One of the highlights of the Winter Meetings is on the final day when the Rule V draft occurs. Almost as interesting as the draft itself, is observing how teams try to stash their selections on the Major League roster or with an “injury”. Remember, a Rule V draft pick has to remain on the Major League season for the entire season following his selection to a new team. Many teams take advantage of this rule by placing the Rule V selection on the disabled list for an extended amount of time during the season. That is a practice that the Cubs implemented last season with reliever Lendy Castillo.
The Cubs utilized the Rule V draft once again on Thursday as the team selected relief pitcher Hector Rondon from the Cleveland Indians. Rondon was once believed to be a top prospect for the Indians, though elbow injuries and Tommy John surgery has severely lowered his value over past seasons. Rondon has pitched a total of 11 innings over the past two seasons. The Cubs, however, have followed Rondon’s progress this winter and were encouraged by what they saw. The Cubs also continued their practice of going after pitchers coming off Tommy John surgery. Rondon has the potential to be the third pitcher on the Cubs Major League roster in 2013 that has recently had Tommy John Surgery. The other two pitchers are Scott Baker and Arodys Vizcaino.