Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Rule 5 Draft

The Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft is over, with the Twins taking no players and losing three in the process. I'll be posting again later once the minor league phase has been completed (although depending on the timing I may not have a chance to post until later this afternoon). Here are the names:

Tim Lahey - RHP - Tampa Bay Rays (sold to Chicago Cubs)
Lahey was drafted by the Twins as a Catcher in the 2004 draft, but was converted to a pitcher in 2005. He's pitched pretty well -- he jumped straight from Rookie Ball in '05 to High A in '06, and spent most of 2007 pitching with the Rock Cats in AA. In 78.1 innings for New Britain, he posted a 3.45 ERA with a 56-33 K-BB ratio. The only tarnish on his numbers was his fairly high WHIP of 1.42. Lahey got a cup of coffee with the Red Wings in '07, but it amounted to 2 games and just 3 innings, so his poor performance (9.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP) really doesn't mean much. His selection surprises me a bit -- while he's pitched fairly well, his high WHIP may be reason for caution (although his strong K-BB ratio's suggests that he's also capable of missing bats). Lahey seems like a reach, especially as he was taken with the first pick in the Rule 5 Draft.

Chance of Being Returned to the Twins:
The Cubs should be competitive in the NL Central again next year -- and stashing a player on a competitive roster for an entire season is very difficult. I would guess that there's only a 5% chance he sticks with the Cubs (and that's probably on the high side). Of course, there's always a possibility that the they could work out a trade to keep Lahey if they can't justify keeping him on the roster, as the Nationals did last year with Levale Speigner.

R.A. Dickey - RHP - Seattle Mariners

I confess to being a bit underwhelmed by this loss. Dickey was recently signed as a minor league free agent by the Twins and invited to spring training, but the Mariners decided to swoop in and take the veteran. Dickey wasn't going to have a place on the Twins in 2008, and I don't really have much to say on him here.

Chance of Being Returned to the Twins:
Dickey has never done much to prove that he's capable of being a good major league pitcher (career 5.72 ERA in 266 major league innings and a 1.57 WHIP). As a result, I can't believe that he'd finally post numbers at the big league level that justify keeping him on a 25-man roster all season. I would say that there's about a 98% chance that the Mariners will take him off of the roster at some point, possibly as early as right after spring training. If they want him, the Twins will almost certainly get him back.

Garrett Guzman - OF - Washington Nationals
The fact that Garrett Guzman was taken in the Rule 5 Draft doesn't surprise me at all. The fact that he was taken by the Washington Nationals, a team that seems to be collecting more outfielders than they can possibly use (in addition to Guzman, of course, they've recently picked up Lastings Milledge and Elijah Dukes), is a little more surprising. Of course, the Nationals are aggressive in the Rule 5, so maybe it shouldn't be that shocking. Guzman spent 2007 in New Britain, hitting .312 in 475 AB's with an 812 OPS and 14 HR's. He was one of the few mid-to-high level outfield prospects in the Twins system that actually performed well last year, and I was a little disappointed that the Twins didn't protect him by placing him on the roster.

Chance of Being Returned to the Twins:
This one is fairly hard to judge. The Nationals have the kind of team that can hide players on a roster, but Guzman will have to compete hard for a job. I would say there's about a 60% chance that he ends up being offered back to the Twins -- so while I think it's more likely than not that he's offered back, I also wouldn't be surprised if he stuck around in Washington.

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  • At Thu Dec 06, 10:56:00 AM , Blogger WV said...


    Do you think the lack of a Major League Rule 5 pick is an indication that there weren't players that interested the team or simply that they don't expect there to be any open slots on the 40-man once the season starts whether through trades or FA signings?

    A little column A, a little column B?

  • At Thu Dec 06, 02:05:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    I was thinking about this on my drive home today, and the most likely scenario to me is that they didn't think there were any players that interested them. Even if you don't expect to have slots open, the low cost of selecting a player in the Rule 5 draft suggests that you would still take that player, give him a shot in spring training, and see what happens. Therefore, since no one was taken, my guess is that there was no one that jumped out at the team.

  • At Thu Dec 06, 08:57:00 PM , Anonymous SethSpeaks said...

    Just my quick thoughts... what is the value to the Cubs of spending $150,000 to let Lahey go back to the Twins. Maybe they feel that the Twins won't want to spend the $25,000 to get him back and they can stash him in AAA. But I think that the Twins have enough bullpen question marks that they would take him back. I actually am not at all surprised her was taken.

    I think Dickey has a very good chance of making the roster of his new team. Despite having almost literally nothing left in his arm, he is someone that teams want to take a chance on. Apparently, he has developed a power knuckleball that there just isn't really one like. Definitely worth the chance the Twins took on him as well as a Rule V chance.

    I agree completely about Guzman. I expected him to be taken, but the Nats didn't make a lot of sense. HE could stick as a pinch hitter option.

  • At Sat Dec 08, 12:16:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    There was a report that the Twins had someone targeted in the Rule 5 draft who was taken earlier.

  • At Sat Dec 08, 01:36:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    I read that as well -- in fact, it sounds as if they were going to take a player in both the Major League and AAA phases of the draft, and both times that player was taken first. Such is life.


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