2014 Rule 5 Draft: Live blog
Update 12:48 P.M. ET: Francisco, 22, is an athletic right-handed pen arm from the Phillies who last season in 30 combined appearances at Short-A Williamsport (8 games) and Low-A Lakewood (22 games) went 3-3 with an 7.44 ERA and in 52.0 innings allowed 56 hits, 2 homers, 32 walks and had 47 strikeouts. He was originally signed by the Phillies as an outfielder and played there in his first two pro seasons from 2010-2011 but was converted to the mound in 2012.
Francisco is a project but is someone who has the potential to have two plus pitches. He has a nice 92-94 MPH fastball that he can get up to 96-97 MPH when he reaches back for extra and he has the makings of a plus slider that sits at 83-84 MPH with some good tilt. He is still very new to pitching and does not yet know all of the nuances that go into it with reading swings, setting up hitters, exploiting weaknesses of hitters. Also, his delivery mechanics still need a lot of work and that fastball command needs a lot of refining.
Not much should be expected here as Francisco is a project, but a change of scenery could help him as a new voice and some new ideas with his mechanics could be all that is needed to hone in on that fastball command. He’s a low level prospect, but is an arm to keep an eye on with the quality of those two pitches he has. The only question is whether he will ever throw enough strikes to show how truly effective they are.
Update 12:33 P.M. ET: No one was selected in the Double-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft. The Indians lose no players in all phases of the Rule 5 Draft.
Update 12:28 P.M. ET: The Indians do not lose anyone in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft. 30 players in all were selected over four rounds. The Double-A phase is up next.
Update 12:23 P.M. ET: Indians have selected right-handed pitcher Delvi Francisco in the the Triple-A Phase of the Rule 5 Draft from the Phillies.
Update 12:10 P.M. ET: A total of 14 picks were made in the Rule 5 Draft and no Indians were selected in the Major League phase. The Triple-A and Double-A phase will begin shortly.
Update 9:50 A.M. ET: There has been a lot of talk since the Indians finalized their 40-man roster adds on November 20th how unprotected lefty Giovanni Soto will end up being selected in the Rule 5 Draft. He certainly looks like a great candidate to be taken and very well might be, but I am hearing he is not in the top list of lefties available. Of course, prospect beauty lies in the eye of the beholder so it only takes one team to really like a guy, so Soto (or anyone) could always shoot above some of the top names on the board at the moment.
That said, there seems to be a strong group of lefties available for the draft from other teams. Reymin Guduan, Jed Bradley, Jarlin Garcia, Sean Gilmartin, Ryan O'Rourke, Ronny Scott, Patrick Schuster, and Andrew McKirahan are just a few lefties available from other teams who profile as potential Rule 5 picks. With the depth of the Rule 5 Draft this year and how strong it is, this may in the end help the Indians slide a guy like Soto through it when he might otherwise have been selected in a poor draft like last year. I think if Soto does go it is only because there is a big run on lefties in the draft.
I will be updating this posting with news and notes from today’s Rule 5 Draft. Last year we saw one of the quietest drafts in years as only nine players were selected (no Indians) in the Major League phase, and just three players stuck with their new organizations. This year the general feeling in the industry is that this is one of the better crops of talent available in draft in the last 10 years and we could see a good amount of players go off the board.
The draft starts at 12:00pm ET. Here are a few quick notes leading up to the start of the draft:
- For a full list of Indians players eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft, go here. Also, if you don't know how the Rule 5 Draft works, what it is about and more, then I suggest you check out the site FAQ.
- To make a selection a team has to have space on the 40-man roster before the start of the draft. If they go in with a full 40 players, they cannot select anyone. The Indians roster is currently at 40 so they will not be selecting anyone in the draft.
