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Padres sign RHP Jordan Lyles to 1-year contract

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres have signed right-hander Jordan Lyles to a one-year contract with a club option for 2019.

The Padres announced the move Sunday. Left-hander Travis Wood was designated for assignment.

The 27-year-old Lyles joined San Diego in early August, soon after being released by Colorado. He was a combined 1-5 with a 7.75 ERA in 38 games, including five starts.

Lyles is 28-48 with a 5.43 ERA in seven seasons with Houston, the Rockies and Padres.

Wood was 4-7 with a 6.80 ERA in 39 games for Kansas City and San Diego last season. The 30-year-old lefty pitched 11 times for the Padres, all of them starts.


Braves get their veteran starter from Dodgers in Brandon McCarthy, who is coming off an intriguing season

A path was cleared for wunderkind Ronald Acuna as the Braves moved the albatross of Matt Kemp’s contract with Saturday’s stunning five-player trade with the Dodgers.

But this deal also had met one of new general manager Alex Anthopoulos’ goals, adding a veteran starter on the last year of his deal in right-hander Brandon McCarthy to supplement a young rotation.

“We have a lot of young arms,” said Anthopoulos, who added that he expects McCarthy to make the starting staff. “We don’t know that they’re all going to necessarily be able to go 200 innings. We need that depth. It’s going to be really important.”

The 34-year-old was 6-4 with a 3.98 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 105 ERA+ in 92 2/3 innings over 19 games (16 starts) with the Dodgers last season. He missed half of the year with a shoulder injury and blisters, and was still a 2.4 WAR pitcher.

Of note, that would have led the Braves last season, who were topped by Mike Foltynewicz’s 1.8 WAR.

Those innings were the most innings McCarthy has thrown since 2014 when he hit the 200-inning mark for the first time, and the past three have seen a combined 155 2/3 innings.

But while his 2017 was abbreviated, was the most effective the 12-year veteran had ever been with his fastball, with a wFB of 4.4. That was the first time that figure had been in the positives since 2013 (3.4), and McCarthy complimented that with a cutters (3.6) that was at its best since 2012 (5.5).

It should come as no surprise that if anyone would bank on that being replicable in a healthy season it would be Anthopoulos, who saw McCarthy the past two seasons while working in the Dodgers front office. Since taking over in Atlanta, the GM had already added Grant Dayton and Josh Ravin from Los Angeles and now Charlie Culberson and Scott Kazmir as part of this deal.

Now, just as the Braves did a year ago in bringing in Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey on one-year deals and trading for Jaime Garcia, they are looking to McCarthy not only as a stabilizer, but also a buffer while young arms continue to develop.

The Braves have a group of projected starters all under 27 in Julio Teheran (26), Mike Foltynewicz (26), Sean Newcomb (24) and Luiz Gohara (20), and were expected to look to in-house options like Lucas Sims (23) and Max Fried (23) if they didn’t add another arm. Not to mention the next wave of pitchers, with the likelihood that reigning organization Pitcher of the Year, Mike Soroka, and others could vie for playing time.

Atlanta saw positives with Fried (113 ERA+ in 26 innings) and Sims (5.62 ERA and 76 ERA+ in 57 2/3) in the first tastes of the majors last season, and while some of the luster has been stripped from Matt Wisler (52 ERA+) and Aaron Blair (32 ERA+), they remain factors.

Acquiring McCarthy doesn’t change their potentials. If he’s as effective in a Braves uniform as he was for Los Angeles last season, which included him landing on the World Series roster, he could provide a trade chip.

Getting that desired veteran arm, and coming with the added bonus of ridding themselves of Kemp’s deal and a hurdle to putting baseball’s No. 1 prospect in Acuna, made it an added bonus since the Braves didn’t have to enter the free-agent market.

Along with the McCarthy — who is due $10 million in the last year of his deal — Atlanta also received Scott Kazmir. But the 33-year-old missed all of last season with a hip injury and fatigued left arm and Anthopoulos said the Braves aren’t looking for a definite output from the three-time All-Star.

He’s basically a lottery ticket, with Atlanta obviously welcoming the return it he’s again the 2.0-plus WAR player Kazmir was in 2013-15. But like McCarthy, he’s also in the final year of his contract at $17.7 million.

Follow Cory McCartney on Twitter @coryjmccartney and Facebook. His books, ‘Tales from the Atlanta Braves Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Braves Stories Ever Told,’ and ‘The Heisman Trophy: The Story of an American Icon and Its Winners.’ are now available.


