In case you hadn't heard, the Twins today agreed to a swap with the Seattle Mariners that allows Seattle to keep Rule 5 pick R.A. Dickey and which will send the Twins catcher Jair Fernandez. Dickey was signed by the Twins as a minor league free agent, making him a somewhat unusual Rule 5 pick -- typically, Rule 5 picks are younger players who haven't yet had a chance to get on a 40-man roster. Dickey, however, is a veteran knuckleballer with 266 big league innings under his belt. He actually was very good last year for Milwaukee's AAA club, posting a 3.72 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in 169.1 innings of work. His career big league numbers, however, aren't very good (5.72 ERA/1.57 WHIP), and at 33, I'm not sure if he's going to get better. I don't really know much about his history -- it's possible that he developed his knuckleball relatively recently, in which case his previous major league numbers might not be as relevant. Nonetheless, I don't feel like I'm going out on a limb by saying that Dickey wouldn't have been a significant factor for the Twins, and losing him to Seattle in the draft didn't bother me.
As for the pickup of Fernandez, I don't have much to say. He's a 21-year-old Colombian who has spent the past two seasons in the lower levels of the Mariners minor league system putting up unremarkable numbers. I certainly don't expect him to be an impact player in the system at any point, but who knows.
Finally, just to recap what's happening with the Twins other Rule 5 losses from this past year: Tim Lahey, a right-handed pitcher who was taken by the Rays for the Cubs, was claimed off waivers by the Phillies yesterday. That means that the Rule 5 obligations surrounding Lahey are now transferred to Philadelphia, so if he's sent down by the Phillies he would have to be offered back to the Twins. It sounds as if the Twins would probably take him back, so be on the watch for that this season. As for outfielder Garrett Guzman, the Twins already worked out a deal with the Washington Nationals that will allow Washington to keep Guzman -- but I haven't yet seen an announcement on the player the Twins will receive back in that deal.
Labels: Rule 5 Draft