Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Who (if anyone) Will the Blue Jays Select in the Rule 5 Draft?


   Baseball's Rule 5 draft takes place at the Winter Meetings in Maryland tomorrow, and many teams will try to shore up a specific need like the Blue Jays did with Joe Biagini, and the Cardinals did with Matt Bowman last year.
   The new CBA has upped the price for selecting a player from $50 000 to $100 000.  A player has to be kept on the drafting team's 25-man roster, or has to be offered back to his original team for half the draft price.
   Of the 16 players selected in last year's Rule 5 draft, 10 saw at least some time with the team that drafted them, and 7 were not returned.  The Blue Jays, picking 24th, were able to nab Biagini, the 10th player selected, because 7 teams had full 40-man rosters and could not pick, while 9 others teams passed on the draft.  This year, the Jays again select 24th, and 6 teams picking ahead of them have full rosters.
   Trying to determine who Toronto might be considering, then, becomes a little easier.  If they are interested, they should once again pick anywhere from 10th to 15th in terms of players selected.  Given the success they had with Biagini last year, and the shoring up their bullpen still could use this year, they likely would take a chance on a long relief arm if the right one became available.
   Two pitchers who likely won't be around when it comes the Blue Jays turn to pick are RHP Yimmi Brasoban of the Padres, and RHP Yonny Chirinos of the Rays.  Tyler Webb of the Yankees, a potential lefty specialist, throws 90-92, with a decent slider and change, might be still available..  International League Left-handed hitters managed only a .559 OPS against him last year.
  Other names that Toronto may be considering include:

  -RHP Zack Weiss of the Reds did not pitch in 2016 due to elbow issues, and that's a huge red flag, despite his 11.9K/9 in High A in 2015.  Given the price, however, he might be worth kicking the tires on in spring training.
  -Arizona RHP Joey Krehbiel can hit 97 in a relief role, and even though control problems have plagued him throughout his minor league career (3.72 BB/9 this year), he pitched reasonably well in relief in AA this year, and had a good showing in the Arizona Fall League.  Another Diamondbacks' righty, Joel Payamps, has not pitched above A ball, but sat 92-94 mostly in a starting role this year, and like Biagini should experience a bump in velocity in a bullpen role.  Baseball America says that Payamps has big league stuff, but has hurt his chances by not pitching well in the Dominican winter league.

    Minnesota has the first pick in the draft.
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