The Oakland Athletics added right-hander Raul Alcantara to the 40-man roster on Wednesday, the deadline for minor leaguers to be protected from next month’s Rule 5 draft.
CSNBayArea.com reported the roster move.
Alcantara, 21, was one of the players Oakland received in the trade that sent closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney to the Red Sox in December 2011. Josh Reddick is the most well-known piece from that trade, along with minor-league infielder Miles Head.
Alcantara split last season between the A’s Class-A and High-A affiliates. He was 7-1 with a 2.44 ERA and 1.177 WHIP in 13 starts and 77.1 innings with Beloit in the Midwest League, striking out 58.
After he was promoted to Stockton in the California League, Alcantara was 5-5 with a 3.76 ERA and 1.139 WHIP in 14 starts and 79 innings, fanning 66.
Alcantara was signed by the Red Sox out of the Dominican Republic in 2010.
The Rule 5 draft is held on the last day of the winter meetings in December and players who are within three or four years of their original signing date are subject to the draft unless they are on the 40-man roster. Alcantara, because he was younger than 18 prior to signing with the Red Sox, was subject to the Rule 5 after this, his fourth season in organized baseball.
The catch for teams selecting a player is that the player must be kept on the 25-man major league roster for the entire following season or be offered back to his former organization for half of the $50,000 paid for making a pick in the draft.
Only teams who have fewer than 40 players on their roster at the time of the draft may make selections. Fifteen players were chosen last year
The last time the A’s selected a player in the Rule 5 draft was in 2009, when they selected right-hander Bobby Cassevah from the Los Angeles Angels, but he was returned to the Angels during spring training in 2010. The last player the A’s had selected was pitcher Levi Burton, who was taken by the Cincinnati Reds in 2006. He stayed with Cincinnati in 2007, making 47 relief appearances. Burton pitched in 71 games for the Twins in 2013.
The most players ever taken in the Rule 5 draft was 28 in 2002 and the least active Rule 5 draft was in 1974, when just three players were selected.
Few stars emerge from the Rule 5 process, but there have been some notable exceptions. The most well-known of those is Roberto Clemente, who the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted from the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954. Other more recent Rule 5 draftees include Johan Santana (1999), Jose Bautista (2003), Dan Uggla (2004) and Josh Hamilton (2006).
Photo courtesy Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler.