NASHVILLE (92.3 The Fan) – The 2012 MLB Winter Meetings are wrapping up today in Nashville, and the Indians were one of a few teams taking a player in the Rule Five Draft.
The also lost a pair of players in the process.
The player taken was Texas Rangers first basemen Chris McGuiness, who last season with AA Frisco hit .268 with 23 homers and 77 RBI.
He’s a 24-year-old lefty, drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 13th round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft from The Citadel.
McGuiness is 6′ 1″, and weighs 210 pounds. He was taken with the fifth overall pick in Thursday’s draft.
“He’s a guy that we’ve liked, he can hit for power when he’s been healthy in the minor leagues,” Indians GM Chris Antonetti said. “An interesting guy to bring into camp and to take a look at.”
Antonetti confirmed that the Rangers were interested in looking at McGuiness in the outfield, and that depending on how the roster shapes up, the Indians may do the same.
Players can be in the Rule 5 Draft if they are not on a teams 40-man roster four or five years after signing, depending on the age at which they signed.
The draft order is determined in the reverse order of the previous season’s standings but aren’t required to make a selection.
If a team does make a pick (many simply pass), they pay his former team $50,000 and must keep that player on the Major League roster all season or offer him back to his original team for $25,000.
While the Indians took McGuiness, they lost to the Cubs with the second overall pick pitcher Hector Rondon, and also lost lefty pitcher TJ McFarland with the 23rd overall pick to the Orioles.
Rondon was at one point slated to be a starter, but is now a relief pitcher after he had two major elbow surgeries.
He had Tommy John surgery August 25th, 2010, after pitching at Class AAA Columbus. Again in 2011, he had to have another elbow surgery after throwing winter ball in Venezuela.
McFarland split last season between Columbus with the Indians Triple-A team and in Akron on their Double-A team.
He was a fourth-round pick by the Indians in 2007, going 16-8 with a 4.03 ERA last season between AAA and AA. He was 8-2 with a 2.69 ERA in 60.1 innings at Akron before being promoted in late May.
In 116 minor league games (107 starts), he put together a 48-31 record and 3.83 ERA.