Another Rule 5 Draft, Another New Oriole (Or Two)

Santander and Tavarez

Orioles fans hungry for the team to make a move at the Winter Meetings knew that our time was coming. While division rivals added ace pitchers or re-signed departed stud closers, the Birds were laying in wait, preparing for their moment to shine.

The Rule 5 draft. Oh yeah. The event that has given us such fan favorites as Ryan Flaherty, T.J. McFarland, Jason Garcia, and Joey Rickard.

So what did Dan Duquette scoop up this year? Let’s have a look.

Move over Joey – you’ve got some Rule 5 company out there in the outfield.

Aneury Tavarez and Anthony Santander are your new Orioles. Tavarez comes from Boston, Santander from Cleveland. Both are outfielders.

We all know the deal here, having been through it every friggin’ year – both players must remain on the O’s 25-man roster all season, or be sent back to the teams from which they were chosen. It’s very unlikely that both players will stick in Baltimore, but DD will be darned if he doesn’t try.

Tavarez, 24, hit .335/.379/.506 for AA Portland in 2016. He also had a cup of tea at AAA Pawtucket (5 g, 15 AB). The Dominican Republic native stole 20 bases in 31 tries combined at the two levels. He’s been in the Sox organization since 2011, and has seen his OPS increase from .720 to .869 over the past three seasons.

Santander, a 22-year-old Venezuelan, hit .290/.368/.494 in the High-A Carolina league last year. He knocked 20 dingers, but also had offseason shoulder surgery.

Per The Baltimore Sun’s Eduardo Encinca:

“It’s in his right shoulder,” Duquette said. “We didn’t have access to all the medicals on him, but we had [some] access and we’re comfortable in that we think he’s worth a shot based on his talent as a hitter to add him to our roster. … We’re going to find out a little bit more about [whether he will be ready for spring training], but I believe he’s got good ability and power from both sides of the plate. He has youth and very good offensive ability.”

Pumped for our new Rule 5 picks, Birdland?

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About Derek Arnold

Derek Arnold
RSR/ESR Senior Editor. Derek is originally from and a current resident of Pasadena, MD. He’s a graduate of UMBC and has been a lifelong Baltimore sports fan. In 2007 he founded B’More Birds’ Nest, where he wrote about the Ravens and Orioles before joining RSR in 2012. Derek tells anyone...more

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