Padres Manage to Not Lose Prospects in Rule 5 Draft; Select & Trade Cristofer Melendez

Credit: Baseball America

Credit: NBC 7

The San Diego Padres have survived the 2018 Rule 5 Draft, as the team managed to not lose any players on Thursday morning. The team did make a minor trade on the day as they moved a recently selected player from the Triple-A phase of the draft.

Las Vegas, Nevada

As the Winter Meetings went by, fans were hyped to see what A.J. Preller and his staff would do.

By the time the meetings in Las Vegas ended, the Padres walked away with only one player added to the team. Said player, Cristofer Melendez, was selected in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5, and was traded away to the Pittsburgh Pirates hours after being selected.

What can also be seen as a surprise is that no player was selected from the Padres’ system in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 draft. After a purge of the 40-man roster in November jettisoned players like Cory Spangenberg and Christian Villanueva in favor of younger prospects like Chris Paddack and Anderson Espinoza, the Padres had some players that other teams could’ve deemed valuable. Michael Gettys, who is currently laying waste to the Australian League, and Hansel Rodriguez, a reliever who has shown flashes of promise but has been bitten by the injury bug, both flew by opposing teams and remained with San Diego.

San Diego must be happy that Jason Vosler, acquired by the Chicago Cubs for Rowan Wick, slid under the radar. Talk among baseball reporters was that Vosler, who was left off the roster after being acquired, could have been picked up by a team looking for a left-handed power hitter, but at the end of the draft, Vosler remains a Padre. With no options at third base, Vosler could get a shot at securing the third base position in spring training if the Padres don’t add someone to the position.

With a full 40-man roster, San Diego couldn’t make any selections without subtracting a player. So, they instead waited until the Triple-A phase of the draft to select Melendez, a 21-year-old right-hander from the Chicago White Sox. The right-hander hadn’t played a game above Rookie ball, but sported an impressive¬† 1.54 ERA, 11.90 K/9, and a 3.58 BB/9 in 70 1/3 innings.

While he would’ve been another reliever that would be developed in the Padres system, the Padres immediately shipped him off to Pittsburgh for cash considerations. He was clearly valued more by the Pirates and will continue to develop in their system, while San Diego will get an undisclosed amount of money in exchange.

Many may be upset that the Padres didn’t make any (significant) moves during the Winter Meetings, but they can come out of it knowing that they are in on numerous trade scenarios and free agents, (the jury is still out and whether they will come through on those deals) and that the minor leaguers that were on the team yesterday are still members of the San Diego Padres.

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