The Rule 5 Draft was conducted this morning and, while the Indians did not add any players to their 40-man roster, the two first picks of the draft did pluck a few Tribe farmhands out of the organization. With the 1st pick, the Pirates selected Josh Rodriguez, a middle infielder who will turn 26 this month that actually enjoyed his best offensive season as a Minor Leaguer in 2010, splitting time between Akron and Columbus and posting an .862 OPS on the season.
After Rodriguez was selected, the Mariners chose RHP Jose Flores from the Indians with the 2nd pick of the Rule 5 Draft. Flores is a 21-year-old reliever who spent all of 2010 in Lake County, posting gaudy K numbers (51 K in 42 IP) and limiting baserunners in the Midwest League, posting a 1.00 WHIP and a 2.14 ERA last year.
Here's a little reminder on the Rule 5 Draft rules in terms of a player selected having to stay on the selecting team's 25-man roster, including 90 days on the active roster and not simply allowing teams to stash selected players on the DL.
The Indians (with a full 40-man roster) did not make a selection and despite some conjecture, Atom Miller did not get selected in the Rule 5 Draft and will remain in the Tribe organization while Rodriguez and Flores (who, again, were the first two picks in the draft) are off to Pittsburgh and Seattle to see if they can fare better than most Rule 5 draftees and stick with their new organizations.
Cue the gnashing of teeth and wailing over 40-man decisions because of the “loss” of a 26-year-old middle infielder whose place in the organization was fuzzy at best with Cabrera, Donald, Kipnis, and Valbuena (whose place to start 2011 I still can't figure) and over a promising 21-year-old reliever who will be attempting to make the jump from low-A ball to MLB.
As for me, meh.