This morning was the Rule 5 draft. As was indicated all week after the Phillies waived Cam Perkins and Engelb Vielma, the Phillies made their selection at #3. They selected Twins former 1st round pick, RHP Nick Burdi. Burdi is a hard throwing reliever with high upside. However, after missing most of 2016 to injury, he had Tommy John surgery in May of 2017. This means he was slated to not return to the mound until mid 2018, and was likely to see his Rule 5 requirements run into 2019. A pick late the White Sox selected outfielder Carlos Tocci from the Phillies.
Then the trades happened.
First the White Sox traded Tocci to the Rangers for cash.
Then as expected, the Phillies traded Burdi to the Pirates, however instead of cash they got $500,000 in international slot money.
The Rangers are looking to compete and the White Sox were not, so immediately there is more pressure on Tocci to not be a nothing, however this is the same Rangers team that carried Delino DeShields Jr. for a year (DeShields is slated to be the Rangers starting center fielder this year). I think it is likely that Tocci gets returned as his bat isn’t really major league ready, but I wouldn’t say it is a very high likelihood, just better than half for me.
As for the Phillies, the Rule 5 crop this year just didn’t fit their needs. Most players that went were right handed relievers, something the Phillies have many of. Burdi has a lot of upside, but the Phillies would need to commit a 40 man spot to him for the rest of this offseason and probably into the 2018-2019 offseason. The Pirates were willing to do this, and exchange the Phillies get more money to spend on prospects. The $500,000 will more than replenish the money spent on Abrahan Gutierrez and will put the Phillies at about $1.1M left they can spend. Most of the big names are off the board, but the Phillies have found the players to spend all of their money on every year, so this is a very positive outcome.
The Phillies will have Tommy Hunter and Pat Neshek fill the two empty roster spots.
The Phillies also did not gain or lose players in the minor league portion.