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Top 3 picks of Rule 5 Draft end up on Padres

Twins, Reds send Nos. 1-2 selected players to San Diego via trades
MLB.com @JonathanMayo

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The talk leading into Thursday's Rule 5 Draft was that the San Diego Padres, with just 33 players on their 40-man roster and having taken four players in last year's Major League phase, would be active again. That turned out to be true, albeit not in the conventional sense.

San Diego only made one official selection, taking shortstop Allen Cordoba from the Cardinals with the No. 3 pick. But the Padres picked up two other players via trade, dealing with the Twins for top pick Miguel Diaz, a right-hander from the Brewers' organization, and acquiring catcher Luis Torrens, formerly of the Yankees, from the Reds. That wheeling and dealing left the Padres with the top three players taken in the Major League phase.

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The talk leading into Thursday's Rule 5 Draft was that the San Diego Padres, with just 33 players on their 40-man roster and having taken four players in last year's Major League phase, would be active again. That turned out to be true, albeit not in the conventional sense.

San Diego only made one official selection, taking shortstop Allen Cordoba from the Cardinals with the No. 3 pick. But the Padres picked up two other players via trade, dealing with the Twins for top pick Miguel Diaz, a right-hander from the Brewers' organization, and acquiring catcher Luis Torrens, formerly of the Yankees, from the Reds. That wheeling and dealing left the Padres with the top three players taken in the Major League phase.

"They're all guys that our scouting group really likes, guys we've been tracking for a while now," Padres general manager A.J. Preller said. "We got three additions today that we liked, and we're excited about."

The Baltimore Orioles were the only other team to make multiple picks among the 18 selections made during the Major League phase, getting outfielder Aneury Tavarez from the Red Sox and outfielder/first baseman Anthony Santander from the Indians.

"He was the MVP of the Portland club … this kid is a good offensive player, excellent speed and he's played in the Dominican," O's executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of Tavarez. "We need to find a position for him, but he can hit, he can run and he does have some power if you look at the 13 triples that he had. That reflects his power as well as his speed."

Complete Rule 5 Draft and prospect coverage on MLBPipeline.com

There were other trades in the Major League phase as well. The Padres' deal for Diaz included a third team. Officially, the Twins sent Diaz to San Diego in exchange for right-hander Justin Haley and cash considerations or a player to be named. Haley had been selected by the Angels, who dealt him to the Padres, also for cash.

"He's a right-handed starter," Twins GM Thad Levine said. "He's going to come into camp competing to be one of our 12 pitchers. What our scouts like about him is that he's versatile, so we'll likely stretch him out. He'll contend for length on our staff but could also be a swingman or a multi-inning reliever."

The Cubs got lefty Caleb Smith from the Brewers, who took him from the Yankees, who felt the sting of the Rule 5 Draft more than any other team. New York lost four players -- Torrens, right-hander Tyler Jones, Smith and lefty Tyler Webb -- in the Major League phase alone. It was not something that took the Yankees by surprise.

"It's just going to get worse moving forward," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said. "Obviously, we have one of the best systems in the game, and the Rule 5 Draft just reflected that. We lose four guys, and for the most part, everybody that got taken off our roster got claimed or signed prior to this. I hope to get those guys back, but you only can protect 40 people and you need to keep spots open for anticipated signs like [Matt] Holliday that brought us to 40. And if we do something else, someone else is going to be in position to lose. It's just the way it is."

Players who first signed at age 18 had to be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons or they became eligible to be drafted by other organizations through the Rule 5 process. Players signed at 19 years or older have to be protected within four seasons. Clubs pay $100,000 to select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. If that player doesn't stay on the 25-man roster for the full season, he must be offered back to his former team for $50,000. The costs increased from $50,000 and $25,000 to $100,000 and $50,000, respectively, in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

For this year, that means an international or high school Draft pick signed in 2012 -- assuming he was 18 or younger as of June 5 of that year -- has to be protected. A college player taken in the 2013 Draft is in the same position.

There is now only one Minor League phase, with teams spending $24,000 per pick. There were 39 selections made in that phase, and there are no restrictions about which roster these players have to be placed on. Largely thought to be organizational filler-type players, there were some interesting names announced. The Rays took Ty Hensley, a 2012 first-round pick of the Yankees. He hasn't pitched since '14 after being attacked and assaulted in January '15.

