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In a half hour or so, baseball executives will gather at the nearby Westin Hotel for the Rule 5 Draft -- or, as they call it in Pittsburgh, the free agent market -- and pick through the closets of their competitors.

The draft, which is named after the rule that created it, allows teams to draft minor league players who are bottled up in other organizations for $50,000. The rub, of course, is that the new team has to keep that player on the 25-man major leagues all season. To send out a Rule V draftee, the drafting team has to send him through waivers or offer him back to his original team for $25,000.

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So much for the particulars. The Orioles obviously have a pretty high first pick and they will choose someone, but there's no sense getting attached to him. He isn't going to be with the club when the season opens. There's a riddle hidden inside a mystery buried under an enigma here, but it'll all be clearer very soon.

The Orioles, by the way, owe the Texas Rangers a player to be named later in the Kevin Millwood deal. That may become clearer pretty soon, too, and I'm pretty sure it's not Chad Bradford.

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The Washington Nationals have the first pick today, but the player they pick will be traded to the New York Yankees as the player to be named in the trade for reliever Brian Bruney.

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