- Here is the draft order and the amount of players each team has on the 40-man:
1. Arizona Diamondbacks, 39
2. Colorado Rockies, 39
3. Texas Rangers, 38
4. Houston Astros, 38
5. Minnesota Twins, 39
6. Boston Red Sox, 39
7. Chicago White Sox, 38
8. Chicago Cubs, 38
9. Philadelphia Phillies, 38
10. Cincinnati Reds, 38
11. Miami Marlins, 39
12. San Diego Padres, 39
13. Tampa Bay Rays, 40
14. New York Mets, 39
15. Atlanta Braves, 38
16. Milwaukee Brewers, 39
17. Toronto Blue Jays, 37
18. New York Yankees, 37
19. Cleveland Indians, 40
20. Seattle Mariners, 39
21. San Francisco Giants, 40
22. Pittsburgh Pirates, 39
23. Oakland Athletics, 40
24. Kansas City Royals, 39
25. Detroit Tigers, 40
26. St. Louis Cardinals, 37
27. Los Angeles Dodgers, 40
28. Baltimore Orioles, 37
29. Washington Nationals, 40
30. Los Angeles Angels, 39
- I provided a thorough preview of the draft in Sunday’s premium piece and projected what would happen with every Indians eligible player. The Indians names to keep an eye on as possible selections include the likes of left-handed pitcher Giovanni Soto, right-handed pitcher Tyler Sturdevant, right-handed pitcher Joseph Colon, right-handed pitcher Will Roberts, right-handed pitcher Enosil Tejeda and outfielder Anthony Gallas.
- There can always be a surprise, but the only player who really looks to have a good shot to be selected is Soto. He has some polish and some potential as a Major League lefty specialist with how effective he is against lefties with his fastball-cutter combination. But he is far from a sure thing to be selected and is probably more 50-50 or 60-40 to be picked. Sturdevant has an outside shot, but he’s older, has a long injury history and his stuff is not as powerful as it once was before he got hurt and had shoulder surgery.
- One reason why Soto may not go is because the Rule 5 Draft pool has several interesting power armed left-handed pitchers that teams might prioritize over him. Lefty arms like Reymin Guduan, Jed Bradley and Andrew McKirahan are available and throw pretty hard, so chances are they generate more interest. Soto could still go later in the draft like T.J. McFarland did in 2012, but the power arms generally go near the top before the softer throwers.
- As noted in our 11-year review of the Rule 5 Draft, middle relievers are the prime target as over the past 11 years 52% of the picks have been pen arms. Starting pitchers (20%) and outfielders (9%) make up the majority of the rest of the picks. Pitching is the focus as nearly three-quarters of all selections in the past 11 years has been a pitcher. Middle of the diamond players are a secondary focus, so if you are a corner infielder or outfielder the chances are very remote that you will be selected.
- Teams generally focus on power arms in the bullpen, and the Indians did a nice job of protecting their power arms this year. While Soto can get it up to 92-94 MPH he mostly pitches at 89-92 MPH and Sturdevant now is more in the low-to-mid 90s rather than the 97-100 he was at in 2011. The one power arm on the list left unprotected is Carlos Melo who can bring it as he sits 97-99 MPH and can touch 100-101 MPH, but he has no idea where it is going, is older and has little experience above Single-A.
- As I get updates and the draft commences, I will timestamp them and post them at the top of this posting. So please check back for updates.
Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.
W/o much thought the Moss deal for Wendle is a no brainer.
However it effects the decision the Indians will make. If they can't get rid of Swisher that means either Moss or Swisher will play right field and the other DH. This will not improve the defense at all. It also means players like Aguilar and Moncriel don't get the opportunity they could use.
It also means one less spot the team could move either Kipnis or Chisenhall to make room for some of their quaility prospects.
It does nothing to improve their line up balance. Kipnis, Brantly, Bourne, Chisenhall , and Moss,will continue to see left handed after left handed coming out of the bullpen.
After picking up Moss, the Indians are worse defensively, have less flexibility, are less balanced,are under more pressure to move personel, and are hoping that the bargain they got is healthy rather than p/u a player with no injury issues. No i do not think they are better off than they were before making the trade.
Beane is cutting salaries that haven't even escalated through arbitration yet and didn't get a single blue chip prospect in return.His track record says he knows what he's doing.......sort of.
A seven million dollar bet on a guy who should pop 25-30 bombs if he's healthy?I'd go for that at 50/50 odds.
All Moss cost was guy who'll never see MLB in Cleveland.
The Samardzjia deal IMO was not bad considering it was for only 1 year, but there was no certain super-star in the group, more like depth than anything else.
IMO, anything that Moss can provide is frosting on the cake, it was the perfect gamble for the Indians as it didn't cost them anything they could not afford, and yet could end up paying off. No one was expecting to get someone with the potential of Moss, and I personally was OK going forward without Moss, so IMO, any positive production from Moss is great, but not "necessary".
Starting pitching depth? Again, the only "depth" that makes sense is reclamation projects on minor league deals in case the young guys (with options) falter in ST and a NRI somehow out-plays them. Otherwise, committing guaranteed dollars and a ML roster spot for "starting pitching depth" where you had one of the best 2nd half rotations would be a horrible way to commit resources.
