Reds select Cave, O'Grady in Rule 5 Draft
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As the Winter Meetings came to an end on Thursday, the Reds made two selections in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. Cincinnati selected outfielder Jake Cave from the Yankees' Triple-A roster and left-handed reliever Chris O'Grady from the Angels' Triple-A roster.
Teams can select players left unprotected for $50,000, and they must stay on the Major League 25-man roster of their new club for the entire season. If not, they are returned to their original organizations for $25,000. Cincinnati now has 37 players on its 40-man roster.
"We've been active in the Rule 5 [Draft] in the past and had success," Reds general manager Dick Williams said, "but it's not something you do every year. It's very opportunistic. You have to have a combination of the roster spots available and some quality players you think have a chance of sticking. This year, we found two we felt good about at the Major League level -- guys that we'll bring into camp and will compete to make the team."
Cave, 23, is a left-handed-hitting outfielder from a Yankees system that was overloaded with lefty-hitting outfielders. In 132 games at Double-A and Triple-A during 2015, he batted .278/.339/.359 with two home runs and 39 RBIs.
A sixth-round pick by New York in 2011, Cave batted .285/.346/.391 in four Minor League seasons.
"He can play all three outfield positions. He's a solid outfielder," Reds assistant GM Nick Krall said. "He has a good chance to stick on our club, because he's got a left-handed bat. He's a good complementary piece to other guys we have on the club."
Cave could be a platoon-type of outfielder for Cincinnati, which currently has an opening in left field.
"We look at him as potentially a good guy to use against right-handed pitchers and then ease his way in," Krall said. "Obviously he's still a prospect. He's got easy development, because he played well in Double-A and at least has a niche to fill your club and can get at-bats."
O'Grady, who turns 26 on Apri 17, had a 3.28 ERA in 45 appearances split at Double-A and Triple-A last season. In 57 2/3 innings, he allowed 47 hits and 14 walks with 57 strikeouts and 1.058 WHIP.
"He can get both sides out, so you're not just using him as a lefty specialist," Krall said. "He's an average stuff guy, but he does a good job with command and gets his outs. He has a chance to be a useful piece on the club."
In the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft, the Reds also picked right-handed pitcher Ariel Hernandez from the D-backs' system. A 23-year-old that pitched in Class A ball last season, Hernandez had a 6.04 ERA in 22 relief appearances, but he can throw up to 100 mph, Krall said.
In round two of the Triple-A phase, the Reds also took Pin-Chieh Chen, a second baseman from the Cubs system. In 124 games split between Advanced Class A and Double-A, Chen batted .263/.338/.378 with five homers and 46 RBIs.
The Reds did not lose any players during the Major League or Minor League phases of the Rule 5 Draft.