Dodgers acquire Matt Kemp from Braves in five-player trade

Matt Kemp is returning to the place where he began his major league career, reacquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday as part of a five-player trade with the Atlanta Braves that creates more financial flexibility for the reigning NL champions.

The Dodgers sent first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, oft-injured starting pitchers Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy, infielder Charlie Culberson and cash to Atlanta for the 33-year-old Kemp.

Gonzalez agreed to waive his no-trade clause after receiving assurance from the Braves that he would be designated for assignment since they are already set at first base with Freddie Freeman.

“This allows him the opportunity to go and find some playing time,” new Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said.

After sitting on the sidelines during the recent winter meetings, the Dodgers moved quickly to dump nearly $50 million in salary committed to Gonzalez, Kazmir and McCarthy for 2018. Kemp is owed about $43 million over the next two seasons.

Los Angeles was looking to reduce baseball’s highest payroll of $240 million last season as a way of lowering exposure to higher luxury taxes.

The deal made sense for the Braves, too, since the players they acquired all have expiring contracts.

“It puts us in an even greater financial position going forward and going into next off-season as well,” said Anthopoulos, who was hired from the Dodgers.

Kemp played for the Dodgers from 2006-14, hitting 182 home runs, fourth-most in Los Angeles history. The outfielder hit .276 with 19 homers, 64 RBIs and 23 doubles in 115 games last season with the Braves.

Moving Kemp opens up a potential roster spot for top Braves prospect Ronald Acuna, who turns 20 on Monday. He was the most valuable player of the Arizona Fall League and Baseball America’s minor league player of the year.

“We expect Ronald Acuna to be a very good player for a very long time,” Anthopoulos said. “When he’s ready to go, we’re going to look to make room for him and certainly a deal like this won’t hurt.”

The 35-year-old Gonzalez helped the Dodgers win five straight NL West division titles after being acquired from the Red Sox in August 2012. He was an All-Star in 2015 and led the NL in RBIs in 2014, but went on the disabled list with a herniated disk in his back last season for the first time in his career. He was usurped at first base by NL Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger.

Gonzalez is owed $21.5 million in the final year of a $154 million, seven-year contract that the Dodgers absorbed in the 2012 trade with Boston.

Kazmir didn’t pitch last season because of a hip injury, one of many in his career. The 33-year-old left-hander went 10-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 26 starts in 2016, his first with the Dodgers. He is owed $15 million in 2018.

“I spoke to him and he’s pretty encouraged and excited about the work he’s been able to do in the off-season, so we’re excited to get a look at him in camp,” Anthopoulos said. “If we can get him back and he can bounce back, there’s certainly some upside there.”

McCarthy was 11-7 with a 4.51 ERA in 29 starts over three seasons with the Dodgers. The 34-year-old right-hander missed most of 2015 and 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He went on the DL three times last season, when he was limited to 19 appearances and went 6-4 with a 3.98 ERA.

McCarthy was added to the Dodgers’ World Series roster after missing the first two rounds. He gave up a home run in extra innings of a Game 2 loss to Houston in his only appearance. He is owed $12 million in the last year of a $48 million, four-year deal.

Anthopoulos said he sees McCarthy being in the Braves’ rotation, which needs a veteran arm after not re-signing knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and releasing Bartolo Colon during last season.

“He came back at the end of the year and was on the World Series roster because of how good he looked, how good his stuff was, up to 94 (mph) and he started throwing a slider that he just added at the end of the year,” Anthopoulos said. “I’m excited about him, think there is an upside to him.”


Cubs announce two-year deal with reliever Cishek

CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs have finalized a two-year contract with side-arming reliever Steve Cishek.

The 31-year-old Cishek had a 2.01 ERA and a 3-2 record in 49 relief appearances this year for Seattle and Tampa Bay, which acquired him on July 28. He joins a rebuilt Cubs bullpen that also includes fellow right-hander Brandon Morrow, who finalized a $21 million, two-year contract on Tuesday.

The Cubs announced the deal on Saturday. Cishek posted on Twitter: “I’ve had go Cubs go playing in my head since Thursday… thankful for this opportunity and beyond thrilled to be a Cub!”

Cishek is 24-28 with a 2.73 ERA and 121 saves over eight seasons.

His eight-year major league career started with the Florida and Miami Marlins from 2010-15. He was traded to St. Louis in July 2015, became a free agent and signed a $10 million, two-year contract with the Mariners.