Austin Wilson was a second-round pick out of Stanford in 2013, and despite tremendous raw tools, he has not been able to tighten the holes in his swing. The Cardinals, who took Wilson out of high school in '10, are hoping they can help him figure it out. The Rangers took lefty Matt Smoral, who was the No. 50 overall selection in 2012 and got $2 million to sign from the Blue Jays, but has struggled with injuries and command.

Rule 5 Draft Major League phase

Round 1
1. Twins: Miguel Diaz, RHP, Brewers
2. Reds: Luis Torrens, C, Yankees
3. Padres: Allen Cordoba, SS, Cardinals
4. Rays: Kevin Gadea, Mariners
5. Braves: Armando Rivero, RHP, Cubs
6. D-backs: Tyler Jones, RHP, Yankees
7. Brewers: Caleb Smith, LHP, Yankees
8. Angels Justin Haley, RHP, Red Sox
9. White Sox: Dylan Covey, RHP, Athletics
10. Pirates: Tyler Webb, LHP, Yankees
11. Tigers: Daniel Stumpf, LHP, Royals
12. Orioles: Aneury Tavarez, OF, Red Sox
13. Blue Jays: Glenn Sparkman, RHP, Royals
14. Red Sox: Josh Rutledge, SS, Rockies
15. Indians: Holby Milner, LHP, Phillies
16. Rangers: Michael Hauschild, RHP, Astros

Scouting reports on all 18 players selected in MLB phase

Round 2
17. Reds: Stuart Turner, C, Twins
18. Orioles: Anthony Santander, OF, Indians

Complete Rule 5 Draft and prospect coverage on MLBPipeline.com

Triple-A phase

Round 1
1. Reds: Jose Adames, RHP, Marlins
2. Padres: Trevor Frank, RHP, Indians
3. Rays: Ty Hensley, RHP, Yankees
4. Braves: Cesilio Pimentel, LHP, Pirates
5. D-backs: Jon Fitzsimmons, RHP, Indians
6. Phillies: Jorge Flores, SS, Blue Jays
7. Brewers: Art Charles Jr., 1B, Reds
8. Angels: Matthew Williams, INF, Cardinals
9. Rockies: Anthony Bemboom, RHP, Angels
10. Marlins: Cal Towey, OF, Angels
11. Royals: Kevin Magallanes, RHP, Yankees
12. Astros: Eduardo de Oleo, C, D-backs
13. Yankees: Jorge Saez Jr., C, Blue Jays
14. Mariners: Paul Paez, LHP, Mets
15. Cardinals: Austin Wilson, OF, Mariners
16. Tigers: Sean Donatello, RHP, Marlins
17. Orioles: Jefri Hernandez, RHP, Reds
18. Blue Jays: Philp Walby, RHP, Nationals
19. Dodgers: Edward Paredes, LHP, Tigers
20. Red Sox: Harrison Cooney, RHP, Angels
21. Rangers: LHP Matt Smoral, Blue Jays
22. Cubs: Kevin Cornelius, INF, Yankees

Round 2
23. Rays: Jairo Munoz, RHP, Phillies
24. D-backs: Grant Sides, RHP, Indians
25. Brewers: Matt Ramsey, RHP, Marlins
26. Angels: Adrian Almeida, LHP, Mets
27. Marlins: Nick Maronde, LHP, Indians
28. Astros: Jared Mortensen, RHP, Rays
29. Yankees: Colten Brewer, RHP, Pirates
30. Mariners: Chuck Taylor, OF, D-backs
31. Tigers: Elvis Rubio, OF, Brewers
32. Orioles: Brian Moran, LHP, Braves
33. Dodgers: Kyle Grana, RHP, Cardinals
34. Red Sox: Joshua Smith, LHP, Pirates
35. Rangers: Zack Bird, RHP, Braves

Round 3
36. D-backs: Daniel Lockhart, INF, Cubs
37. Angels: Mario Sanjur, C, Tigers
38. Marlins: Alex Yarbrough, 2B, Angels
39. Rangers: Fernando Miranda, RHP, Braves

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.