Rays add to bullpen options with Rule 5 pick Kevin Gadea
The Rays added a candidate for a spot in their bullpen, selecting RHP Kevin Gadea from the Mariners in today's Rule 5 draft.
Gadea, 22, has only pitched as high as the Class A level, but the Rays believe the converted infielder has a chance to make the big jump to the big leagues, as he has to stay on the roster.
"Our scouts saw him really good and we're excited to add him,'' Rays director of baseball development Peter Bendix said. "We saw him well throughout the season. He missed a lot of bats. We think he has a chance to help us in the bullpen. We'll take him into spring training and kind of see what we have. He's a young guy and there's a lot of long-term potential there.''
Gadea, primarily a fastball-changeup pitcher, was a combined 4-1, 2.36 in 15 games between the Mariners rookie-league team in Arizona and the Clinton team in the Midwest League. He was an infielder in his native Nicaragua and signed in Nov. 2012 as a pitcher.
The Rays paid $100,000 to take him and have to keep him in the majors all season, or offer him back to the Mariners and then put him through waivers.
After losing OFs Tyler Goeddel and Joey Rickard last year, the Rays were happy to have no players selected in the major-league portion of the draft this year.
In the minor-league portion, they took two more pitchers - former Yankees first-round pick RHP Ty Hensley, who is recovering from his second Tommy John surgery, and Jairo Munoz from the Phillies.
Their only loss was RHP Jared Mortensen, who was taken by the Astros.