Yesterday the Padres traded Anthony Bass to the Houston Astros for the rights to the first pick in today’s Rule 5 Draft. The Vocal Minority’s Nate speculated that the Padres could use that pick to add a left-handed arm to their bullpen in 2014 either by taking Brian Moran (Mariners) or Omar Luis (Yankees). The Rule 5 draft is a cheap way to add an arm to the bullpen with one all important stipulation: is the player ready to contribute.
Back in 2006 the Padres used the Rule 5 Draft to add Kevin Cameron, a right-handed reliever from the Minnesota Twins’ organization. The 2006 Rule 5 Draft is a notable one as it is the year that the Padres lost closer Joakim Soria to the Kansas City Royals and Josh Hamilton reemerged from years of absence to take MLB by storm.
In December of 2006, Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein wrote the following about Kevin Cameron:
Cameron has been a solid reliever in the Twins system for the last three years, and scouts like his ability to generate tons of groundballs with a low-90s sinker that produced a groundball/flyball ratio of better than 2-to-1 at Triple-A Rochester.
How did it work out for the Padres and Kevin Cameron?
It’s that time of year where major leagues clubs have to make decisions on who they want the protect from being taken in the Rule 5 Draft. And the Padres made some hard choices today.
Added were starting pitchers Josh Johnson, Donn Roach, Keyvius Sampson, and Juan Oramas.
Gone are 2B Dean Anna, relief pitchers Brad Brach, Miles Mikolas, & Jose De Paula, and OF Jaff Decker.
Last Saturday as I sat in the Park in the Park watching the Padres get taken apart by the Colorado Rockies, I kept a mindful eye on my daughters, who were rolling down grass hills like discarded timber. I looked at them and thought one thing: bedtime. But there existed a problem for my little family. Everth Cabrera, on the verge of a cycle, was guaranteed one more plate appearance in the 9th inning. Needing only a double, my daughters and I (and Cabrera!), stood on the precipice of Padres history. I could not deny them the opportunity to witness a groundbreaking feat of arbitrary awesomeness so we stayed put on Petco’s grassy knoll.
As Everth came to the plate in the 9th, I explained the significance of the moment, and then positioned them for the diminutive shortstop’s final plate appearance.
And just like that it was over. Everth Cabrera drove a single up the middle, and finished the night 4 for 5, three-quarters of the way to the elusive cycle.
As Everth rounded 1st base I was overwhelmed, not by the denial of a historic moment, but by something else. It was my sense that Cabrera, who had been drafted from the same Colorado Rockies in the 2008 Rule Five Draft, was an anomaly. Was Everth Cabrera unique? Something told me that the answer to this question was yes.