Bullpen depth? Again, who was signed that we should have signed for the same price considering we have a solid back-end with Atchison, Shaw and Allen. And our farm system is FLOODED with live arms to come in for middle-relief work. I am sorry that you are "rooting" for a team not named the Tigers, but you have to realize that this team is not the Tigers who need to fill their plethora of holes from out-of-system and FA moves and it is a GOOD SIGN for the organization because they have NO INTERNAL OPTIONS compared to the Indians.
Another thought, the Tribe could even be positioned perfectly to eat part of Swisher's deal. Let's say the eat half the deal or $10M this yr and $5M next yr.
All due respect, I think there is considerable debate on whether Beane got great value for Samardzjia and Donaldson- most think Beane targeted certain guys (like Lawrie and Wendle) and wouldn't go for anything else. Thus, I don't think great value defines those trades- personally, I think Beane has made better value trades in the past than these. The White Sox have had one of the weakest farm systems in baseball the past few years, and the guys they gave up for Samardzjia, to my knowledge, weren't that great (no one has talked about Semien being that great of a player, for instance). It doesn't mean that his moves won't work out, but personally, I think the trades were decent, not great.
I personally thought the Dodgers' trades were more valuable than the A's, along with the Marlins and Angels (getting Heaney for Kendrick). In Beane's history, these trades were 'meh'/OK for me, but not earth-shattering by any means. As others have said, if Moss is healthy, 30+ HRs isn't out of the question, and that's rare today, regardless of which side of the plate he bats from. Besides, there isn't that much power and hitting ability available on the open market, and the Indians don't have the cash even if it was available (outside of maybe Cruz, who else supplies that type of power on the FA market? Cabrera doesn't, Headley is a maybe if he's healthy. Who?)
And as for the trade market, you want to gut a good part of the farm system and/or your young, promising rotation for one year of Justin Upton, who himself has had injury issues if I recall correctly? No, thank you. Otherwise, there's not much to be had there, especially without a very high cost. I personally think Antonetti's move to get Moss was smart and worth the small price for the potential big upside it could net. If it doesn't, no big issue- cut him and move on. If it does, you have him for one more season, and who knows, maybe even a contract extension if it's reasonable.
Yes, the White Sox and Twins have made some moves, but they had the biggest gap to cover, and while they may have narrowed that gap some, they also lack experience and depth, thus still giving the Indians the edge in both. They may be bigger threats in 2016 and 2017, but the Indians should still have the edge on both in 2015 (and still could in 2016-2017 as well, being that most of this core should still be here, along with the likes of Lindor, Ramsey, Naquin, possibly Bradley, Gonzalez, Anderson, et al).
Thus, the two biggest threats may lose their two best pitchers (still give Shields the slight edge over Ventura because of more experience; Ventura must prove it over a full season while being THE guy, which he will likely have to do now). Besides that, the worst moves you make are those that you rush into because of what others are doing, not because they're moves you need to make.
We agree the Indians and Orioles matchup in a deal for David Murphy, I think I actually posted the same guys, excluding Brault and including Davies in another post. We have already discussed Brian Matusz as well in a seperate discussion. I still feel that's a deal that could get done, but we can agree to disagree there.
Murphy also makes sense going back to the Texas Rangers for a prospect (Ryan Rua).
As for signing a veteran RP, I suspect they will shop around for some RP come January. Soriano and KRod are two guys I think could spark their interest. Personally, I think they will try to add someone with closing experience to place Cody Allen and Bryan Shawin the high leverage situations.
I think it's worth noting that the Indians seemed willing to add one of Balfour, Rodney and / or Benoit even after signing John Axford. Most notably the Indians would have gone past the $90M threshold to get a deal done. Based on my understanding they missed on contract length, not contract value. That is, their deal was equal or proportionate value, but they lacked the additional yr the Padres offered Benoit. I said all of that to say, I suspect they will be willing to hit the $90M threshold if they believe they have to ability to address a need with a piece they perceive is value.
If you go for broke to win a world series by spending to your limit and basically trade away your farm system you better win. If you dont you are screwed. That is what happened to A's when Royals knocked them out in wild card game.
Therefore Beane had very little leverage in these trades that he made with Blue Jays, Indians and White Sox.
Several names the Indians have been linked to are still available... Justin Upton, Chase Headley, Alex Rios, Brett Anderson, and Chris Denoforia.
