Thursday, November 16, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays lose 2 more in Rule 5 draft

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NASHVILLE — Whether the product of having too many good players in their system or making bad decisions in evaluating them, the Rays lost two more advanced minor-leaguers in Thursday's Rule 5 draft.

OF Tyler Goeddel was taken with the first overall pick by the Phillies and OF Joey Rickard eighth by the Orioles. It was the second straight year a Rays prospect was the top player taken in the draft of eligible players not added to the 40-man roster; they lost C Oscar Hernandez last year to the Diamondbacks.

"You never want to lose anybody in the Rule 5 and, to some degree, I think when you are setting these rosters you're taking a calculated gamble because you know some of these players are going to appeal to other clubs," executive VP Chaim Bloom said.

The Rays could get one or both back, as under the rules of the draft they have to kept in the majors (or on the disabled list) the entire season or out on waivers or offered back to their original team for half the $50,000 fee.

Goeddel, 23, was a 2011 supplemental first-round pick the Rays paid a $1.5 million bonus (nearly double the assigned slot) to sign away from UCLA. After some arm issues and a move from infield to outfield, he had an impressive showing in moving up to Double-A Montgomery, hitting .279 with 12 homers, 72 RBIs and a .783 on-base plus slugging percentage.

Though Rays farm director Mitch Lukevics described Goeddel as having "average tools" to go along with athleticism and game instincts, the Phillies feel they might have something special. "There's a lot of things to like about this player," pro scouting director Mike Ondo said.,

Rickard, 24, was a 2012 ninth-round pick who had a breakthrough season, advancing from Class A Charlotte to Triple-A Durham, where he hit .360 with a .909 on-base plus slugging percentage, and has starred in winter ball in the Dominican Republic. Orioles executive VP Dan Duquette said they were impressed by his progress and see him as a valuable reserve, with speed.

In setting their 40-man roster last month, the Rays left Goeddel and Rickard exposed and added five players they deemed more valuable: INF/OF Taylor Motter and pitchers Blake Snell, Taylor Guerrieri, Jacob Faria, German Marquez.

In the minor-league portion of the draft (where selections are $12,000 and there are no restrictions), the Rays lost C Maxx Tissenbaum, who hit .257-1-33 for Class A Charlotte, and selected three pitchers, LH Adam Kolarek (off Orioles' Double-A roster), RH Yoel Espinal (Yankees Double A), RHP Fernando Baez (Cardinals Class A).

RAYS RUMBLINGS: RHP Jhan Marinez, who posted a 1.92 ERA in 45 games at Durham, has been re-signed to a minor-league deal with a spring training invite. …The team was interested in bringing back OF Daniel Nava on minor-league contract but he's going to take a similar deal elsewhere.

AROUND THE MAJORS: Former Rays SS Yunel Escobar was traded for the seventh time, this one from the Nationals to the Angels for RHP Trevor Gott. … OF Jason Heyward, the top remaining free agent, is moving toward a decision, weighing offers from the incumbent Cardinals, Cubs and Nationals. … LHP Tony Sipp re-signed with the Astros for a reported $18 million over three years. … The Orioles seem to be at standoff with free agent 1B Chris Davis. … 1B Mark Reynolds took a 1-year, $2.6 million deal with the Rockies. … RHP Jonathan Broxton signed a two-year, $7.5 million deal with the Cardinals. .… The Braves traded C Christian Bethancourt, who had a disappointing season, to San Diego.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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