DALLAS — The Rule 5 draft is Thursday at 9 a.m., and it would be somewhat surprising if the Orioles didn't take someone. They have the fourth pick, behind the Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners, and obviously, the Orioles are always in search of talent.
This is basically how it works. Teams can select certain minor leaguers who have been left off other clubs' 40-man rosters for $50,000. Those eligible players -- ones signed at age 19 or older who have remained in the organization for at least four years or those signed at age 18 or younger who have been in the organization for at least five years -- must stay on the selecting squad's 25-man roster all season or be offered back to the original club for $25,000.
The Orioles took pitcher Adrian Rosario from the Milwaukee Brewers and sent him back during spring training. The Brewers took pitcher Pat Egan from the Orioles and also sent him back in March, but the New York Mets selected reliever Pedro Beato from the Orioles and kept him all year.
"If you look at what has happened the last couple years, it hasn't been real productive for players going from the minor league teams and then sticking with the major league team," said Dan Duquette, the Orioles' executive vice president of baseball operations. "So you have to do a good job scouting and have to have a little bit of luck involved. In our situation, that could be a good avenue to acquire players."
He wouldn't show the club's hand but said that when things are equal, he always leans toward pitching.
The Orioles added just one minor leaguer to their 40-man roster in anticipation of the draft, so those who could be taken by another team include pitchers Tim Bascom, Steve Johnson and Cole McCurry, infielder Greg Miclat and catcher Caleb Joseph.