flamethrowers have touched 100 mph, but Dominguez is facing a 25-game suspension for violating the drug-treatment program.
  • Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow hasn't ruled out selecting two players in this year's Rule 5 Draft again, writes MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.
  • Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com provides an overview of how the draft works and also lists some Orioles players who could be selected this year.

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