clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Orioles walk away from Rule 5 draft with two pitchers: Jason Garcia and Logan Verrett

Dan Duquette worked his magic and the Orioles added two players to the major league roster during the Rule 5 draft. They are right-handed pitchers Jason Garcia, from the Astros via the Red Sox, and Logan Verrett, from the Mets.

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Duquette loves the Rule 5 draft so much that having just one player on the roster isn't enough. The Orioles managed to get two players out of a draft where they only selected one. They picked off a pair of right-handed pitchers: Jason Garcia and Logan Verrett.

Garcia, a 22-year-old who's never pitched above High-A, began the day with the Red Sox organization. He was first selected by the Astros in the Rule 5 draft, then traded to the Orioles for cash. Because he was a Rule 5 pick, the O's would have to keep Garcia on the roster or offer him back to the Red Sox. Originally a 17th round pick out of Land O'Lakes High School in Florida, Garcia struck out over a batter per inning in the minors last year and held righty batters to a .189/.275/.236 batting line.

It's hard to imagine a player making the jump from High-A to spending a full season on the big league roster, but if anyone's going to manage to do it, I'd believe in Duquette. What complicates this end even more is that the other pick is also a right-handed pitcher.

The cash involved in the Garcia trade is $75,000, according to Astros beat writer Evan Drellich. A team has to pay $50,000 to make a Rule 5 selection, so the Astros just cleared $25,000 for their trouble. I hope they throw a nice Christmas party with some of that cash.

Later, with their own Rule 5 pick, the O's added Verrett from the Mets organization. Verrett, a former third round pick from Baylor in 2011, is a more advanced player in the sense that he's 24 and has at least made it to Triple-A. While pitching for the Mets affiliate in Las Vegas this season, Verrett had a 4.33 ERA in 162 innings over 28 starts.

On the surface, that doesn't sound so great. However, that league, the Pacific Coast League, is known as something of an offense-friendly league due to the parks and environments in which it is played. Verrett's performance could have looked better in a more neutral setting. It was enough to get the O's attention in any case.

One thing they probably liked is that he only walked 34 batters in 162 innings, while striking out 119. That's a modest number for strikeouts, but still leaves him around a 3.5 K/BB ratio. As he worked his way up the low minors, he struck out even higher numbers of batters.

The O's also must keep Verrett on the active roster all season, unless he goes on the DL, or else offer him back to the Mets organization. The Mets might have thought they'd be able to sneak him through the draft without him being taken, or maybe he didn't mean that much to them after all. Their loss is now the Orioles' potential gain.

As T.J. McFarland went from Rule 5 pick to long reliever and spot starter, Verrett figures to do the same if he's going to stick around. What does that mean for McFarland? A spring training competition, probably.

No players were taken out of the O's organization during the major league portion of the draft. There are also different minor league phases. The O's lost a couple of players during the Double-A phase: Michael O'Brien and Alex Santana. If you've ever heard of either of these guys, give yourself a cookie, unless you're in a diet in which case you should just give yourself a pat on the back.