SAN DIEGO — The return of the Rule 5 draft at the winter meetings for the first time since 2019 brought a full house and plenty of activity to the major league stage Wednesday afternoon.
A total of 15 players were included in this portion of Rule 5, beginning with the Nationals, who picked right-hander Thad Ward from the Red Sox, and ending with the Mets, who picked right-hander Zach Greene from the Yankees. It’s shy of the 18 players taken from afar last time the Major League stage happened in 2020 (it didn’t happen at all in 2021 because of the lockdown.). That was the highest since 2010, when 19 players were taken.
Players in the major league stage are eligible for $100,000 and must remain on the major league active roster or be offered back to the original team for $50,000.
The minor league stage was also buzzing with 67 selections, taking the total to 82, surpassing 74 in 2020 and making the most Rule 5 drafts since 1983 (also 82 players). recorded in 2002).
Prior to the draft, it was widely believed that the Nationals would use first pick to try to strengthen their roster for the big league, and they did so by selecting Ward from Boston. Ward, who is ranked 15th in the Red Sox’s top 30 and finishes 13th in Washington, relies heavily on his above-average slider and has a 92-96 mph sinker. He pitched in both the regular season and in 2022 of the Arizona Fall League when he returned in 2021 after Tommy John’s surgery.
“When we’re making these Rule 5 selections,” said Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, “it’s kind of a balance between having an upside pitcher that you really want to hit and a kind of certainty you’re going to keep the player on the roster too.” can all seasons. … He’s got a good mix of four pitches, he’s throwing enough shots, he’s an accomplished pitcher and a contender that he could stay in the big leagues. We think there’s still something left in the tank where his speed could return to pre-Tommy John heights.
Rizzo said he sees starter qualities in Ward but added he could be a multi-inning relief guy if he wants to stay in the big leagues.
That would be the first of three players to lose the Red Sox in the major league stage, including the most intriguing pick of the day. The Phillies took Noah Song, the Red Sox’s fourth-round pick, out of the Naval Academy in 2019, though the right-hander has just 17 pro-innings on his résumé and hasn’t since 2019. Dave Dombrowski, the Phillies’ President of Baseball Operations, was with the Red Sox when they drafted Song, so he was aware of its benefits.
Boston had hoped Song would get out of his naval assignment, but that didn’t happen and he was on the military reserve list during his service. The Phillies can keep him on that list so he doesn’t take a spot on the 40-man list, keeping the risk as low as possible.
“We made sure to double check that he was available for call-up, which he was,” Dombrowski said. “I knew him then (from the 2019 draft). we loved him We thought he would be a #1 draft pick; We thought he might be the best starting pitcher in the country. We took a risk at that point because we thought maybe he didn’t have to serve, but in the end he had to.
“Being so available, we really had nothing to lose. We really like his talent. We can put him on the military list immediately, so he’s not on our 40-man list. We thought we’d take a chance and just see what happens in the end. It’s definitely a long shot, but worth a try, we thought. I don’t know if anyone knows exactly when they will be dismissed from their service. But for the cost of the draft, we thought it was worth picking.”
Once Song has been reinstated from the military reserve list, he will be subject to the usual requirements of Rule 5, which means he must be accepted into the major league’s active roster and remain there for the entire season.
The Dodgers also lost three players, with the A’s picking No. 2 overall first baseman Ryan Noda, the Pirates picking third-pick left Jose Hernandez, and the Brewers picking No. 10 right-hander Gus Varland.
Rule 5 has traditionally been pitching-heavy and this year’s edition was decidedly tilted towards the mound, with pitchers accounting for 13 of the 15 picks. Only Noda, whose power-bat fit the A’s lineup, and outfielder Blake Sabol, originally picked by the Reds from the Pirates, bucked this trend.
“I like the power,” said A’s GM David Forst, adding that Noda could potentially play an outfield corner. “I like the walks. I like the defense on first base. We’ve asked the Dodgers about him several times over the last two years. His name came up in the [Adam] Kolarek deal and other potential trades. This was finally our chance to give him a chance. In the last two years he’s done everything one could ask for at Double-A and Triple-A, so I’m looking forward to giving him a chance.”
