NEW YORK (AP) — Pittsburgh took right-hander Jose Soriano from the Los Angeles Angels’ organization with the first of 18 picks in the major league phase of Thursday’s winter meeting draft of players not protected on 40-man rosters.
Soriano, 22, was 0-1 with a 1.93 ERA in three starts for the Arizona Rookie League Angels in 2019 and 5-6 with a 2.55 ERA in 15 starts and two relief appearances for Burlington of the Class A Midwest League. He missed last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
A team pays $100,000 to the club it selects a player from but must keep him on its active roster for all of next season or put him on waivers. Then, if he clears, he must be offered back to the previous club for $50,000. The selecting team also can place the player on the major league injured list.
This year’s draft was conducted by audio rather than in person because the winter meetings were canceled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Texas took right-hander Brett De Geus from the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers with the second pick, Detroit selected outfielder Akil Baddoo from Minnesota with the third and Boston got right-hander Garrett Whitlock from the New York Yankees with the fourth.
De Geus, 23, was 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA in seven spring training appearances, then spent the season at the alternate training site. He was 6-2 with a 1.75 ERA over 39 relief appearances for Class A Great Lakes of the Midwest League and Rancho Cucamonga of the California League in 2019 with 72 strikeouts in 61 2/3 innings.
Baddoo, 22, hit .214 with four homers and nine RBIs for Class A Fort Myers of the Florida State League in 2019, missing most of the season with an arm injury.
Whitlock, 24, was among three players selected from the Yankees, joined by shortstop Kyle Holder, selected by Philadelphia with the 11th pick, and right-hander Trevor Stephan, taken by Cleveland with No. 15. Whitlock was 3-3 with a 3.07 ERA in 14 starts for Double-A Trenton of the Eastern League in 2019, his season cut short by an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery that July.
Baltimore took right-hander Mac Sceroler from Cincinnati with the fifth pick and right-hander Tyler Wells from Minnesota with the 17th selection. Sceroler was 5-4 with a 3.69 ERA in 20 starts and six relief appearances for Class A Dayton in 2019.
AL champion Tampa Bay lost right-hander Paul Campbell to Miami with the 13th pick and four players in the Triple-A phase.
“Not terribly surprised that a lot of teams were pretty aggressive,” said Carlos Rodriguez, the Rays’ vice president of player development and international scouting. “Certainly the teams that stand to lose the most are the ones that just have a lot of players and a lot of depth. Certainly that was the situation with us.”
Right-hander Rony Garcia, selected by Detroit from the Yankees with the No. 1 pick of last year’s draft, was 1-0 with an 8.14 ERA in two starts and 13 relief appearances for the Tigers during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Past winter meeting draft picks included left-hander Johan Santana, selected by the Marlins from Houston in 1999 and dealt that day to Minnesota; George Bell, taken by Toronto from Philadelphia in 1980; and Dan Uggla, selected by the Marlins from Arizona in 2005.
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