Minnesota Twins Trade Top Pick in Rule 5 Draft
Twins Trade Out of #1 Pick, Still Get Their Man – Pitcher Justin Haley.
The Winter Meetings continued today with the Major League Rule 5 Draft, and the Twins had the number one pick overall.
While teams aren’t permitted to trade positions, they are allowed to trade picks after they are made. When Minnesota selected RHP Miguel Diaz off the Milwaukee Brewers’ roster, it was assumed they were picking for another team.
When the Padres plucked SS Alan Cordova away from St. Louis, it seemed as if the Twins’ trade partner was revealed in a slip to the press. Only after the L.A. Angels drafted Justin Haley from the Boston Red Sox did the Twins reveal which player they were interested in all along.
In a three-way trade, the Padres traded Cordova for Haley, and then received Diaz in exchange for Minnesota getting Justin Haley. In the end, the Twins front office got the pitcher one of them has coveted for a while.
In 2010, the tall (6′-5″) right-hander was drafted by Cleveland in the 46th round. While the Indians weren’t able to sign him that year, Derek Falvey remained intrigued.
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Haley improved his draft status in 2012, up to the 6th round by the Red Sox. Falvey obviously continued to monitor Haley’s career.
Splitting time between AA and AAA this past season, Haley’s combined 13-10 record, 3.01 ERA, 126 K / 45 BB in 146.2 innings were enough for the Twins to pull off a trade to acquire the former Fresno State starter.
His velocity sits in the lower 90’s, topping out at 95. But his downward angle plane when he’s pitching well makes it hard on both right and left-handed hitters.
If he wants to remain a starter, Haley will need to improve his curveball and changeup. Right now, his only breaking pitch that he’s able to consistently throw for strikes is his slider.
He ended the 2016 season in spectacular fashion, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He finished with a line: 8 IP, 2 H, 7 K, 1 BB, 0 R in a 1-0 win to finish out his year for Pawtucket. Both hits allowed were infield singles.
He continued his late-season flourish in the Dominican Winter League, starting five games and compiling a 2-0 record, and slashing (23.2 IP, 0.38 ERA, 14 K, 4 BB, 12 H) and allowing only a .156 batting average against.
Compensation for such Rule 5 Draft trades is usually cash. While the Twins could have just selected Justin Haley with their pick, they were probably able to completely offset the new $100,000 (had been $50k) selection fee for their pick of Diaz in their trade with the Angels.
Now, in order to keep Haley, the Twins must keep him on their major league roster for the entirety of the 2017 regular season. If he does not, he is offered back to Boston for just $50,000 – half the original fee.
The Cincinnati Reds selected Twins minor league catcher, Stuart Turner, with the second of their two picks utilized. Turner is a defensive specialist who was passed by Mitch Garver this past season as the Twins’ top minor league catching prospect.
It will be hard for the Reds to keep two Rule 5 guys all season, so Turner may yet end up back with the Twins sometime next year – if they want him back.
Next: Brian Dozier Trade Rumors
In the following minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft, the Twins neither selected nor lost any players. Last year, the Twins made no selections in the major league portion of the draft, but lost Zach Jones.
In 2014, they drafted J.R. Graham, who stayed with the Twins the entire next season. They lost pitcher Sean Gilmartin, who pitched in the 8th inning of Game 2 for the Mets in the World Series against Kansas City.