San Diego Padres: Team Takes Top Three Picks in Rule 5 Draft
The San Diego Padres were the busiest club on Thursday morning, taking each of the top three Rule 5 draft selections to close out the winter meetings.
For the San Diego Padres, the winter meetings started slow, but finished with a flurry of encouraging moves. Thursday morning’s Rule 5 draft concluded the annual week filled with baseball transactions, and the organization decided that it was time to get busy.
The Padres had the third pick, but didn’t stop by picking shortstop Allen Cordoba. Trading with the Minnesota Twins and Cincinnati Reds, San Diego ended up with the top three picks when it was all said and done.
Cordoba, who came from the St. Louis Cardinals organization, was somewhat of a surprise pick. The 21-year-old has not made it past rookie ball yet. With the requirement that the selection must be immediately placed on the 40-man roster, this will be quite a jump for Cordoba.
However, the Panama native is versatile, and can play the role of Alexi Amarista. With experience at second and third as well as short, expect San Diego to experiment a bit with Cordoba.
Also, once the Padres traded for the two players selected before them, including a pitcher, drafting a position player made a lot more sense.
Miguel Diaz was picked first by the Twins, and was then dealt to the Padres. The former first overall draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers has struggled a bit to start his career, taking four seasons to get out of rookie ball.
Now in Single-A, Diaz appears to be on his way. The only question is, can he make this dramatic jump to the majors successfully? The Padres hope he can play a role in the bullpen in either middle inning situations or multiple inning outings.
Luis Torrens is likely the team’s most useful addition. After the departure of Derek Norris and Hector Sanchez, the Padres had a question mark at catcher. Other than Austin Hedges, Christian Bethancourt is the only other catcher on the roster.
A third young catcher is a smart option for the Padres. Now, they can close the book on this position for the offseason and feel confident about where they are in 2017.
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In total, 18 selections were made in the Rule 5 draft, and 14 clubs passed. The Padres added the most players with three, and really dominated the draft by taking the first three. With seven voids to fill on the 40-man roster coming in though, the most in baseball, this was a much needed flurry of additions.
The Padres also momentarily acquired Justin Haley from the Los Angeles Angels, a right-hander formerly with the Boston Red Sox organization. However, they ended up dealing him to the Twins, preventing them from walking away from the event with four additions.
Next: Chances of Re-Signing Tyson Ross
Now the roster has 36 members, leaving only four open spots. Even though the winter meetings have concluded, there is still a lot of work for General Manager A.J. Preller and his staff to do. But even if this is only a start; it is hard to complain about what the Padres were able to do in the Rule 5 draft.