Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rule 5 News

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.

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3 Comments:

  • At Sat Mar 29, 01:16:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Is Hernandez just a younger replacement for the recently released Feiner?

     
  • At Sat Mar 29, 01:25:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    I suppose that's as good a way to look at it as any, but I'm not sure if it was necessary -- the Twins have quite a few young catching prospects in the lower levels of the system, and I don't know that Fernandez adds much.

    Incidentally, the Mariners also have a "Jairo Hernandez", so there's the possibility for confusion. This is Fernandez with an F.

     
  • At Sat Mar 29, 08:47:00 PM , Anonymous TT said...

    The Mariners aren't likely giving up a future star for a 33 year old knuckleballer. But he sounds like a guy who could develop a good enough combination of defense and offense to be a quality major league backup.

    Fernandez is supposed to be a pretty good defensive catcher. He spent a lot of time in the major league camp this spring. That is a good sign for a kid that young.

    Catchers are a lot like pitchers, teams are always looking for more. The Twins have de San Miguel who is a young outstanding defensive catcher and Wilson Ramos who apparently has a great arm and projects to produce power. But that is really it at the A ball level in terms of guys who project to have above average major league skills.

    And the Twins did get David Ortiz and Joe Mays from the Mariners for almost nothing.

     

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