The Atlanta Braves lost one former top prospect in the Rule 5 draft but replaced him with an intriguing option who is coming back from injury. The Minnesota Twins selected J.R. Graham in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft while the Braves picked up right-handed pitcher Daniel Winkler from the Colorado Rockies.
Graham battled shoulder problems much of last season and wasn't the same pitcher. Winkler was putting up great numbers in Double-A before injuring his elbow and needing Tommy John surgery. Winkler had a 1.41 ERA in 70 innings before getting hurt. Minor League Ball's John Sickels describes him as a guy that won't light up a radar gun but says that he is incredibly deceptive.
13. Atlanta Braves, Dan Winkler, RHP, Rockies: Age 24, 20th round pick from Central Florida in 2011, outstanding performance record including a 1.41 ERA with a 71/17 K/BB in 70 innings with a miniscule 33 hits allowed in Double-A this year. Alas, his season ended early with Tommy John surgery. His stuff doesn't stand out on a radar gun but he's incredibly deceptive.
The Twins must keep Graham on their 25-man roster for all of next season or offer him back to the Braves for $25,000 per Rule 5 Draft rules.
The Twins have to keep Graham on their 25-man major league roster for all of 2015 or offer him back to the Braves for half of the $50,000 claiming price they paid to take him. The Braves would gladly welcome him back if they get the chance.
The Braves aren't subject to that same keep-him-on-the-big-league-roster rule with Winkler, since he'll spend most or all of 2015 on the disabled list. They would be required to keep him on their 25-man roster for 90 days in 2016.
Atlanta sees Winkler as a reliever and a change of pace for a bullpen that they hope will be filled with power arms according to Assistant GM John Coppolella.
"Having a right-on-right weapon wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for us," Coppolella said. "We're in a world where Pat Neshek signed a two-year, $12.5 million deal and Luke Gregorson got three [years] and $21 [million]. We thought this was a good value play for us."
Most expected that it wouldn't take long for the Braves to trade Justin Upton at the Winter Meetings but Atlanta heads home without making a deal. MLB.com's Mark Bowman writes that although things are quiet, Atlanta is working on several potential deals and are looking for a solid return.
Former Braves pitcher Ervin Santanta is headed back to the American League with the Minnesota Twins on a 4-year, $54 million contract. That means the Twins' second round pick in the 2015 draft is headed to Atlanta as compensation.
The right-hander turned down the Braves' qualifying offer, meaning the Twins will forfeit their second-round pick in 2015 -- their first-round pick is protected -- for signing Santana. In return, Atlanta will receive a compensatory pick between the first and second rounds of the draft.
The Red Sox traded slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for starting pitcher Rick Porcello. Cespedes will add another big bat to Detroit's lineup but the Tigers will have to look for ways to replace Porcello in their starting rotation.
The Boston Red Sox have traded outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to the Detroit Tigers for Rick Porcello, alleviating their logjam in the outfield and addressing pitching concerns in one fell swoop. While the Tigers didn't necessarily have a pitching logjam, they did need another bat to add some depth to their lineup.
The Reds are clearly now in rebuilding mode, as they have dealt Latos to the Marlins as well as Alfredo Simon to the Tigers. There were reports the team was already way over budget for 2015, as well, and shedding Latos' last year of arbitration eligibility will help them with that issue. With Johnny Cueto, Latos, Simon, and Mike Leake all free agents in a year, and the offense lacking, it was time for the Reds to figure out a way to go for it, or to get a head start on a rebuild.