Lots of relievers picked up by NLC teams in the draft this year. That’s not surprising considering how expensive the market is for one-inning pitchers.
The Astros picked up 22 year-old left-handed reliever Wesley Wright from the Dodgers. Wright split time in 2007 between AA and AAA, so the Astros are obviously hoping he can be a useful bullpen-er in the majors for 2008.
The Brewers didn’t make any picks due to a tight roster, but they did lose one player. Callix Crabbe, a 24 year-old infielder/outfielder, was taken by the Padres. Well, at least the Brewers seemed to have staunched the flow of relievers heading out the door.
The Cardinals managed to get perhaps the best player available in the Rule 5 draft, 25 year-old outfielder Brian Barton. I imagine he’ll get right to work mysteriously pissing off Tony Larussa, or is that something only third basemen do?
The Cubs didn’t pick anyone, but they were involved in another trade, a la last year’s that sent Josh Hamilton to the Reds. This time they received right-handed pitcher Tim Lahey from the Twins via the
Devil Rays. Also, the Cubs lost a player in the draft for the sixth consecutive year, as 24 year-old catcher Randy Wells was claimed by the Blue Jays. I don’t know if that’s a record, but I’m betting they can tack on 94 more. They’re so good at losing streaks.
The Pirates took 24 year-old reliever Evan Meeks from the
Devil Rays to help bolster their bullpen. The team released Jose Castillo to make room. Castillo had been the Pirates’ 2nd baseman for the last few years. He’s 26, but he’s played considerably older than that.
The Reds are hoping for a repeat of the Rule 5 success they had last year with Josh Hamilton and Jared Burton. And really, what better way to measure how good a team is than it’s success at the Rule 5 draft? That’s why the Reds are the best! This year the Reds took 22 year-old right-hander Sergio Valenzuela from the Braves. They lost 25 year-old right-handed pitcher Carlos Guevara–a player with way better stats but who pays attention to those–to the Marlins.