Report: Yankees agree to one-year, $10M deal with CC Sabathia

The New York Yankees have agreed to a one-year, $10-million deal with starting pitcher CC Sabathia, according to Mark Feinsand of

The 37-year-old left-hander had garnered interest from the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Angels, among other teams, this off-season.

Sabathia — a veteran of 17 years, the past nine of which were spent with the Yankees — has enjoyed a career renaissance over the past two seasons. In 2017, he posted a 3.69 ERA in 148.2 innings during the regular season then a 2.37 ERA across four playoff starts.

“(Sabathia offers) leadership, big-game ability,” Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said this week. “He’s not going to back down from any challenge. Strike thrower. (On) the biggest stages, he’s proven he’s still more than effective.”

The Yankees rotation now features Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, Sonny Gray and Jordan Montgomery. The club has also pursued Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole in recent days and it remains to be seen if Sabathia’s signing impacts that.


Matt Moore dealt from Giants to Rangers for minor leaguers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Texas acquired Matt Moore in a trade with the San Francisco Giants on Friday, raising the possibility of four left-handers in the Rangers’ rotation.

“As far as the four lefties, generally it’s a good thing,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “I realize there’s some very heavy right-handed clubs in our division. With the exception of Martin (Perez), the other three guys have been very effective against righties in their career.”

Texas sent minor league right-handers Israel Cruz and Sam Wolff to the Giants. The Rangers also received $750,000 in international signing bonus pool allotment from the Giants.

Perez, a 13-game winner, and Cole Hamels, another lefty who won 11 games, were the only holdover Texas starters when the offseason started. Counting Moore, the Rangers have added three options to their rotation.

Right-hander Doug Fister agreed to a $4 million, one-year deal that could be worth up to $11.5 million over two seasons, and lefty Mark Minor received a $28 million, three-year contract.

Minor was a reliever for Kansas City last season but previously was a starter for Atlanta before missing the 2015 and 2016 seasons with shoulder issues. Daniels said the club still intends to prepare Minor as a starter in spring training.

“We talked about when he signed, both he and us are aware that that could change based either one the club, kind of how it’s shaping out, or if he has any issues getting stretched out,” said Daniels, who is interested in acquiring even more starting pitching.

Right-hander Andrew Cashner, another 11-game winner for Texas, became a free agent after completing a $10 million, one-year deal.

San Francisco last month exercised Moore’s $7 million option for 2018. He went 6-15 with a 5.52 ERA in 174 1/3 innings last season, setting a career high for losses, as the Giants finished last in the NL West. He allowed a career-worst 107 earned runs.

“This move allows us to reallocate our resources to address our position player needs,” Giants general manager Bobby Evans said. “In addition, we are pleased to add two power arms to our system. Our focus remains to strengthen our outfield defense and our everyday lineup.”

Texas went 78-84 and finished third in the AL West behind the World Series champion Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels.

San Francisco — last in the NL West in 2017 and having lost out in pursuits of Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani — acquired Moore at the 2016 trade deadline from Tampa Bay for third baseman Matt Duffy. The lefty’s best season came in 2013, when he was 17-4 with the Rays.

Daniels said the Rangers were interested in acquiring Moore when the Giants got him.

“Part of what was attractive at the time was the contract as well as getting him in his prime years,” Daniels said. “It felt like circumstances, the situation allowed us to pick him up for a little bit less than we would have been looking at in the past.”

In 2011, Moore pitched seven scoreless innings at the Rangers in his playoff debut in Game 1 of an AL Division Series, allowing just two hits in a 9-0 Tampa Bay victory. The Rangers won the next three games to take the series.

In his only postseason start for the Giants, Moore had 10 strikeouts in eight innings to help San Francisco to a 5-2 lead over the Chicago Cubs in Game 4 of the 2016 NL Division Series. The Cubs rallied in the ninth for a 6-5 victory to win the series on their way to the World Series title.

The 20-year-old Cruz was 3-2 with a 5.91 ERA in three starts and nine relief appearances for the Arizona League Rangers in 2017 this year. Wolff, 26, was 2-3 with a 3.54 ERA and three saves in 16 games at Double-A Frisco this year and 2-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 24 games at Triple-A Round Rock. He had surgery in August to repair a torn right flexor tendon.


Mets add Lobaton, finalize $14M, 2-year deal with Swarzak

NEW YORK (AP) The Mets added catcher Jose Lobaton, who will try to earn a roster spot in spring training, and finalized their $14 million, two-year contract with reliever Anthony Swarzak on Friday.

