Many of you have asked questions about the Twins decision to drop down a few spots in the Rule 5 draft just to make a few bucks. I have some thoughts on that.
The Twins weren't terribly impressed with players available for Thursday's draft, but they did like righthander Justin Haley from the Red Sox organization. One official told me they were confident that Haley would still be around later in the first round, but he was their favorite player.
Meanwhile, Padres GM AJ Preller was trying to stockpile Rule 5 guys, and had space on his roster to do do. So what does he do? He calls Thad Levine, his former co-worker with the Rangers, and woks out a deal. The Twins took righthander Miguel Diaz for the Padres. Then the Angels drafted Haley, the player the Twins wanted. So San Diego trades for Haley and then sends him to the Twins for cash considerations, and everyone is happy.
Levine can't come out and say that he was hooking up his boy, although that's what it looks like.
So for those of you who are running with the cheap angle again, keep in mind that Levine and Preller have a prior working relationship, and that came into play yesterday in the Rule 5 draft. Everyone got the player they wanted.
Here's what Baseball America wrote about Haley. Looks like he'll be entertaining to watch.
Justin Haley, rhp, Red Sox: Haley is the owner of possibly the coolest pre-pitch setups in the minors. He sets up on the third-base side of the rubber, with his other foot straddling the rubber. With the ball in his glove raised in front of his face, he looks in for the sign with his pitching hand cocked at his waist, fingers dancing back and forth like Wyatt Earp ready to draw. He gets the sign for the pitch and then locks, loads and fires. As a starter, Haley’s velo ticked up as the season warmed up. Late in the season he was sitting 90-92, but his fastball plays up because he locates it well. He also has an above-average slider as well as a useable curveball and changeup. He was dominant in Double-A this year and solid in Triple-A as a starter. Because he has Triple-A experience and feel, and he’s been impressive in the Dominican Republic this fall with Escogido (2-0, 0.38, 24 IP, 12 H, 4 BB, 14 SO),
That's all for now. The two things to watch out for in the coming days is a possible Brian Dozier trade, and finalizing of the major league coaching staff. Stay tuned.....