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Friday April 5th, 2013
Jonathan Hacohen (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder): Follow @Jhacohen
Baseball is a funny game sometimes. One minute you’re crying the Chris Carter blues. Then before you know it, Nate Freiman appears. That is how Billy Beane works my friends. Just when you think he might be slipping, he pulls a magic rabbit out of his hat (better known as the waiver wire in baseball terms).
On February 11, 2013, I wrote an article outlining Billy Beane’s error in trading Chris Carter. While I have always endorsed the talents of Jed Lowrie, it was my opinion that giving up a future star in Chris Carter was too high of a price to pay.
The trade (which actually took place on February 4th) saw the Astros acquire yet another stud First Base prospect. I wondered out loud what the Astros would do with all their First Base talent (Brett Wallace, Jonathan Singleton, Nate Freiman and veteran Carlos Pena).
It seemed like too many bats and not enough positions in Houston, despite the newfound need for a Designated Hitter. A little over a month later, March 23rd to be exact- I had my answer. Nate Freiman was on his way to Oakland.
The star for Israel in this year’s World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament was going to get the opportunity of a lifetime.
While some felt the A’s were simply acquiring roster depth, I saw a different vision. The A’s had their replacement for Brandon Moss at First Base.
Billy Beane had an uncovered yet another gem that was going to thrive in Oakland. Remember Josh Reddick 2012? Meet Nate Freiman 2013.
Nate Freiman Interview:
Note from Chuck Booth: I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.) Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of my archived articles section here.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
In sifting through 35 years of history with the Toronto Blue Jays as a franchise, it is sad that since 1994, only Pittsburgh, Toronto and Kansas City have not made a playoff appearance in the Major Leagues. They have been battling the Red Sox and Yankees powerhouse clubs since the 1994 player strike/1995 Lock-out. This baseball interruption of play was also a deciding factor on the Montreal Expos losing their franchise, however one could say that this has had a profound effect on the other only team North of The Border. The Jays were a model franchise all the way through the 80′s. From 1983-1993, the team carried out 11 straight winning seasons, 5 Pennants and back to back World Series Wins in 1992 and 1993.
Pat Gillick had been with the baseball club from the get go, and after finishing in dead-last for the first 5 years of existence, the Jays rode the backs of several budding stars that were drafted by the man. From the early pitching stars of Jim Clancy and Dave Stieb, to the young outfield that flourished as a core for years in: Lloyd Moseby, George Bell and Jesse Barfield, the team showed that drafting and trading for young players was the way to build an organization. It took until 1985 for the teams first Pennant, barely edging the Yankees by 2 games for the AL East. Playoff disappointment followed from 1985-1991. The team soon would find the promised land as the top team in 1992 and 1993.
Franchise History Part 2 1994-2012: http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/28/jay/
For Part 6 of the 7 Part Series: Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll Click here:
For Part 7 of the 7 Part Series: Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll: A Readers Thoughts, Click Here:
Friday December 2, 2011
Rob Bland (Baseball Writer – MLB reports): With the MLB Winter Meetings just around the corner, we can all get excited about the draft that takes place there. The Rule 5 draft is a very important draft for teams, as they can find their diamond in the rough that may be undervalued by his current team. The Rule 5 Draft was created as a way for more players to have a chance at the big leagues, rather than spending more years in the minors. It forces a team to “protect” its minor leaguers by placing them on the 40-man roster.
The Rule 5 Draft is not simply for any minor leaguer, the players who are eligible must fall under certain criteria. The criteria are as follows:
If a player was signed at age 19 or older, and has been in the same organization for four years.
If a player was signed at age 18 or younger, and has been in the same organization for five years.
What this means that if an 18-year-old signs with a team, plays in the minor leagues for five years, and is not added to the 40-man roster, he will be put in a pool of eligible players for the Rule 5 draft. This forces teams to make a decision on their prospect and if he is ready to be added to the 40-man roster. The order of the draft is the same as the Amateur Draft that takes place in June, in reverse order of standings from the season prior.
Since many international players sign at the age of 16, they are eligible for the Rule 5 draft after their age-20 season. If not picked up on the team’s 40-man roster, an opposing team can take a big chance on a player in selecting him.
The draft is different from any other in that it costs the team $50,000 to select a player, which is paid to the team losing said player. Also, this player must be on the 25-man roster for the entirety of the season. If he is taken off the 25-man roster, he must then be offered back to his original club at half the price ($25,000).
There are two other phases of the Rule 5 Draft: AAA and AA. In the AAA phase, teams can select eligible players from AA and lower who fit the same criteria, and pay $12,000 for the selection. In the AA phase, players from A and lower are chosen at a cost of $4,000.
While it is pretty rare for a Rule 5 draftee to become a superstar, it does happen- and there are plenty of players who become useful with their new teams. Some of the most notable players chose in the Rule 5 draft are Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente (the Rule 5 draft was drastically different in 1954), Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, and, in my opinion, the best Rule 5 selection of all, Johan Santana.
The Rule 5 Draft can take some interesting turns, and players are often offered back to their original team. Trades are made for other Rule 5 selections or money can be exchanged. Johan Santana was left off the Houston Astros 40-man roster before the 1999 Rule 5 Draft, and was selected by the Florida Marlins. The Marlins then trade Santana to the Minnesota Twins for cash and Jared Camp. After a lacklustre 2000 season, he went on to have a great career with the Twins, and has won 2 Cy Young Awards.
Bautista also represents an interesting case, as he was selected in the 2003 Rule 5 draft, and became the only Major League player in history to be on 5 ML rosters in one season. The Baltimore Orioles selected him in the Rule 5, was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2 months into the season, and then traded to the Kansas City Royals less than a month later. A month after that, he was traded to the New York Mets, who then flipped him to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were his original team. He has since gone on to blossom into one of the finest hitters in all of baseball, leading the MLB in home runs in 2010 and 2011.
Josh Hamilton was selected in the 2006 Rule 5 draft by the Chicago Cubs, but was returned to the Cincinnati Reds before the season began. He was traded to the Texas Rangers after the 2007 seasons and won the 2010 American League MVP.
Other notable players taken in the Rule 5 Draft:
Most teams have between 15 and 30 eligible players, meaning that there are hundreds of players available. However, the Rue 5 draft has lasted no more than 21 picks in the last 9 years. Over this time, 40 or so players are selected in the AA and AAA phase combined per year.
Will a team strike gold and find the next MVP or CY Young in this year’s Rule 5 Draft? Probably not. But some teams may find some useful bullpen arms, or even a utility player or two that may stick around for a full season.
***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Rob Bland. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Rob on Twitter.***
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