Lobaton will report to big league spring training and compete with Kevin Plawecki for a backup job behind Travis d’Arnaud. Lobaton would get a $1.25 million, one-year contract if added to the 40-man roster.

The switch-hitting 33-year-old batted .170 with four home runs and 11 RBIs in 158 plate appearances over 51 games with Washington this year, his most since 2014. He is 5 for 18 (.278) with two homers in nine postseason games.

Lobaton has a .218 career average with 21 homers and 103 RBIs in eight seasons with San Diego (2009), Tampa Bay (2011-13) and Washington (2014-17).

Swarzak, a 32-year-old right-hander, gets a $1 million signing bonus payable within 30 days of the contract’s approval by the commissioner’s office and salaries of $5 million next year and $8 million in 2019.

He reunites with new Mets manager Mickey Callaway.

Swarzak spent the first 2+ months of the 2015 season with Cleveland, making 10 appearances with a 3.38 ERA. Callaway was hired to manage the Mets in October after five seasons as the Indians’ pitching coach.

Swarzak was a combined 6-4 with two saves and a 2.33 ERA in 70 games last season for the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee. He had 91 strikeouts in 77 1/3 innings. He has pitched for five teams in the last four years, including Minnesota, Cleveland and the Yankees.

His fastball velocity increased from 93 mph in 2015 to 95 mph this year, according to Brooks Baseball. A four-pitch pitcher through 2014, he was restricted to a fastball and slider by Callaway before bringing back his changeup this year.

New York finished 70-92 and went to the winter meetings this week looking for a reliever to join closer Jeurys Familia, left-hander Jerry Blevins and righty A.J. Ramos at the back end of the bullpen.

Swarzak is 23-30 with a 4.22 ERA over eight seasons. He began his major league career in 2009 with the Twins and was a starter his first year, then began moving into a relief role.

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Hector Rondon agrees to $8.5M, 2-year deal with Astros

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Hector Rondon reacts after giving up a grand slam to Los Angeles Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez during the third inning of Game 5 of baseball’s National League Championship Series, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, in Chicago. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)


MLB Rule 5 Draft results: Royals, Orioles grab multiple players; what all 30 teams did

Thursday morning, the 2017 Winter Meetings unofficially came to a close with the annual Rule 5 Draft. 

What is the Rule 5 Draft, exactly? It’s a mechanism that prevents teams from stashing talent in the minors indefinitely. Players must be added to the 40-man roster after so many years in the minors, and if not, they are Rule 5 Draft eligible. Players selected in the Rule 5 Draft must stick on their new team’s 25-man active big league roster all next season, or be placed on waivers and offered back to their former team.

Every so often a team finds a diamond in the rough in the Rule 5 Draft — Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera is the most notable recent Rule 5 Draft success story — though for the most part they’re looking to add relievers or bench players, or maybe a platoon bat. Someone like that. Sometimes it works out, most of the time is doesn’t. Here is a recap of Thursday morning’s Rule 5 Draft activity.

1. Detroit Tigers: OF Victor Reyes (from Diamondbacks)

Ranked the 23rd best prospect in the D-Backs farm system by Baseball America going into 2017, the 23-year-old switch-hitting Victor Reyes put up a .292/.332/.399 batting line with four home runs and 18 steals in 126 Double-A games this season. His strong showing in the Arizona Fall League (.316/.514/.405 in 20 games) may have convinced the Tigers to grab him with the top Rule 5 Draft selection. Reyes is a good athlete who will get a chance to compete for an outfield job in Spring Training.

2. San Francisco Giants: RHP Julian Fernandez (from Rockies)

Hard-throwers are a Rule 5 Draft staple and Julian Fernandez certainly qualifies. He is one of the hardest throwers in all of baseball, majors or minors.

Fernandez, 22, has never ranked among the Rockies‘ top 30 prospects according to Baseball America, and he has never pitched above Low Class-A ball. This season he had a 3.26 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 58 innings, all out of the bullpen. The Giants will give him a look in Spring Training because that kind of velocity is hard to find, but the lack of a reliable breaking ball and control are obstacles.

3. Pittsburgh Pirates (via trade with Phillies): RHP Nick Burdi (from Twins)

In a prearranged deal, the Phillies used the No. 3 pick in the Rule 5 Draft on Nick Burdi, then immediately traded him to the Pirates. The return? A bunch of international bonus money.

