12/8 Cubs & Rule 5 Draft – UPDATED
The Cubs selected recently converted right-handed pitcher Lendy Castillo from the Phillies’ organization in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday. The Cubs also picked infielder Ricky Alvarez from the Angels farm system in the Triple-A phase of the Draft, and then dealt him to the Monterrey team in Mexico for cash considerations. The Cubs lost two players in the Major League portion as the Orioles took infielder Ryan Flaherty and the Red Sox picked infielder Marwin Gonzalez. Gonzalez was later traded to the Astros.
In 38 Minor League games, Castillo is 7-4 with a 2.43 ERA since he was converted from shortstop after the 2009 season. He has 111 strikeouts and has walked 42 in that stretch. Last year, the 22-year-old right-hander was 4-2 with a 2.54 ERA in 21 games, including two starts, for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. He gave up 13 earned runs on 37 hits and 16 walks over 46 innings.
GM Jed Hoyer credited scouting director Tim Wilken and special assistant Dave Littlefield with their work in scouting Castillo. Although the right-hander is new to pitching, Hoyer said he has good velocity and can spin a breaking ball well. Right now, he’s projected for the Cubs bullpen.
“Obviously, he’s a long way away or they would’ve protected him but we like him as a prospect and thought it was a worthwhile gamble taking him,” Hoyer said. “We’re hopeful it works out.”
The Cubs will pay the Phillies $50,000 for taking Castillo in the Rule 5 Draft. The Cubs must keep him on the 25-man roster next season, and he must remain active for a minimum of 90 days. If he does not remain active, Castillo will be offered back to the team from which he was selected for $25,000.
The Cubs will receive $100,000 total after losing both Flaherty and Gonzalez in the Major League phase of the Draft. Hoyer said he was not surprised they were taken. The baseball operations department had long discussions about whether to keep the pair on the 40-man roster, which would have protected them from being selected.
– Carrie Muskat