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12/06/07 2:32 PM ET
Twins lose six players in Rule 5 Draft
Three members of the club go in the Major League portion
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Inactivity may be a common trend for the Twins at the Winter Meetings, but the team always seems to leave the annual event with at least one pickup, courtesy of the Rule 5 Draft.
That wasn't the case this year.
The Twins didn't select a single player in the three phases of this year's Rule 5 Draft. Mike Radcliffe, the Twins vice president of player personnel, said that it was an unusual occurrence for the team to walk away empty-handed.
"We had a guy we were going to take in each of the first two phases, but he was gone before our pick," Radcliff said.
Instead it was the Twins losses that were more noteworthy. The Twins saw six players from their organization taken in the Draft, including three in the Major League portion.
Right-hander pitcher Tim Lahey was the first overall pick of this year's Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, who then traded him to the Cubs. Lahey spent most of the 2007 season at Double-A New Britain where he went 8-4 with a 3.45 ERA in 50 appearances.
Seattle then swept up right-hander R.A. Dickey two picks later. Dickey, who recently signed a Minor League contract with the Twins which included an invite to Spring Training, was the Pitcher of the Year in the Pacific Coast League last season while playing for the Brewers' Triple-A Nashville affiliate.
A knuckleballer who spent parts of five seasons with the Rangers, Dickey was someone the Twins were hoping might provide another veteran presence for a young pitching staff.
"We'd never really had a knuckleball guy in the system and we were kind of looking forward to that," Radcliff said.
Outfielder Garrett Guzman was the final Twins player taken in the Major League portion of the Draft. Guzman was selected in the second round of the Major League portion by the Nationals.
The first two players taken in the Triple-A portion of the Draft were also from the Twins organization. Outfielder Rashad Eldridge was selected by Tampa Bay and right-handed pitcher Josh Hill was picked up by Pittsburgh. Right-hander Jonathan Martinez then was taken in the Double-A phase by Baltimore.
"The disappointment is you've lost some guys and you'll go back to re-evaluating how you managed your rosters," Radcliff said of the number of losses. "But the positive is that you have talent. Other teams were looking at our players and liked them."