The 24-year-old Burdi was the 46th overall selection in the 2014 amateur draft and he is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. He had the procedure in May, meaning he is unlikely to pitch for Pittsburgh prior to midseason. Burdi, who allowed one run in 17 Double-A innings with a 20/4 K/BB before getting hurt this year, must spend 90 days on the active roster (so not the DL) next season to satisfy the Rule 5 Draft rules. If he doesn’t, the Rule 5 Draft rules carry over to 2019. When healthy, Burdi is a top relief prospect.

4. Texas Rangers (via trade with White Sox): OF Carlos Tocci (from Phillies)

In another prearranged deal, the White Sox selected Carlos Tocci and immediately traded him to the Rangers for an undisclosed sum of cash. There is a $100,000 fee for selecting a player in the Rule 5 Draft, so the ChiSox received something north of that in the deal.

Tocci, 22, is a slash-and-dash hitter who authored a .294/.346/.381 batting line with three homers and five steals in 130 games at Double-A and Triple-A in 2017. His best tools are on defense, where he’s a strong center field defender thanks to good range and routes. Tocci will battle for a reserve outfield job with Texas.

5. Kansas City Royals (via trade with Reds): RHP Brad Keller (from Diamondbacks)

6. Kansas City Royals (via trade with Mets): RHP Burch Smith (from Rays)

The Royals landed back-to-back Rule 5 Draft picks thanks to trades with the Reds and Mets. They acquired Brad Keller from the Cincinnati and Burch Smith from New York for cash or a player to be named later. (Likely cash.)

Keller, 22, threw 130 2/3 innings with a 4.68 ERA and 111/57 K/BB in Double-A this season, though he has three good pitches and figures to stick around with the Royals for a bit as a fifth starter or swingman. The same is true of Smith, a 27-year-old who spent some big-league time with the Padres in 2013. He was part of the Wil Myers trade a few years back. Smith missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons with Tommy John surgery, but he returned this summer throwing mid-to-high-90s with quality secondary pitches in his curveball and changeup. He had a 2.40 ERA with 56 strikeouts and 24 walks in 56 1/3 minor-league innings in 2017 and has a chance to be a real nice find for the Royals.

7. San Diego Padres: Pass

Teams are not required to make a Rule 5 Draft pick. They can pass if they don’t have any open 40-man roster spots or if no available players catch their eye. Teams that do pass can not make any selections in the subsequent rounds of the Rule 5 Draft, however. It is somewhat surprising the Padres passed this year because they’ve been very aggressive in the Rule 5 Draft in recent years, including taking three players (Luis Torrens, Miguel Diaz, Allen Cordoba) last offseason. 

8. Atlanta Braves: RHP Anyelo Gomez (from Yankees)

The 24-year-old Anyelo Gomez broke out this past season, throwing 70 1/3 relief innings at four levels, and posting a 1.92 ERA with 87 strikeouts and 21 walks. He’s a hard-thrower with an upper-90s fastball and a quality changeup. Gomez will get a long look in Spring Training and has a decent chance to win a spot in the Braves bullpen.

9. Oakland Athletics: Pass

10. Pittsburgh Pirates: RHP Jordan Milbrath (from Indians)

Jordan Milbrath is an older prospect at 26, and he split the 2017 season High-A and Double-A, throwing 56 2/3 innings with a 3.02 ERA and a 63/25 K/BB. He, like most Rule 5 Draft picks, is a hard-thrower, reportedly running his fastball up to 97-98 mph out of the bullpen. That Pirates have been taking Rule 5 Draft fliers on relievers for years now, and Milbrath will be the latest to get a chance to stick next year.

11. Baltimore Orioles: LHP Nestor Cortes (from Yankees)

The 23-year-old Nestor Cortes is a stats over stuff guy. His minor-league numbers are excellent — he has a 2.08 ERA and a 344/76 K/BB in 324 1/3 career minor-league innings, including a 1.33 ERA in 54 Triple-A innings — and he does it with guts and guile. Cortes lives in the upper-80s with his fastball and an array of secondary pitches. He’s been compared to former Orioles lefty Vidal Nuno, who is also a product of the Yankees farm system.

12. Toronto Blue Jays: Pass

13. Miami Marlins: RHP Elieser Hernandez (from Astros)

The Marlins are committed to a fielding a non-competitive bare-bones roster in 2018, so it’s no surprise they looked for cheap talent in the Rule 5 draft. Elieser Hernandez, 22, threw 73 1/3 innings with a 3.68 ERA and an 88/22 K/BB in 2017, mostly at High Class-A. Miami is the land of opportunity right now. Hernandez will get a long look in Spring Training and stands a very good chance of making the Opening Day roster.

