Every year the Rule 5 Draft closes out the winter meetings. The Rangers were active in this year’s Rule 5 Draft, both getting and losing a player.
The Rule 5 was set up to keep teams from stockpiling too much talent and allowing players who might otherwise be roadblocked a chance at the major leagues. One quirk of the Rule 5 is that the player drafted has to stay on the major league roster the entire reason or is returned to the team he came from. The acquiring team pays the losing team $50,000 for the player. If he is returned, the team that gets him back repays $25,000 of that.
Josh Hamilton was a Rule 5 pick. The Cubs took him from Tampa Bay then traded him to the Reds, who traded him to the Rangers the following season.
Carlos Tocci was Texas’s Rule 5 acquisition last year. He came from the White Sox, picked by the Phillies, then traded to the Rangers.
This year, the Rangers did some dealing again. Toronto’s Jordon Romano, a right-handed pitcher, was picked by the White Sox third overall, then traded to Texas. The Rangers had the seventh overall pick, and plucked Chris Ellis from the Cardinals, then dealt him to Kansas City.
On the other end, the Tigers took right-handed pitcher Reed Garret from Texas.
So when all the high-stakes wheeling and dealing was done, the Rangers ended up with Jordan Romano, a right handed pitchers who was mostly a starter in the Blue Jays system, getting as high as Double-A last season. Daniels explained that they see Romano pitching out of the pen, with a chance to be stretched out and turned into a starter.
Romano has a mid-90s fastball with a sharp slider. He will have to stay with the Rangers the entire season or be shipped back to who was actually picked by the Cubs then traded to the Rangers.
The Rangers recent history in Rule 5 pitcher includes Michael Hauschild, selected from Houston in 2016, Logan Verrett in 2014, who was eventually returned to the Mets, and Coty Woods in 2012, eventually returned to the Rockies. In other words, uneventful.
Romano will be allowed to fill the void left in the Rangers pen after Texas dealt workhorse Alex Claudio to Milwaukee for a draft pick.