SAN DIEGO — The Rule 5 draft’s return to winter meetings for the first time since 2019 saw a sold-out crowd and plenty of activity in the Major League phase on Wednesday afternoon.
A total of 15 players were taken in this part of Rule 5, starting with the Nationals picking right-hander Thad Ward from the Red Sox and ending with the Mets picking right-hander Zach Greene from the Yankees. That’s less than the 18 players who were taken the last time the Major League phase took place, remotely in 2020 (That didn’t happen at all in 2021 because of the lockdown.) . It was the most since 2010, when 19 players were taken.
Major League Stage players can be selected for $100,000 and must remain on the active Major League roster or be offered to the original team for $50,000.
There was also a flurry of activity in the Minor League phase, with 67 caps, bringing the total number of players selected to 82, surpassing the 74 selected in 2020 and tied for most of all league drafts. rule 5 since 1983 (82 players were also taken in 2002).
Prior to the draft, it was widely believed that the Nationals would use the first pick to try to bolster their big league roster, and they did so by selecting Ward from Boston. Ward, who was the Red Sox’s No. 15 Top 30 prospect and ranks at No. 13 Washington, relies heavily on his above-average slider and has a 92-96 mph lead. He pitched well in 2022, both in the regular season and in the Arizona Fall League, when he returned from Tommy John surgery in 2021.
“When we make these Rule 5 selections,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said, “it’s kind of a balance between an upside-down pitcher that you’re really trying to hit and kind of a guarantee. to be able to keep the player on the roster all season. … He has a good four-pitch mix, he throws enough strikes, he’s a pretty savvy pitcher and a competitor that he could stay in the big leagues. We think there’s still some left in the upside-down tank where his speed could return to pre-Tommy John stature.
Rizzo said he sees starting traits in Ward, but added that he could be a multi-inning reliever type if he wants to stay in the big leagues.
It would be the first of three players the Red Sox would lose in the Major League stage, including the most intriguing selection of the day. The Phillies knocked out Noah Song, the Red Sox’s fourth-round pick from the Naval Academy in 2019, even though the right-hander has just 17 pro innings on his resume, and none since 2019. The Phillies’ president of baseball operations Phillies Dave Dombrowski was with the Red Sox when they drafted Song, so he was well aware of his advantage.
Boston had hoped that Song would be able to get out of his naval enlistment, but that did not happen, and he was on the military reserve list while serving. The Phillies can keep him on that roster, so he won’t take up space on the 40-player roster, making the risk as low as possible.
“We made sure to check that he was available to be drafted, which he was,” Dombrowski said. “I knew him at the time (from the 2019 Draft). We loved him. We thought he was a No. 1 draft pick; we thought he might be the best starting pitcher in the country. We took a bet then because we thought he might not have to serve, but he ended up having to.
“Being available like that, we really had nothing to lose. We really like his talent. We can put him on the military list right off the bat, so he’s not on our 40-man list. We thought we’d take a chance and see what would eventually happen. It’s a long shot, but worth a shot, we thought. I don’t know if anyone knows exactly when he will be released from service. But for the draft price, we thought it was worth taking.
Once Song is reinstated from the military reserve roster, he is subject to the usual requirements of Rule 5, which means he must be placed on the active Major League roster and remain there for the entire season.
The Dodgers also lost three players, with the A’s taking first baseman Ryan Noda No. 2 overall, the Pirates taking left-hander Jose Hernandez with the third pick and the Brewers selecting right-hander Gus Varland No. 10.
Rule 5 is historically heavy and this year’s edition has been decidedly tilted towards the mound, with pitchers making up 13 of the 15 picks. Only Noda, whose power bat could fit into the A’s roster, and outfielder Blake Sabol, initially selected by the Reds from the Pirates, bucked that trend.
“I like the power,” A general manager David Forst said, adding that Noda could potentially play an outside corner. “I like the walks. I like the first base defense. For the last two years. His name has come up in [Adam] Kolarek agreement and other potential exchanges. It was finally our chance to give him a chance. For the past two years, he’s done everything you could ask of Double-A and Triple-A, so I can’t wait to give him an opportunity.
