All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Rule 5

Well, well. The Rule 5 draft today was surprisingly exciting. The Yanks haven't claimed anyone via Rule 5 for over a decade...but today, they grabbed Josh Phelps from the Orioles. I gather the Orioles weren't thrilled. They were planning to use him, but didn't protect him, I guess because they didn't think anyone would want him.

If the Yankees thinks Phelps can be their first baseman, Andy Phillips may be in trouble. And maybe it means the Yanks are no longer interested in Craig Wilson?

The odd thing is that Phelps isn't that great on defense. The Yankees really don't need another all-bat, no-glove first baseman; they have Jason Giambi for that. Maybe the scouts think Phelps can improve his defense. Or maybe he'll meet the fate of the last player the Yanks acquired via Rule 5: cut during spring training.

Meanwhile, the Reds grabbed two players today, basically paying the Cubs for their pick - Josh Hamilton. Hamilton is a former #1 draft pick who was out of baseball for years due to injury and substance abuse problems. He's gotten a fair amount of press coverage around here, since his story is so dramatic and he was playing for the Hudson Valley Renegades this past summer.

Hamilton is a left-handed outfielder, once known for his power bat. He is only 25 years old, so it's not too late for him to have a major league career.

I suppose this not good news for Bubba. Another lefty OFer. There are now nine guys competing for what will probably be at most five spots on the roster. And Hamilton, being Rule 5, must be carried on the 25-man roster all season, or be offered back to Tampa.

But I'm not too worried. The more I think about it, the more I think Hamilton is an odd choice for Rule 5, unless they can work out a deal with the Rays that lets them send him to the minors. He was playing for the Renegades this summer - a short-season Class A team. And batting .260. I don't see how he makes the jump to the majors from there. Can the Reds seriously be considering carrying him on the roster all season?

The other player the Reds got was pitcher Jared Burton, from the A's.

The Reds didn't lose anyone to Rule 5, but the Yankees did: centerfielder Victor Hall. Hall is 26 years old and still in Class A, so I doubt the Yanks are too upset over the loss.

In other news...Steve Lombardi of WasWatching names Cashman's best and worst trades. On the "best" list:

Traded Robin Ventura to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Received Bubba Crosby and Scott Proctor.

I have to agree on that one. The Yanks more than got their money's worth out of that deal. And Cashman deserves a lot of credit. The Dodgers scouts were reportedly quite surprised that the Yanks got both Proctor and Crosby. They thought one of them for Ventura would have been a fair deal.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:21 PM


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