I love the Rule V draft. If I were a GM, it wouldn't matter if I was running the Yankees or the Marlins - I would have a Rule V pick on my roster every year. No team should have its 25-man roster packed so tight that it can't afford to carry a seventh reliever or a defensive replacement plucked from this draft. It's a cheap and easy way to round out your team - and once in a while you get lucky and choose a player that ends up becoming a star.
The Mets picked up two right-handed relievers in the Rule V draft today. Neither of them will become a star, but it shows that Omar Minaya is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to filling out the bullpen. Darren O'Day (Angels) and Rocky Cherry (Orioles) were added to the 40-man roster and each will be given a chance to earn a bullpen spot in Spring Training.
Each has major league experience, but O'Day has a better chance to stick with the big club than Cherry. A side-arming right-hander, O'Day has been successful throughout his minor-league career and did not embarrass himself with California in 2008. Unfortunately, he also tore his labrum toward the end of the season and the Angels released him to make room on the 40-man roster. O'Day signed a minor-league deal with the club as was going to rehab with the Angels in the hopes he could avoid surgery. Instead, he'll be rehabbing with the Mets.
Rule V players, in addition to spending the entire subsequent season on their new club's major-league roster, must be an active player for at least 90 days. This prevents clubs from stashing Rule V picks on the disabled list for an entire season. So if the Mets play their cards right, they can basically let O'Day rest or rehab until July 1 and see if he can pitch himself into their bullpen by then. If he doesn't, they release him and that's it. Labrums are generally career-killers, but a sidearmer who doesn't light up the radar gun may be able to survive.
Cherry has a decent fastball and a decent breaking ball, but that's about it. He probably won't make the club, but there is no harm in taking aim, even if the target is a dream. It's interesting that Minaya chose two pitchers with big league experience - O'Day and Cherry's upside is more limited than some other Rule V picks, but they are among the most likely to actually contribute next season.
John Maine (arbitration eligible)
Jon Niese (renewable)
Darren O'Day (Rule V)
Rocky Cherry (Rule V)
Pedro Feliciano (arbitration eligible)
Duaner Sanchez (arbitration eligible)
Ambiorix Burgos (arbitration eligible)
Brian Stokes (renewable)
Sean Green (renewable)
Eddie Kunz (renewable)
Carlos Muniz (renewable)
Robert Parnell (renewable)
Brandon Knight (renewable)
Billy Wagner (out for 2009 season)
Robinson Cancel (renewable)
Daniel Murphy (renewable)
Argenis Reyes (renewable)
Ryan Church (arbitration eligible)
Jeremy Reed (renewable)
Angel Pagan (renewable)
Nick Evans (renewable)
Tony Armas, Jr.
Adam Bostick (minor league free agent)
Nelson Figueroa (minor league free agent)
Gustavo Molina (minor league free agent)
* - "I'll Be the Judge" recap completed