The Indians were busy last night trying to re-sign Grady Sizemore, but he wasn’t the only player who they were working to keep. Cleveland added three players to the 40-man roster in preparation for the Rule 5 Draft: Scott Barnes, Juan Diaz, and Danny Salazar.
Barnes, 24, was the San Francisco Giants‘ 8th-round pick in the 2008 amateur draft and came to Cleveland via the Ryan Garko trade in 2009. The southpaw starter went 8-4 with a 3.45 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and a 3.0 K/BB ratio while striking out more than a batter an inning over 18 appearances for Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus in 2011. He has a 3.87 ERA, a 1.30 WHIP, and 2.7 K/BB ratio in 423 total minor-league innings.
The Indians acquired Diaz, 22, along with Ezequiel Carrera from the Seattle Mariners last year for Russell Branyan. The switch-hitting shortstop hit .255/.310/.368 in 133 games with Akron this year—numbers that are right in line with his minor-league career averages.
Salazar, 21, managed just eight appearances in 2011 after recovering from last year’s elbow surgery. The right-hander has a 3.47 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP, and a 2.4 K/BB ratio in 272 career minor-league innings, the majority of which have come at Single-A Lake County.
Any players who have not yet made their teams’ 40-man rosters “within three or four years of their original signing” (depending on how old they were when they signed) can be claimed by any of the other 29 MLB franchises via the Rule 5 Draft for $50,000. If the player’s new team must keep him in the majors for the entire subsequent season, his former employer can claim him back for $25,000.
The Indians had two open spaces on the 40-man roster and had to designate Luis Valbuena for assignment in order to make room for Barnes, Diaz, and Salazar. Cleveland still has 37 players who could potentially be claimed by other teams, according to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian.