The Rule 5 Draft was held this morning, officially ending the Major League Baseball winter meetings. There were some changes to the Rule 5 Draft after the agreement of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. One, picks cost a team $100,000 (instead of $50,000) and there is no Double-A phase.
Today, only 18 players were selected in the big league phase. The KC Royals passed on their pick, despite having an open roster spot.
The Royals did lose two players in the Major League phase. Lefty Daniel Stumpf, who was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies last year, made the team, got suspended for PEDs, and then was sent back to the Royals after his return from his suspension, was selected once again, this time by Detroit.
In his return to the Royals, Stumpf was sent to Double-A, where he carried a 2.11 ERA over 21.1 regular season innings with NW Arkansas. He struck out 26 and walked just four. Opponents hit just .187 against him. Stumpf pitched four times during the Texas League playoffs, three of which were scoreless outings (3.2 innings with five strikeouts). He did allow two runs on two hits in an inning of work against Springfield in his other playoff appearance.
Stumpf is currently pitching in the Dominican Winter League for Toros, where in 15 games, he struck out seven, but walked five in 10.2 innings.
Right-hander Glenn Sparkman, who burst on the scene in 2014, only to see his career halted by Tommy John surgery after just four Double-A games in 2015, was selected by Toronto. Sparkman returned from TJS in June, pitching at four levels. He didn’t pitch well in 16 starts, as opponents hit .289 against him. However, he walked just ten compared to 65 strikeouts in 60.1 innings. Sparkman is a guy the Blue Jays could pitch in middle relief and slowly bring him along.
Best of luck to Daniel and Glenn with their new teams in spring training!
The Royals selected right-hander Kelvin Magallanes from the NY Yankees in the Triple-A phase. Magallanes has not pitched above rookie ball, so he is a work in progress. In 2016, he pitched in the Gulf Coast League (his second season there), carrying a 6.42 ERA in 11 games (seven starts). Over 33.2 innings, he walked 18 and struck out 27, while opponents hit .267 against him. On the plus side, Magallanes has yet to allow a home run in his career (160.2 innings).
Former Royal Jon Fitzsimmons was selected in the Triple-A phase by Arizona. He pitched two seasons with Idaho Falls (2013-2014) before being released and pitched last season with Low-A Lake County (Cleveland) after signing in August (and pitching in the Cam-Am League).