14. Seattle Mariners: 1B Mike Ford (from Yankees)

First baseman are not usually a Rule 5 Draft target — clubs tend to look for pitchers and up-the-middle athletes in the Rule 5 Draft — but the Mariners decided Mike Ford’s bat was worth a look. The 25-year-old hammered Double-A and Triple-A pitching in 2017, putting up a .270/.404/.471 batting line with 20 home runs and more walks (94) than strikeouts (72). Ford has some thump in his bat, though he relegated to first base defensively.

15. Texas Rangers: Pass

16. Tampa Bay Rays: Pass

17. Los Angeles Angels: RHP Luke Bard (from Twins)

The 27-year-old Luke Bard is the younger brother of former big leaguer Daniel Bard. He threw 65 1/3 relief innings in 2017, mostly at Double-A but also some Triple-A, and had a 2.76 ERA with a 99/24 K/BB. Bard was the 42nd overall pick in the 2012 draft, and while his progress has been slowed by injuries, he still possesses a hard fastball and a good slider, making him worth a shot out of the bullpen.

18. Kansas City Royals: Pass

19. St. Louis Cardinals: Pass

20. Minnesota Twins: RHP Tyler Kinley (from Marlins)

The Marlins decided the 26-year-old Tyler Kinley was not worth a 40-man roster spot, so now he’ll go to Spring Training with the Twins as a Rule 5 Draft pick. He used his 98-100 mph fastball to post a 3.54 ERA with a 72/22 K/BB in 53 1/3 innings split between High-A and Double-A in 2017. There’s not much here beyond the velocity, so the Twins are betting on Kinley’s arm strength.

21. Milwaukee Brewers: Pass

22. Colorado Rockies: Pass

23. New York Yankees: Pass

24. Chicago Cubs: Pass

25. Arizona Diamondbacks: RHP Albert Suarez (from Giants)

Albert Suarez has spent parts of the last two seasons with the Giants, throwing 115 2/3 innings with a 4.51 ERA in the big leagues. He has a mid-90s fastball and also both a slider and curveball, so the D-Backs will see whether the 28-year-old can contribute next season, likely out of the bullpen as a long reliever.

26. Boston Red Sox: Pass

27. Washington Nationals: Pass

28. Houston Astros: LHP Anthony Gose (from Rangers)

The Rangers signed Anthony Gose to a minor-league contract a few weeks ago, and the Astros decided he is worth bringing to camp as a Rule 5 Draft pick, so they selected him. They love his arm:

Gose, you may recall, was once an outfielder with the Blue Jays and Tigers. The 27-year-old converted to pitching last year and threw 10 2/3 innings in rookie ball, allowing nine runs on seven hits and six walks. He struck out 14. Needless to say, jumping from rookie ball to the big leagues one year after converting to the mound will be quite the challenge for Gose. It’s not a risky move for the Astros by any means — all it costs them is the $100,000 fee and a 40-man spot for a few weeks — but it is a long shot.

29. Cleveland Indians: Pass

30. Los Angeles Dodgers: Pass

31. Baltimore Orioles: RHP Pedro Araujo (from Cubs)

The Rule 5 Draft keeps going until teams stop making picks, and in the second round, the O’s grabbed the 24-year-old Pedro Araujo from the Cubs. He had 1.76 ERA and an 87/18 K/BB in 66 2/3 innings this year. Araujo pitched exclusively in relief and all but two of those 66 2/3 innings came at High-A. He’ll try to earn a spot in Baltimore’s bullpen.

32. Miami Marlins: RHP Brett Graves (from Athletics)

A third round pick in 2014, Brett Graves had a 4.47 ERA with a 57/13 K/BB in 56 1/3 minor-league innings this past season, almost all as a starter. He projects long-term as a reliever thanks to a mid-90s fastball and a good, albeit inconsistent, slider. Graves stands a good chance to carve out a role in Miami’s bullpen next year.

33. Baltimore Orioles: RHP Jose Mesa Jr. (from Yankees)

The son of the former big-league closer was the third player taken by the Orioles in the Rule 5 Draft and the fourth lost by the Yankees. Jose Mesa Jr., 24, threw 84 innings with a 1.93 ERA and a 101/32 K/BB this past season, his best year to date. He has a low-90s fastball and multiple secondary pitches, none of which are an out-pitch at the moment. As with Cortes and Araujo, the Orioles went with stats over stuff with their three Rule 5 Draft picks.

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