Rule 5 Draft Tomorrow; Don’t Reschedule Meetings to Follow It or Anything

marc w · December 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The Rule 5 draft takes place in Nashville tomorrow, with each team poring over the list of eligible players searching for someone who might add a bit of value. As you probably remember, a team can claim an eligible (college draftee in 2009, HS draftee in 2008, not on 40-man roster) player for only $50,000. They must then keep the player on the active roster for the entire 2013 season.

The Mariners showed that it’s possible to find serviceable players last year when they picked up Lucas Luetge and gave him some of the highest-leverage appearances of the year. Luetge proves that the Rule 5 draft isn’t worthless, and he’s a solid LOOGY to have, but it’s not clear that the M’s can utilize the role this year. As always, the most likely candidates to stick/contribute are bullpen arms, and the M’s just don’t have a lot of holes in the pen. A guy like ex-Mariner prospect Josh Fields seems like a good bet to move to a new organization, but would you sign him if it meant keeping Josh Kinney or Stephen Pryor off the team? Not likely.

The M’s pick up of Jason Bay to a major league deal essentially means they won’t be active in the Rule 5 draft. They made a choice, and decided that signing Bay to a negligible-value deal was a better lottery ticket than selecting a 5-th outfielder from another team’s minor league system. I can’t really fault the M’s for that decision, unless and until they dump someone of value to keep Bay around. But taking Bay in lieu of a 26-year old AA/AAA outfielder who might grow into a decent 4th OF? I’m fine with that.

Of course, the M’s may still be involved in the draft – just as providers of talent, not consumers of it. LHP Brian Moran could probably stick as the last guy in an MLB bullpen. His AAA broadcaster Mike Curto discusses that possibility here. His deception makes up for extremely low velocity, and he posted great K rates in the high minors last year. As a result, many thought he might be added to the M’s 40-man, but Zduriencik instead chose fellow LOOGY Bobby LaFromboise. Along with Charlie Furbush, Luetge and Oliver Perez, the M’s are pretty much set for lefty bullpen arms, but given that Randy Choate just signed a three year MLB deal (!!!), Moran may make a lot of sense for some team out there. The Astros are a possibility, with their GM noting that they may select two players tomorrow. Moran, the third member of the UNC Tar Heels selected in the 2009 draft is currently pitching in Puerto Rico.

Courtesy of Ryan Divish, we now have word that Jack Zduriencik’s essentially conceded that the M’s aren’t making any picks tomorrow.


9 Responses to “Rule 5 Draft Tomorrow; Don’t Reschedule Meetings to Follow It or Anything”

  1. Typical Idiot Fan on December 5th, 2012 4:05 pm

    No surprise. Rule 5 drafts occasionally have that one diamond in the rough, but overall end up being a game of “pass the defensive first middle infielder or reserve bullpen arm” around.

    Honestly, by this point, the Rule 5 draft is kind of pointless.

  2. MrZDevotee on December 5th, 2012 4:29 pm

    Rule 5 guys always seem to be placeholders you can pick up if you have pressing holes in your own system.

    I would take losing 2 players in the Rule 5 draft as a good indicator of where the rest of the league sees our minor league system, currently (ie, stocked).

    And add some frosting to that nice thought cake by the fact that we don’t have any holes we’d rather fill with some other team’s Rule 5 players than our own kids.

    Sucks to lose players, but a good sign none the less that we may be ‘losers”, but not “takers”.

    Although, it would be interesting to hear if Jay has his eye on any Rule 5 guys out there somewhere, or anyone that surprised him being unprotected?

  3. marc w on December 5th, 2012 5:14 pm

    There are a number of potential Rule 5 guys out there that could stick with a team – I mentioned Fields, but there are plenty of others:
    Odubel Herrera and Chris McGuiness of the Rangers
    Jesus Aguilar of the Indians, Tim Crabbe of the Reds, Ryan Schimpf of the Blue Jays.

    Aguilar and McGuiness are no-defense 1Bs, which makes them long-shots, as they can’t provide speed for pinch-running or whatever. They’ve got holes, but they have some power. McGuiness was named AFL MVP for whatever that’s worth (not much).
    Crabbe pitched for Peoria, though not exceptionally well. He misses bats, but walks a ton. Could be interesting if someone was sure his so-so stuff would play up out of the pen.
    Herrera and Schimpf are infielders, Herrera more of a speed/defense type and Schimpf more of a bat-first 2B with a bit of power. All of these guys played in AA last year.

    One problem is that there are a number of players who’ve been DFAd that a team can sign without all of the hassle of a Rule 5 pick. If you want a guy who can field at SS, you could take Ivan De Jesus, Jr who was DFAd by Boston in their big 40-man crunch – a guy with MLB experience and a bit more of a track record than, say, Herrera. Any number of MiLB free agent 1B can give you the likely 2013 production of Jesus Aguilar, so if you’re taking Aguilar, you’re making a bet that he’s going to develop a heck of a lot more.

  4. Westside guy on December 5th, 2012 9:23 pm

    Darn, wish I’d read this before I cleared my calendar.

  5. MrZDevotee on December 5th, 2012 10:06 pm

    Thanks Marc for that extra rundown! Good stuff. Truly, thanks!

  6. Marinerman1979 on December 6th, 2012 12:31 am

    “…Randy Choate just signed a three year MLB deal (!!!), Moran…”

    too funny.

  7. greentunic on December 6th, 2012 1:32 am

    Ok, I feel quite foolish, but can someone please explain LOOGY to me?

    I know its a left handed pitcher, and I think it’s a bullpen pitcher, but what does it actually mean?

  8. Typical Idiot Fan on December 6th, 2012 3:08 am

    LOOGY = Lefty One Out GuY. In a nutshell, the tough left hander you bring in to get tough left handed bats out. Sometimes taken to ridiculous extremes where, literally, that one left handed batter is the only guy they’ll face. Most LOOGY’s can actually probably go a full inning if necessary, especially against multiple left handed batters, but they’re just best used against those Josh Hamilton or David Ortiz types.

    This is because, for whatever reason, most left handed hitters have extreme platoon splits against same handed pitchers. Easy exploitation.

  9. marc w on December 6th, 2012 11:31 am

    Huge omission on my part – should have mentioned ex-Rays pitcher Kyle Lobstein who went to the Mets. He was on the outskirts of the Rays top 10 list around 2010, but some stumbles in AA and command problems have him down in the ~#30 spot now. Still, as a lefty, he could stick on the big club as a LOOGY reliever. He’s still tough on lefties, but AA right-handers have hurt him. Nice pick-up by the Mets.

    Nobody took Brian Moran; I’m sure Zduriencik will be pleased to have even more LOOGY depth just 30 miles away in the event that a spectacular high-five fail fells Furbush, Luetge and Perez simultaneously.

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