Des Moines, IA
- Iowa Cubs players Ryan Flaherty
and Marwin Gonzalez
were two of the 12 players selected in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 draft on Thursday in Dallas, TX during the Baseball Winter Meetings. The Baltimore Orioles used the fourth selection to draft Flaherty and the Boston Red Sox picked Gonzalez with the 23rd selection. The Red Sox then traded Gonzalez to the Houston Astros for RHP Marco Duarte, who was the first pick of the Astros in the Triple-A phase of the draft.
Flaherty, 25, hit .305 with 14 home runs and 66 RBI in 83 games with double-A Tennessee and was a Southern League All-Star before joining Iowa on July 14 last season. He hit .237 with five home runs and 22 RBI in 49 games in his triple-A debut to finish the season. Flaherty is a left-handed batter that played every infield position and both corner outfield spots between his two stops in 2011. The Cubs drafted Flaherty in the second round of the 2008 draft out of Vanderbilt University.
Gonzalez, 22, batted .301 with two home runs and 20 RBI in 64 games with double-A Tennessee and was also selected to the Southern League All-Star team before joining Iowa on June 26, 2011. Gonzalez batted .465 (20-for-43) in his first 13 games with Iowa before the All-Star break and finished with a .274 average, two home runs, and 19 RBI in 60 games overall in his first stint at triple-A. Gonzalez played mostly at shortstop, but also played some second base at both levels. Gonzalez is currently seventh in the Venezuelan Winter League with a .316 average in 29 games for Caracas. The Cubs signed Gonzalez as a non-drafted free agent in November, 2005.
To be eligible for the Rule 5 draft, a player must not be on their original team's 40-man roster and must have been in that organization for at last four years if they were signed at 19-years-old or older or at least five years if they were signed at 18-years-old or younger. The team that selects him must pay his original club $50,000 and then keep that player on their 25-man Major League roster throughout the following season. If that team that selects him doesn't keep have a place for him on their 25-man roster, they must offer him back to his original club for $25,000, or the two teams must work out a trade. It's possible that either or both, Flaherty and Gonzalez, could be returned to the Chicago Cubs organization at some point prior to or during the 2012 season.
The Cubs selected RHP Lendy Castillo with the sixth pick in the Rule 5 draft. Castillo, 22, is a native of the Dominican Republic and was 4-2 with a 2.54 ERA in 21 games (two starts) with the Lakewood Blue Claws last year. The Blue Claws are the single-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies in the South Atlantic League last year. The Cubs also selected 3B Ricky Alvarez in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft. Alvarez was in the Los Angeles Angels system last year and hit .257 with 10 home runs and 64 RBI in 126 games with single-A Cedar Rapids in the Midwest League. Clubs pay at $12,000 fee for players selected in the Triple-A phase of the draft, but those players can be assigned anywhere in your organization without being offered back to their former club.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.