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Yanks' system proves appealing in Rule 5 Draft

Club loses 4 players in Major League phase, selects outfielder Soto in Minor League phase
MLB.com @BryanHoch

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."

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 Gleyber Torres and Thairo Estrada, outfielders Jake Cave and Billy McKinney, and pitchers Albert Abreu, Domingo Acevedo and Jonathan Loaisiga off limits.

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

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees