Yanks' system proves appealing in Rule 5 Draft

Club loses 4 players in Major League phase, selects outfielder Soto in Minor League phase

December 14th, 2017
Right-hander Anyelo Gomez was the first of four players from the Yankees' system selected by another club in the Rule 5 Draft. (MiLB)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Prior to checking out of his suite at the Winter Meetings, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had an overwhelming sense that his rich farm system would be a popular target during Thursday's Rule 5 Draft.

"We are going to get hit," Cashman said. "We got hit hard last year and will be again this year."

:: Rule 5 Draft coverage ::

Those words were prescient, as the Yanks watched four of their players be selected in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft: right-hander Anyelo Gomez (Braves), left-hander Nestor Cortes (Orioles), first baseman Mike Ford (Mariners) and right-hander Jose Mesa Jr. (Orioles).

Clubs must pay $100,000 to select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. That player must remain on the claiming team's 25-man roster for the full season, or they are offered back to their original team for $50,000.

Additionally, in the first round of the Triple-A phase, right-hander Yancarlos Baez was selected by the Twins. In the second round of the Triple-A phase, catcher Sharif Othman was selected by the Marlins.

The Yankees made one selection in the Rule 5 Draft, plucking outfielder Junior Soto from the Indians' Triple-A roster in the first round of the Triple-A phase.

Soto, 20, hit .172 with nine homers and 17 RBIs in 52 games with Class A Lake County in 2017. Over four Minor League seasons (2014-17), he has batted .217 with 13 homers and 58 RBIs in 168 games.

The Yanks shuffled their 40-man roster in November to protect some of their prospects from the Rule 5 Draft, making infielders and Thairo Estrada, outfielders Jake Cave and , and pitchers , Domingo Acevedo and Jonathan Loaisiga off limits.

In addition to the players claimed, right-hander and right-hander Cale Coshow had been considered strong candidates to be selected.