Rule 5 Draft Rumors
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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:
- Astros take righty Josh Fields from Red Sox
- Cubs take righty Hector Rondon from Indians
- Rockies take lefty Danny Rosenbaum from Nationals
- Twins take righty Ryan Pressly from Red Sox
- Indians take first baseman Chris McGuiness from Rangers
- Marlins take outfielder Alfredo Silverio from Dodgers
- Red Sox take second baseman Jeff Kobernus from Nationals; traded to Tigers for infielder/outfielder Justin Henry
- Blue Jays
- Mets take lefty Kyle Lobstein from Rays; traded to Tigers for cash considerations
- Diamondbacks take righty Starling Peralta from Cubs
- Phillies take outfielder Ender Inciarte from Diamondbacks
- White Sox take infielder Angel Sanchez from Angels
- Orioles take lefty T.J. McFarland from Indians
- Rangers take righty Coty Woods from Rockies
Second round of Major League phase:
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 Flaherty, Rhiner 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.
As everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving leftovers, here are a few items to serve as dessert...
- The Royals would "much prefer" to trade prospects to acquire starting pitching and don't want to move Wil Myers or any of their top regulars, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. The Royals are "willing to listen," however. We heard earlier tonight that K.C. was shopping some of its top position players in search of frontline pitchers.
- In an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM's Inside Pitch show, Marlins assistant GM Dan Jennings told hosts Jim Bowden and Casey Stern that the club's standing with both Major League and minor league free agents has changed in the wake of the controversial trade with the Blue Jays and the accusations of broken promises from Mark Buehrle. "We know that that is an issue. It's out there," Jennings said. "We probably will have to look at our policy of [not] granting no-trades, if it's something that we look to remove, [or] do you look to put more money on the front end [of contracts]? I think there's a lot of ways to address that."
- The Baseball America staff looks ahead to the Rule 5 draft, listing both players who could be drafted and five players who were somewhat surprising additions to their teams' 40-man rosters.
- As "Black Friday" comes to an end, USA Today's Jorge L. Ortiz lists Brandon McCarthy, Scott Hairston, Kyle Farnsworth, Ryan Theriot and Shaun Marcum as lower-priced free agents who could prove to be bargains.
- Of recent teams who jumped from sub-.500 records to the playoffs in a year's time, MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince notes that none did so after splurging on free agents, instead relying on trades and international signings to remake their rosters.
The Yankees have returned Rule 5 Draft pick Brad Meyers to the Nationals, the team announced. The 27-year-old right-hander spent the entire season on the DL after suffering a shoulder injury during an offseason workout last winter. Meyers pitched to a 3.18 ERA in 138 2/3 innings in Washington's farm system last year.
The Rule 5 Draft rules would have carried over to next season because Meyers did not spend at least 90 days on the active roster this year, meaning the Yankees would have had to keep him on their 25-man active roster or place him on waivers and offer him back to the Nationals.
Players selected in the annual Rule 5 Draft must remain on their new team's 25-man active roster all season, or be passed through waivers and offered back to their original club. Here's an update on the 12 players taken in the Major League portion of last December's draft...
- Rhiner Cruz, RHP, Astros (from Mets) -- The 25-year-old has worked out of the Houston bullpen all season and owns a 6.80 ERA in 47 2/3 innings.
- Terry Doyle, RHP, Twins (from White Sox) -- Doyle was returned to the ChiSox in Spring Training and he's since moved on to a team in Japan.
- Lucas Luetge, LHP, Mariners (from Brewers) -- The 25-year-old southpaw has turned into a reliable bullpen weapon, pitching to a 3.13 ERA in 37 1/3 innings while holding left-handed hitters to a .169/.267/.169 batting line.
- Ryan Flaherty, IF, Orioles (from Cubs) -- Flaherty, 26, has spent time on the DL this season but has otherwise hit .211/.252/.309 in 135 plate appearances for Baltimore.
- Cesar Cabral, LHP Yankees (from Red Sox via trade with Royals) -- Cabral has been on the DL all season with an elbow injury.
- Lendy Castillo, RHP, Cubs (from Phillies) -- The 23-year-old missed considerable time with a groin strain and owns a 10.22 ERA in 12 1/3 innings for Chicago.
- Gustavo Nunez, IF, Pirates (from Tigers) -- Nunez has been on the DL all season with an ankle injury.
- Robert Fish, LHP, Braves (from Angels) -- Fish has been on the DL all season with an elbow injury.
- Erik Komatsu, OF, Cardinals (from Nationals) -- The 24-year-old hit .211/.286/.211 in 21 plate appearances with St. Louis, was claimed off waivers by the Twins, hit .219/.297/.219 in 37 plate appearances with Minnesota, then was returned to the Nationals in May.
- Marwin Gonzalez, IF, Astros (from Cubs via trade with Red Sox) -- Gonzalez spent some time on the DL but has otherwise hit .234/.280/.328 in 215 plate appearances with Houston.
- Brett Lorin, RHP, Diamondbacks (from Pirates) -- Arizona retained Lorin after a Spring Training trade with Pittsburgh.
- Brad Meyers, RHP, Yankees (from Nationals) -- Meyers has been on the DL all season with a shoulder injury.
Cruz, Luetge, Flaherty, Castillo, and Gonzalez will become property of their current teams once the season ends, meaning they can go to the minors without having to clear waivers in the future. Players who not spend at least 90 days on the active (non-DL) roster like Cabral, Nunez, Fish, and Meyers will still be subject to the Rule 5 Draft rules next season.
Players selected in the annual Rule 5 Draft must remain on their new team's 25-man active roster all season, or be passed through waivers and offered back to their original club. Here's an update on the 12 players taken in December's draft...
- Rhiner Cruz, RHP, Astros (from Mets) -- Competing with Henry Sosa and Lucas Harrell for the final bullpen spot.
- Terry Doyle, RHP, Twins (from White Sox) -- Returned to ChiSox earlier this month.
- Lucas Luetge, LHP, Mariners (from Brewers) -- Luetge made Seattle's Opening Day roster.
- Ryan Flaherty, IF, Orioles (from Cubs) -- Flaherty is the favorite for Baltimore's utility infield job.
- Cesar Cabral, LHP Yankees (from Red Sox via Royals) -- Cabral suffered a stress fracture in his elbow last night and will start the season on the DL.
- Lendy Castillo, RHP, Cubs (from Phillies) -- The Cubs are expected to carry Castillo on their roster to start the season.
- Gustavo Nunez, IF, Pirates (from Tigers) -- Nunez was placed on the 60-day DL with an ankle injury back in February.
- Robert Fish, LHP, Braves (from Angels) -- Fish is battling a sore elbow and is headed to see Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion.
- Erik Komatsu, OF, Cardinals (from Nationals) -- The Cardinals will carry Komatsu as an extra outfielder to start the season.
- Marwin Gonzalez, IF, Astros (from Cubs via Red Sox) -- Gonzalez's chances of making the team appear to depend on the health of Jed Lowrie's thumb.
- Brett Lorin, RHP, Diamondbacks (from Pirates) -- Arizona will retain Lorin after a trade with the Pirates.
- Brad Meyers, RHP, Yankees (from Nationals) -- Meyers injured his shoulder during an offseason workout and has not appeared in a game this spring.