Advertisement
Peter Schmuck

This might be the year the Orioles won't be able to keep either of their Rule 5 draftees

CLEARWATER, Fla. — There is a certain irony attached to this season's attempt by the Orioles to steal a couple more Rule 5 draftees from other clubs.

The outfield competition might be too crowded to hide either Aneury Tavarez or Anthony Santander on the 25-man Opening Day roster.

Advertisement

Rule 5 draftees must remain on the active major league roster all season or be passed through waivers and offered back to their original clubs, and the Orioles have been quite savvy in finding ways to keep Ryan Flaherty, T.J. McFarland, Jason Garcia and Joey Rickard during the five seasons that Dan Duquette has been in charge of baseball operations.

This year, however, Duquette has all but crowded out Tavarez and Santander by bringing veteran fourth outfield candidates Chris Dickerson, Michael Bourn, Craig Gentry and Logan Schafer to compete for the same roles.

Advertisement

Club officials won't publicly speculate on the situation, but you can draw your own conclusions. Manager Buck Showalter has made no secret of his philosophy on Rule 5 position players. They generally get drafted because of their minor league offensive stats, but they only stick around if they can play good defense.

The O's like both of this year's draftees, but Tavarez is a raw talent whose ability to play adequate defense at this level is open to question, and Santander has not been cleared to play in the field at all.

The Orioles could waive them as early as mid-March, but they'll probably keep them around until the final week of spring training to create a better opportunity for them to clear waivers and be acquired from their original teams in minor trades.


Advertisement