I think it's reasonable to expect the Indians to continue working quietly behind the scenes. There's really no pressure on this club to improve beyond what they already have on the club. However, the club has financial flexibility and depth to make some moves. Watch for a couple moves coming from the Tribe in the next 10-12 days. I suspect we may see a deal as soon as next week.
If they can add a lottery ticket like Anderson and maybe go for another vet BP arm like Rafael Soriano, that would make them even deeper and better prepared for the marathon.
As tony said the Indians didn't need to do much. They still have a chance to sign Rios-a Boras client and perhaps hope for another rebirth of a career in Brian Anderson.
If Billy Beane was confident that Moss would be return to his All Star form do you think he wouldn't have wanted more in return. What's loss in the discussion of the Moss deal and espescially when he is lumped in with Smarsida and Donaldson and 3 A's All Stats is that Billy beane got great returns for the other two and settled for very little from Cleveland.
Would you have traded Chisenhall, Perez, Gonzalez, and McCallister for Smarzida. That the type of return he would have wanted from Cleveland for Smarzida and he would have wanted even more for Donaldson. Getting Moss for Wendle isn't very encouraging.
Masterson at 9m+ is not unreasonable for the BoSox, but I think it would have been a poor move for the Tribe. I have always liked Masty, but that would not be money well allocated for us...would have taken a shot at 4-5m , but that is obviously not nearly enough.
The Central is getting stronger? Yes, I think the White Sox have a chance at a playoff run if everything goes right, but they have too many loose ends to think that is likely. The Royals are still down James Shields, and may or may not get better production out of their DH (Morales) slot. The Twins will be better, but are you not glad we are not needing to shop for the likes of T Hunter at 10M, E Santana at 4/50- something? The Tigers have made moves, but it is still yet to be seen if they are better. Obviously if they resign Scherzer that would be huge, but at present, they do not have the arms to frighten me. Cespedes is a nice pick up, but they are powered by an aging crew...injury and reduced performance are an increasing worry.
I still think the Tribe will add some pieces...I'm hoping for some, perhaps non-sexy, but needed bullpen talent...who knows what else, but I'll bet CA has another surprise before pitchers and catchers report. We need to defend better, but honestly, it will be difficult to play much worse, and I'm not even counting on Lindor just yet.
In the end, the Central is a very competitive division, but there are no juggernauts. We will have to play well, and I believe we will. Looking forward to the race already...
Murphy deal with the Orioles makes sense. Some O's prospects I'd like the Indians to add:
LHP Steven Brault, 11th round pick 2013: 22yo, 2.77 ERA, 0.98 WHIP in 25 games (24 as SP) at A/A+
RHP Tyler Wilson, 10th round pick 2011: 25yo, profiles as a BOR, has 4 pitches, throws strikes
LHP Stephen Tarpley, 3rd round pick 2013: 21yo, probably too much to ask for Murphy, but maybe if they add cash or/and another low level flyer, he might be in play. Indians obviously like him, drafting him in the 8th round in 2011
RHRP Jon Keller, 22nd round pick 2013: 22yo, the O's version of Ben Heller, same round and draft
The Indians really only had room for two moves this offseason unless they ripped apart the roster with a big trade. They made one move. I expect one more. (and of course lots of minor league deals)
KC could easily drop to 4th in the Central if Shields leaves.
And you could take a glass is 1/2 empty view (3/4 empty?) of the Moss signing or bemoan the lack of any truly large deal initiated and consummated by the Tribe front office but I think most here would say this hasn't been a bust at all and that other moves may still be in the offing.
We shall see if your pessimism proves prophetic.
As for Masterson, I suspected he'd be back in Boston. Good luck to him (except against the Indians and anything favoring the Indians). Still, I'd rather keep Salazar, Bauer, and House in the 3-5 spots and let them develop through experience, rather than putting a veteran in there unless that veteran is clearly better. All due respect, Masterson is not, and especially with how he finished 2014 - more of a wild card than Ubaldo Jimenez in fact. Any veterans we acquire should be to back up the youngsters, not supplant them, in my opinion.
Indians must have seen something they liked with this Francisco kid. Career 10K/9 with high BB rate. Probably another live arm with command issues like Carlos Melo
Wow! A ton of moves going down today!
Former Indian Justin Masterson signed with the Red Sox for 1/$9M. I guess I'm not so crazy afterall when I suggested he'd sign for $9M and I would like to see the Indians get him.
What's the rules in those Minors phases? I guess those players have to stick on the AAA roster the entire season?
Who could be lost in the other phases?