(John Wacher/Salem Red Sox)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.—In what has been a relatively quiet offseason for the Boston Red Sox, minor moves occurred Thursday morning. For starters, Boston lost third baseman Michael Almanzar to the Baltimore Orioles in the Major League phase of Thursday morning’s Rule 5 Draft.
The 23-year-old Dominican Republic product hit .268 with 16 homers, 81 RBIs and notched a .760 OPS last season.
If Almanzar does not make Baltimore’s opening day roster, the team can work out a trade for him or offer him back to Boston for $25,000.
“He was obviously a candidate [to get selected]," said Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett. "He put up pretty good numbers last year in Double-A. It's hard to figure out exactly how the Draft's going to play out. He's got some tools. We'll see what happens. Certainly we've got some guys at the corners, at Portland last year as well as Pawtucket. Maybe he'll return to us. If not, we'll get it covered."
Signed in 2007, Almanzar is hitting .250 with 49 home runs and 304 RBIs in what has been a six-year minor league career thusfar.
Boston did not take anyone in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 draft. They did however take shortstop Jonathan Roof from the Philadelphia Phillies in the Triple-A phase.
He has reached as high as Triple-A in 2012, but stayed in Class-A last season. In four minor league campaigns, the Paducah, Ky. native has produced eight dingers and 112 RBIs in 954 at-bats.
Boston likes what he brings to the table from the perspective of depth.
"We were looking at some organizational depth," said director of professional scouting Jared Porter. "[He plays] middle infield, really good makeup, performed last year in [Class] A ball. He'll come into Spring Training and compete for one of our Minor League middle-infield positions."