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A's lose 1st-rounder Martin in Rule 5 Draft

MLB.com @JaneMLB

LAS VEGAS -- Former first-rounder Richie Martin was plucked from the A's organization during the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday by Baltimore, which snagged the infielder with the first selection.

It was hardly surprising; leading up to the draft, Martin was favored to go first. The athletic shortstop, originally taken by the A's as the 20th overall pick of the 2015 Draft out of the University of Florida, finally enjoyed a productive offensive season with Double-A Midland this year following a string of injury-ridden seasons.

LAS VEGAS -- Former first-rounder Richie Martin was plucked from the A's organization during the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday by Baltimore, which snagged the infielder with the first selection.

It was hardly surprising; leading up to the draft, Martin was favored to go first. The athletic shortstop, originally taken by the A's as the 20th overall pick of the 2015 Draft out of the University of Florida, finally enjoyed a productive offensive season with Double-A Midland this year following a string of injury-ridden seasons.

Martin hit .300 with the RockHounds, posting a .368 on-base percentage with 25 stolen bases in 118 games. Yet the A's, who have shortstop Marcus Semien in place through at least 2020, opted to leave him unprotected ahead of the Rule 5 Draft.

Now, he's bound for a potential career-changing opportunity.

"Great for Richie," A's general manager David Forst said. "It's a good opportunity, obviously with a club that needs players, so I'm sure he'll have every opportunity to stick. That's part of the decisions we have to make, but I wish him the best of luck."

Per rules attached to the Rule 5 Draft, the Orioles must keep Martin on their 25-man active roster for the entire season, or else send him through waivers to make him available to other clubs before offering him back to his original team. Baltimore will pay Oakland $100,000 for Martin and will get half of that back should it return him to the A's.

The A's did not make any selections in the Major League phase of Thursday's draft.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics