Boston Red Sox lose two prospects, reclaim Josh Rutledge in Rule 5 draft


The Boston Red Sox lost a pair of prospects in the Rule 5 draft, but gained a potential bench option that can add depth to the infield.

A farm system that has been heavily depleted this week in the wake of a blockbuster trade has now surrendered another pair of prospects. The Boston Red Sox lost pitcher Justin Haley to the Angels and outfielder Aneury Tavarez to the Orioles in the Rule 5 draft.

A quick rundown of how the Rule 5 draft works: teams with open spots on their 40-man roster can select players with at least four or five years of professional experience (depending on if they signed before or after they turned 19 years old) from other organizations, as long as those players aren’t protected on the team’s 40-man roster.

Each selection costs $100,000 and the player most spend the entire 2017 season on the major league roster (or disabled list), otherwise they must be offered back to their former team.

The Rule 5 draft is based on the reverse order of this year’s standings, with the Red Sox holding the No. 26 pick in the draft.

More from Red Sox News

Haley is a 25-year old right-handed starter who was drafted by the Red Sox in the 2012 amateur draft. He went 13-10 with a 3.01 ERA in time split between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. He has value a potential back of the rotation starter, but considering the Red Sox already have seven viable starters projected to break camp with the big league team, plus a number of depth options slated to begin the year in Pawtucket, there unfortunately wasn’t room to protect Haley on the 40-man roster.

Tavarez is a 24-year old from the Dominican Republic who the Red Sox signed in 2011. He had a breakout year in Portland, hitting .335 with an .886 OPS in 106 games for the Sea Dogs. He has a solid swing that makes good contact, decent speed and minimal power. Boston is loaded in the outfield at the big league level, but no longer has much minor league depth. Bryce Brentz is a fringe player and Rusney Castillo is a perennial disappointment. Tavarez may not have much upside, but at least he could have challenged those underwhelming options for shot if the Red Sox needed to dip into their system for an injury replacement.

More from Red Sox News

With the 26th pick in the Rule 5 draft the Red Sox selected infielder Josh Rutledge from the Colorado Rockies. The 27-year old spent the last two seasons in the Red Sox organization, hitting .265/.345/.388 in 28 games in 2016.

Boston outrighted him off the 40-man roster in November, after which he rejoined a Rockies organization where he started his career. Dave Dombrowksi told reporters at the winter meetings that he tried to re-sign Rutledge, but the infielder felt he had a better opportunity to see regular playing time elsewhere.

So much for that plan, as Rutledge wasn’t gone long before Boston reeled him back in. Although this time they may have a more secure role planned for him.

"“It lines up for him to be with our club,” stated Dombrowski. “We know him. We like him. It looks like there is a path for him.”"

Rutledge should find a spot on the Red Sox bench, where he can provide depth at multiple infield positions. With Travis Shaw and Yoan Moncada both being dealt this week, Boston was left without a viable option to challenge Pablo Sandoval for the third base job. Rutledge provides them with a player that has a major league track record who they could conceivably plug in if the Panda fails again to establish himself at the position.

Next: Red Sox tried to trade for Wade Davis

Overall, the Rule 5 draft has left the prospect cupboard more barren than before, while bringing back a player that can help at the major league level. That fits in nicely with what has essentially been the theme of the week here in Boston, so you have to imagine Dombrowski is fairly pleased.