The Winter Meetings are right around the corner for the major league clubs and while most of us will take our time refreshing MLBtraderumors.com and twitter for the latest rumor spit out by Ken Rosenthal or Buster Olney there is also a rummage sale known as the Rule 5 that will also go on. Â I like to think of the Rule 5 draft as the Storage Wars of player aquisition. Â Most the time in Storage Wars you purchase lockers that are full of junk hoping to just get your money back but every now and then you start to toss crap out of it to discover that you have a painting by Picasso beneath that dirty blanket. Â Joakim Soria has been that Picasso for Kansas City, painting corners since being taken with the 2nd pick of the 2006 rule 5 draft becoming an All Star and valuable commodity to the organization after picking him up for just 50K. Â Teams don’t expect to find that Picasso for $500 but if they are lucky maybe they’ll find a Rolex or a guitar they can hock for some dough. Â People won’t break the bank with that Nate Adcock you find but it’ll make you come back again hoping you find the next Josh Hamilton.
Dayton Moore and Kansas City have used three picks in addition to the Soria pick on the major league phase of the Rule 5 since GMDM took over all of which have been on pitchers. Â With the following results.
2007 No pick used
2008 Jose Lugo LHP traded to Mariners for cash
2009 Edgar Osuna LHP outrighted to minors after Atlanta declined to reclaim him
2010 Nate Adcock
Last years pick Nate Adcock seems to be a decent pickup for Kansas City as he will likely head back to the minors this season with a chance to build on his rookie campaign with the Royals. Â He had flashes of success out of the pen and seemed to show that he was worth the price of keeping him on the roster for the entire season on a non-competing club but this years roster could be a tougher nut to crackÂ as I don’t see a fit for the Royals in the Rule 5 in terms of pitching because of the depth in the bullpen and in with the number of possible starters. Â If Kansas City is going to make a pick I think the best alternative would be that of a utility infielder. Â Someone who could play shortstop or second base in pinch defensively while adding to a need on the bench as a pinch hitter or runner. Â Kansas City will likely play 150 games with essentially the same lineup in the infield and outfield barring injury, knowing that picking up someone to ride the bench most days may be a decent alternative as roster filler. Â Here are some of the players that may fit that profile:
Ryan Flaherty Chicago CubsÂ – Flaherty was a 2008 supplemental 1st round pick from Vanderbilt who has played second, short and third base while also playing both corner outfield spots in the minors. Â He’s packs a little pop in his 6’3 220 lbs frame hitting 57 home runs in 450 minor league games while hitting from the leftside. Â As a lefthanded hitter he could be decent option off the bench for Escobar or Gio. Â Weakness- May lack the range to handle shortstop defensively.
Beamer Weems San Diego Padres – An 8th round selection out of Baylor University in the 2008 draft Weems missed sometime this past season after getting hit in the face. Â Weems like Alcides Escobar is a solid defender at shortstop who some say may not be able to handle the bat at the major league level. Â Beamer put together his best offensive season last year slugging .415 for AA San Antonio. Â Weems ould be a decent alternative for the Royals if they would like a superior middle infielder for late inning situations after pinch hitting for Alcides or as a late inning defensive second baseman. Â Another player in the Weems mold is Greg Miclat from Baltimore who like Weems doesn’t have much in the bat department but can handle the glove in those late inning situations.
Cody Puckett Cincinnati Reds – Puckett has played played mostly second but also a bit of third and corner outfield. Â As a righthanded hitter he could be a decent alternative to Moustakas on days that you want to give the young third baseman a rest. Â He has handled the stick decently well putting up a .802 OPS in his 4 minor league seasons. Â While he doesn’t offer the versatility that someone like Flaherty might offer he would be an especially cheap alternative considering that anyone on the Royals bench will play very sparingly.