The Major League phase of baseball’s Rule 5 draft was just completed. For those who aren’t familiar with it, it works this way, per MLBTradeRumors.com:
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.
This morning, the Indians lost two players from their organization. One time top prospect, Hector Rondon, was selected second overall by the Chicago Cubs. Rondon spent almost three full seasons recovering from a multitude of injuries before, but was said to be pitching well and a potential bullpen option for the Indians late in the 2013 season. Instead, he will be a Chicago Cub, unless they don’t like what they see. The Tribe also bids farewell to 23 year old left-handed starter T.J. McFarland, who was taken 23rd by Baltimore. The soft-tossing lefty went 16-8 with a 4.03 ERA in 27 starts between Akron and Columbus.
Don’t fret – if the Indians were that high on either player, they’d have been protected on the 40-man roster.
On the other side, the Tribe took 24-year old first baseman Chris McGuiness from the Texas Rangers with their Rule 5 pick. The left-handed hitting McGuiness was just named MVP of the Arizona Fall League who spent the 2012 season in AA Frisco. He hit 23 homers and drove in 77 runs with an OPS of .840 in 123 games. He is said to be a solid defensive player but with the Rangers system loaded with talent, he was left off their 40-man roster.
The Tribe has now loaded up with low-budget options at first base should they not find what they are looking for in trades or on the open market. McGuiness, Mike McDade (added from Toronto), Lars Anderson, and Russ Canzler are all on the 40-man roster.