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Royals' system loses five in Rule 5 Draft

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- There were no additions but five subtractions for the Kansas City organization in the Rule 5 Draft of Minor League players on Thursday as the Winter Meetings ended.

The Royals were at the 40-player limit so they could not make any selections in the Major League phase of the Draft. But they didn't lose any prospects either, as 15 players from other organizations were taken at a cost of $50,000 each.

In the Triple-A phase, however, the Royals lost five players, as a total of 27 were selected for $12,000 each.

Of the 42 total players taken, no other organization lost as many players as Kansas City.

"We were concerned on the Major League side, a lot of rumors out on the floor about who we might lose, and we felt like there were some guys that were exposed, but, in the end, it worked out pretty well for us," Royals assistant general manager J.J. Picollo said.

"The Minor League phase was a little different, but we expected that also. A lot of those names had come back to us that we could potentially lose. You don't how to feel about it. It's good that our system has a lot of depth, and you're going to lose some guys, but, at the same time, we lost some pretty good players."

Those players, all taken off the Double-A Northwest Arkansas roster, were:

• Third baseman Diego Goris, 21, by San Diego. He hit .333 with 13 home runs, 51 RBIs in 58 games for two Rookie League teams, Idaho Falls and Surprise, this year. A right-handed batter acquired a year ago from Pittsburgh in a trade.

• Right-handed pitcher Ethan Hollingsworth, 25, by Pittsburgh. Combined for Omaha and Northwest Arkansas, he was 5-11 with a 4.82 ERA in 35 games (eight starts). Obtained from Oakland in a 2011 trade for Kila Ka'aihue.

• Left-handed pitcher Brendan Lafferty, 26, by Philadelphia. A power pitcher, he notched 71 strikeouts in 60 1/3 relief innings for Northwest Arkansas with a 1-1 record, one save and a 4.77 ERA. An 18th-round Draft choice in 2009.

• Left-handed pitcher Ryan Dennick, 25, by Cincinnati. He has a good curveball and was 8-6 with a 4.61 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 36 games (four starts) for Northwest Arkansas and Class A Wilmington. A 22nd-round Draft pick in 2009.

•  Right-handed pitcher Federico Castaneda, 29, by San Diego. A reliever, he was loaned to the Mexico City Reds this year and was 2-4 with a 5.71 ERA in 51 games. He also had 52 strikeouts and just 15 walks in 52 innings.

"We felt like all of them were going to help our organization in some way," Picollo said.

The Royals made no picks at all, passing in both the Triple-A and Double-A phases.

"Our reports on the players available weren't significantly better than what we have," Picollo said. "When you've had a player since he was 18, 19, 20 whatever it is, you know what you have in that player, and you want to exhaust every avenue that you can with him. So we just didn't feel like there was anybody that really upgraded us."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for
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