OXON HILL, Md. – The Major League Baseball winter meetings ended Thursday morning after multiple blockbuster trades, significant signings, and the Phillies could drive home knowing they did not lose a whole lot of talent in the Rule 5 draft.
Yes, it was that kind of week. The rebuilding Phillies, having added a few veteran players, are not an active team in the market. They will attempt to strike a balance between winning and developing the young players on the roster during the 2017 season.
That goal led them to protect 11 players ahead of the Rule 5 draft. Even with that high number, they expected to lose a player or two Thursday. The reigning American League champion Cleveland Indians selected lefthander Hoby Milner in the draft, but he was the Phillies' only loss.
Andrew Pullin, an outfielder who caught steam last season at double-A Reading and was viewed as a potential pick Thursday, remained with the Phillies. So did outfielder Carlos Tocci, righthander Miguel Nunez, and a collection of young Dominican talent that could have been dented.
The Indians paid $100,000 to draft Milner, who must stay on their 25-man roster for the entire season. Milner, 25, was chosen by the Phillies in the seventh round of the 2012 draft. He became a reliever in 2015 then lowered his arm slot in 2016 and found success. He had a 2.49 ERA in 65 innings between double A and triple A with a strong strikeout rate and low walk rate.
In the triple-A phase of the draft, where roster restrictions are removed and the picks are for pure minor-league depth, the Phillies selected a 5-foot-5 infielder Jorge Flores from Toronto and lost 25-year-old righthander Jairo Munoz to Tampa Bay.