While the Indians knew there was a good chance they could lose a player in Thursday’s Rule 5 draft, I doubt they expected to lose two with the first two picks.
The Pirates selected infielder Josh Rodriguez with the first pick and then the Mariners followed by selecting RHP Jose Flores. The Indians received $50,000 for each player, and the players must remain on the big league roster of their respective teams or be offered back to the Indians for half the price.
Rodriguez is a 26-year-old versatile middle infielder who also has experience at third base and in the outfield. The Pirates expect him to compete for a utility infielder’s job. Rodriguez is a decent player and I don’t expect him to be offered back to the Indians.
While Rodriguez was considered somewhat of a lock to be picked, Flores, 21, was a surprise, as he was expected to start the season in high class A Kinston or AA Akron, but definitely not the majors, as he will with the Mariners. He had a good season at low class A Lake County (2.14 ERA, 51 Ks, 42 IP), but my guess is that he doesn’t stick.
One player who did not get selected was RHP Adam Miller. The former first-round pick is recovering from four finger surgeries and trying to make a career as a reliever. Apparently there weren’t any teams willing to take the medical risk. Good luck to you Adam, hopefully we will see you in Cleveland, someday (preferably as a member of the Indians).
UPDATE: Here’s what Nathanial Stoltz of Fansided’s Call to the Pen says about Rodriguez, and in a separate post, Flores.