Baltimore Orioles: Protect Pitchers for Rule 5 Draft


The Baltimore Orioles must set their 40 man roster by 11:59 p.m. tonight, or they may very well lose two young pitchers via the Rule 5 Draft.

The Rule 5 draft is a player draft that takes place every December during a winter meeting of General Managers. The goal of this draft is to prevent organizations from stacking their farm teams with talent. Essentially this is an attempt by MLB to “spread the wealth.”

Minor league players who may never see the main stage while they remain on their current teams have a better chance to play if they are moved to a team with less talent. In a way, the Rule 5 Draft is method of checks and balances, while it also protects young talent from withering away on a minor league team.

To be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft you must have been signed by an organization at 19 years of age, and have played four years of professional baseball, or have been signed at 18 years old and have played at least five years of pro ball. If a player falls into one of these two categories and they are not placed on a 40 man roster by tonight, they are free game.

The Orioles roster sits at 37 and there are players throughout the Baltimore Orioles organization that other teams may consider picking up. These players include Chris Lee, Ashur Tolliver, Parker Bridwall, Brandon Kline and Andrew Triggs.

Players like Dylan Bundy and Chris Jones have already been added to the Baltimore Orioles 40 man roster and are protected. Hunter Harvey, a player that has not been placed on the O’s roster is protected from the draft since he was drafted at 18 and only has completed three seasons since.

The Baltimore Orioles need pitching. ESPN ranked their rotation 25th last year and on top of that they may lose O’Day in the next coming months.

With that being said and considering the whole Chris Davis situation, I think it is time for the Orioles to save some money, they will need it. A great way to do this is by protecting the talent they already have.

Chris Lee is a 23 year-old left-handed pitcher who the Orioles acquired this past May from the Houston Astros. Since he has become a part of the Orioles organization he has gone 3-6 with a 3.07 ERA in 14 starts with the Fredrick Keys and more recently he went 4-2 with a 3.08 ERA in 7 starts as a Bowie Baysox. Lee is expected to start this upcoming season with Bowie and possibly move to triple-A ball before the season is over.

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Andrew Triggs is a 26 year-old who embarked on his Orioles career this past April. He was bought from Kansas City and currently has a record of 0-2 with 17 saves and a 1.03 ERA in 43 games as a Bowie Baysox. He is a right-handed pitcher with a deceptive, almost underhand delivery and a fastball that consistently reaches the low 90’s.

Triggs may not be a pitcher that stands out when you look at the Orioles roster but with the uncertainty of O’Day and the fact that Buck has a soft spot for pitchers with unorthodox deliveries, his chance of making the roster has improved.

These players should be protected because they not only have the ability to pitch in Camden Yards a year or two from now, but they could potentially become valuable trade offerings if the O’s cannot pick up a first or second tier starter during free agency.