Two trades were announced shortly after draft Rule 5 was concluded. The Rays acquired right-hander Kevin Kelly from the Rockies for cash considerations while the Reds sent Sabol to the Giants for a player to be named later.
There is also a minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft, with costs rising from $12,000 to $24,000 for a Triple-A pick (anyone unprotected in a major league or Triple-A roster is eligible). The Double-A phase has been eliminated. Players selected in this part of the Rule 5 Draft are not subject to any roster restrictions with their new organizations.
A’s — RHP Joelvis Del Rosario, of the PIT
Pirates — RHP Wei-Chieh Huang, of SF
Reds — RHP Kyle Glogoski of PHI
Royals — SS Shervyen Newton, of PHI
Tigers – RHP Layne Henderson of HOU
Rockies — LHP Eli Lingos, from CLE
Marlins — 3B Dane Myers, of DET
Angels — C Ronaldo Flores, of SF
D-backs – RHP Taylor Rashi, of SF
Cubs — LHP Jose Aquino, of SEA
Twins — OF Armani Smith, of SF
Red Sox — LHP Joe Jacques, of the PIT
White Sox — RHP Ernesto Jaquez, of HOU
Orioles — RHP Alfred Vega, of NYY
Brewers — 2B Isaac Collins, LOC
Spokes — RHP Hector Perez, of BAL
Phillies — SS Pedro Martinez, TB
Padres — 3B Evan Mendoza, of STL
Sailors — 1B Francisco Tostado, of SF
Goalkeepers — RHP Bradley Hanner, MIN
Blue Jays — C Kekai Rios, of LAD
Cardinals — C Jose Alvarez, of HOU
Yankees — LHP Paul Mujica, of KC
Mets — RHP Wilkin Ramos, of the PIT
Braves — RHP Domingo Gonzalez, PIT
Astros — LHP Max Roberts of SEA
Dodgers — RHP Yon Castro, of NYY
Pirates — BY Joshua Palacios, WSH
Reds – RHP Brooks Crawford, of SF
Rockies — RHP Nicholas Kuzia, DET
Marlins — RHP Austin Roberts, of PIT
Angels — BY Jared Oliva, of PIT
D-backs – RHP Denny Larrondo, of NYY
Cubs – RHP Nick Burdi, of SD
Twins — SS Yohander Martinez, of HOU
Red Sox — RHP Ryan Miller, of NYY
Orioles — LHP Trey McGough, PIT
Spokes — RHP Emmanuel Mejia, from PIT
Phillies — RHP Yoniel Ramirez, of SF
Sailors — SS Logan Warmoth, of TOR
Goalies — C Michael Berglund, TC
Cardinals — RHP Brandon Komar, SD
Mets — OF Agustin Ruiz, of SD
Astros — LHP Bryan King, CHC
Dodgers — RHP Carlo Reyes, of PHI
Marlins — RHP Cristian Charles, of PIT
Angels — SS Riley Unroe, of SEA
D-backs – RHP Peter Solomon, of the PIT
Cubs — OF Jefferson Encarnacion, of PHI
Twins — INF Yoyner Fajardo, of PIT
Orioles — C Randy Florentino, of TEX
Spokes — RHP Nelson Alvarez, of NYY
Phillies – RHP Zach Linginfelter, of LAA
Guardians — RHP Justin Lewis, ARI
Cardinals — RHP Jose Martinez of LAD
Mets — 2B Jonathan Arauz, of BAL
Astros — RHP Manuel Urias of PHI
Dodgers — OF Josh Stowers, of TEX
Angels — RHP Willian Suarez, of SF
Twins — RHP Seth Nordlin, of TEX
Phillies — SS Cameron Cannon, of BOS
Cardinals — RHP Ryan Shreve, MIN
Mets — SS Mateo Gil, LOC
Astros — LHP Luis Rodriguez, CHC
Phillies – NYM’s RHP Trey Cobb
Phillies – C Cody Roberts, of BAL
Phillies — INF Oliver Dunn, of NYY
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