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In Rule 5 Draft, Rays take righty Gadea from M's

Club gets Hensley, Munoz in Triple-A phase; Mortensen goes to Astros
MLB.com @wwchastain

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Major League Baseball's Rule 5 Draft took place Thursday morning, and the Rays escaped relatively unscathed.

The Rule 5 Draft served as the final event at the 2016 Winter Meetings from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C.

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Major League Baseball's Rule 5 Draft took place Thursday morning, and the Rays escaped relatively unscathed.

The Rule 5 Draft served as the final event at the 2016 Winter Meetings from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C.

Rule 5 Draft results

No Rays players were selected during the Major League phase of the Draft, and they lost just one player during the Triple-A phase. Meanwhile, the Rays used the fourth pick of the Major League phase to select right-hander Kevin Gadea from the Mariners, then followed with two selections during the Triple-A phase.

"We protected eight, we selected one, and didn't lose any in the Major League phase," Rays farm director Mitch Lukevics said. "So we're really excited coming out of this year's Draft."

The Rays entered the Rule 5 Draft with 39 names on their 40-man roster, which allowed room to make a selection. Gadea, 22, fit the bill.

The Nicaraguan native stands 6-foot-5, weighs 188 pounds and was 4-1 with a 2.36 ERA in 15 Minor League appearances in 2016, of which eight were starts. In 68 2/3 innings, he struck out 95 while walking just 14. According to Rays director of baseball development Peter Bendix, Gadea will have a shot at a bullpen job in 2017.

"We saw him well throughout the season," Bendix said. "He missed a lot of bats. We think that he has a chance to help us in the bullpen. We'll take him to Spring Training and see what we have.

"He's a young guy and has a lot of long-term potential there. ... He's mostly a fastball-changeup guy. He's got a good fastball. And we think the changeup has a chance to be a really good pitch."

In the Triple-A phase, the Rays selected right-handers Ty Hensley, 23, and Jairo Munoz, 25, from the Yankees and Phillies, respectively.

The Yankees drafted Hensley in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft (30th overall), but he has struggled to remain healthy. He comes to the Rays after missing the 2016 season due to his second Tommy John surgery.

Right-hander Jared Mortensen was the only player the Rays lost. The Astros selected the 28-year-old right-hander off Double-A Montgomery's roster in the Triple-A phase.

"We didn't project him on our Triple-A roster, and it was borderline he could make our Double-A roster, and that's why we put him on the Double-A roster, and unfortunately lost him," Lukevics said. "But he was borderline for us."

Under the new CBA, Major League Rule 5 Draft picks will cost the selecting team $100,000, which is double the $50,000 that had previously been the amount. Minor League Rule 5 Draft picks will cost the selecting team $24,000, which is also double the previous amount.

Players selected during the Major League phase must spend the season on the selecting team's 25-man Major League roster, or the team the player was selected from can have the player returned for $50,000.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

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

Tampa Bay Rays