The Indians lost two pitchers but gained a first baseman in Thursday’s Rule 5 draft, the final official event of the winter meetings in Nashville.
With first base a definite need, the Tribe took Chris McGuiness, 24, who played last season at Frisco, the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. In 123 games, McGuiness batted .268 with 25 doubles, 23 home runs, 77 RBI and 65 runs. In 456 at-bats, he struck out 107 times and drew 69 walks.
He followed that by hitting .283 with four homers and 27 RBI to win the Most Valuable Player award at the Arizona Fall League.
McGuiness began his professional career after being taken in the 13th round of the 2009 draft by the Boston Red Sox.
With the second pick of Thursday’s lottery of players unprotected on the 40-man roster, the Chicago Cubs took Hector Rondon, 24, once a bright prospect in the Tribe farm system, who has had to overcome two serious injuries.
Rondon began his comeback on the mound last season by pitching twice in the Arizona Rookie League and twice for the Double-A Aeros, throwing a total of seven innings. The right-hander suffered a fractured elbow in 2011 and underwent elbow reconstruction surgery in 2010.
The Baltimore Orioles took another Indians starter, T.J. McFarland, 23, who pitched at two levels in 2012. The left-hander posted an 8-2 record and 2.69 ERA in 10 starts for the Aeros and compiled an 8-6 record and 4.82 ERA at Triple-A Columbus.
A team participating in the draft pays $50,000 to the club that lost the player. The player must be kept on the drafting team’s 25-man roster the entire season or offered back to his original club for $25,000. The reality is that often a team can send a drafted player to the minors by offering another player to the draftee’s former club.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Indians blog at http://www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.