Two trades were announced shortly after the Rule 5 draft closed. The Rays acquired right-hander Kevin Kelly, acquired from the Rockies, for cash, while the Reds sent Sabol to the Giants to appoint a player who would later be named.
There is also a minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft that will increase the cost of a triple-A pick from $12,000 to $24,000 (anyone not in a big league or triple-A roster is protected is entitled). The double A phase has been eliminated. Players selected in this portion of the Rule 5 draft will not be subject to roster restrictions at their new organizations.
A’s – RHP Joelvis Del Rosario, from PIT
Pirates – RHP Wei-Chieh Huang, from SF
Red – RHP Kyle Glogoski by PHI
Royals – SS Shervyen Newton, from PHI
Tigers – RHP Layne Henderson, of HOU
Rockies – LHP Eli Lingos by CLE
Marlin – 3B Dane Myers, from DET
Angels – C. Ronaldo Flores, from SF
D-back – SF’s RHP Taylor Rashi
Boys – LHP Jose Aquino, from SEA
Twins—BY Armani Smith, by SF
Red Sox – LHP Joe Jacques of PIT
White Sox – RHP Ernesto Jaquez by HOU
Orioles – RHP Alfred Vega, from NYY
Brewer — 2B Isaac Collins, from COL
Rays—RHP Hector Perez, of BAL
Phillies—SS Pedro Martinez, by TB
Padres – 3B Evan Mendoza, by STL
Sailors—1B Francisco Tostado, from SF
Guardian—RHP Bradley Hanner, by MIN
Blue Jays – C. Kekai Rios, by LAD
Cardinals – C. Jose Alvarez, by HOU
Yankees – LHP Pablo Mujica, by KC
Mets – PIT’s RHP Wilkin Ramos
Braves – PIT’s RHP Domingo Gonzalez
Astros – LHP Max Roberts from SEA
Dodgers – RHP Yon Castro, from NYY
Pirates – BY Joshua Palacios, by WSH
Red – RHP Brooks Crawford, from SF
Rockies – RHP Nicholas Kuzia, from DET
Marlins – RHP Austin Roberts from PIT
Angels—BY Jared Oliva, of PIT
D-back – RHP Denny Larrondo from NYY
Cubs – RHP Nick Burdi, from SD
Twins—SS Yohander Martinez, from HOU
Red Sox – RHP Ryan Miller from NYY
Orioles – LHP Trey McGough, of PIT
Rays—RHP Enmanuel Mejia, from PIT
Phillies – RHP Yoniel Ramirez, from SF
Sailors – SS Logan Warmoth, from TOR
Guardian—C. Michael Berglund, by TB
Cardinals – RHP Brandon Komar, from SD
Mets – BY Agustin Ruiz, from SD
Astros – LHP Bryan King from CHC
Dodgers – PHI’s RHP Carlo Reyes
Marlin – RHP Cristian Charle, by PIT
Angels—SS Riley Unroe, of SEA
D-Back – RHP Peter Solomon of PIT
Cubs — FROM Jefferson Encarnacion, from PHI
Twins – INF Yoyner Fajardo, from PIT
Orioles – C. Randy Florentino, from TEX
Rays—RHP Nelson Alvarez, of NYY
Phillies – RHP Zach Linginfelter, from LAA
Guardians – RHP Justin Lewis, of ARI
Cardinals – RHP Jose Martinez, from LAD
Mets – 2B Jonathan Arauz, from BAL
Astros – PHI’s RHP Manuel Urias
Dodgers – BY Josh Stowers, of TEX
Angels – RHP Willian Suarez, from SF
Gemini – RHP Seth Nordlin, of TEX
Phillies – SS Cameron Cannon, by BOS
Cardinals – RHP Ryan Shreve, by MIN
Mets—SS Mateo Gil, by COL
Astros – CHC’s LHP Luis Rodriguez
Phillies—RHP Trey Cobb, of NYM
Phillies – C. Cody Roberts, of BAL
Phillies – INF Oliver Dunn, from NYY