The latest Rule 5 talk

Yes, there is some. Maybe not the intrigue of where Albert and C.J. will sign, but people are talking about tomorrow’s Rule 5 Draft. Here’s some of what’s being talked about regarding the draft.

  • The Houston Astros might be shopping the No. 1 overall pick. That doesn’t mean they don’t want two players, but perhaps might be able to swap the pick, collect some extra cash, and still make two selections. Jiwan James of the Phillies is getting a lot more buzz, either as a No. 1 pick or a player the Astros is very interested in. James has only been a position player for 2+ years.
  • It seems more and more likely the Padres will lose Drew Cumberland. The very talented infielder hasn’t played since 2010, having retired because of an inner-ear issue. As I hear it, Padres doctors haven’t cleared him to play, but Cumberland has a doctor who has.
  • The Kansas City Royals cleared a spot on the 40-man with their trade with the Pirates and they have their eye on a left-handed reliever. Don’t know which one, but Cesar Cabral of the Red Sox has been mentioned in general quite a bit.
  • While most people expect the Cubs to lose Ryan Flaherty, they could also lose infielder Marwin Gonzalez, who can play second, shortstop, third and even left field. He hit .288 in 2011 and spent half the year in Triple-A.
  • The Pirates might lose reliever Diego Moreno, the right-handed reliever who’s pitched very well in winter ball.
  • Teams looking for lefties might take a look at the Indians’ T.J. McFarland or Josh Smoker of the Nationals. Hard-throwing southpaw Philippe Valliquette, despite not having pitched in 2011, is getting a good amount of attention, with the Blue Jays perhaps hoping he’s available when they pick.

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