To me, the most telling thing about yesterday’s Rule 5 draft was that the Baltimore Orioles actually lost someone – two players to be exact. Alex Santana was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Michael O’Brien was taken by the Tampa Rays (both are pitchers). It’s been some time since the Birds have lost players from their organization, which indirectly means that they’re doing something right. Both Santana and O’Brien will need to remain on their selecting teams’ big league roster from now until the end of the 2015 season, otherwise they’re returned to the Orioles. (Both players were taken in the minor league phases of the draft.)
More importantly however, the O’s were once again active in selecting players as well. The Birds selected RHP Logan Verrett in the draft, after having been able to move up due to some other teams having a full 40-man roster. After the fact, they traded cash considerations to Houston for RHP Jason Garcia. Verrett came from the NY Mets’ organization, whereas Garcia was formerly in Boston’s system. In the triple-A phase of the draft, the Birds selected Sean Halton from Milwaukee’s organization.
Aug 27, 2013; Boston, Courtesy of Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
I was a bit surprised that they went with pitching as opposed to outfield depth, however Dan Duquette also seems fairly confident that the Orioles have laid the groundwork for either trades or free agent signings this week. While the big news of the week was John Lester signing with the Chicago Cubs (and perhaps Detroit swapping Porcello for Cespedes with Boston), I feel like this year’s winter meetings weren’t the greatest in terms of big splashes. In fact, I would submit that the winter meetings are only a place for table-setting in the sense that teams inquire on players and then after the meetings perhaps a deal is consummated. But each year is different.
The good news for Orioles fans is that much of the excitement about Dan Duquette potentially being coveted by Toronto has subsided. Many people thought that in and of itself was done perhaps to tie the Orioles’ hands during the meetings, and I suppose we’ll never really know if that ended up being true or not. However needless to say, Duquette seemed satisfied with what the O’s did or did not do.
As I alluded above, Verrett and Garcia will have to remain on the Orioles’ 40-man roster through the end of the 2015 regular season. If they cease to be or if they’re in effect optioned to the minors, they’re returned to their original organization. The Orioles of course held onto Ryan Flaherty and TJ McFarland in this manner, and don’t forget Michael Almanzar last year. He was on the 60-day DL after being drafted from Boston’s organization, only to be returned there after that time. However the O’s got him back as part of the Andrew Miller trade back in July, so now he’s in the organization to stay.