12/10/08 11:32 PM EST
Mariners pick second in Rule 5 Draft
Several coveted players could be considered on Thursday
By Jim Street / MLB.com
"The other thing is, there aren't that many players out there. There might be six or seven players clubs really covet."Two of them are left-hander Donnie Veal from the Cubs and first baseman-outfielder Jordan Brown from the Indians. Veal, 24, was a Southern League All-Star last season with a 3.69 ERA in the first half, followed by a 6.59 second-half ERA. He has 476 strikeouts in 470 1/3 pro innings, but also has 256 walks. Jordan, a left-handed first baseman, batted .281 with seven home runs and 51 RBIs for Triple-A Buffalo last season. According to the rules (Rule 5), four years after a player signs, he must be protected on the 40-man Major League roster or he becomes eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft. If taken, the player must be on the Major League roster of the selecting team all season or offered back to his original team for half the $50,000 claiming fee. The Mariners selected right-handed pitcher R.A. Dickey off the Twins' Triple-A roster last year and eventually worked out a trade with Minnesota to keep the knuckleball specialist in the organization.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.