O's swap Rule 5 Draft pick with Phils
Donachie provides Baltimore more depth behind plate
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Orioles may not have done much during the week, but they were as busy as possible during Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. Baltimore picked one player in the draft -- reliever Alfredo Simon -- and traded him to Philadelphia for cash considerations and catcher Adam Donachie, another Rule 5 selection.
The Phillies coveted Simon, who came from the Rangers organization, and contacted the Orioles about him before the draft. And Baltimore, in turn, knew that Donachie would likely slide to Philadelphia's pick. Donachie is the third catcher the Orioles acquired this offseason and was picked to add organizational depth behind the plate.
"We're not sure if we'll carry three catchers," said Jim Duquette, the team's vice president of baseball operations. "But because it's an area we don't have depth in, we liked him enough that we wanted to take a look at him and see. If we like him enough and he doesn't make the club, we can always try to work out a trade."
Simon, formerly known as Carlos Cabrera, has a 29-33 record and a 4.33 ERA for his Minor League career. He's made two stops above Class A -- one at Double-A and one at Triple-A -- and has a 3-14 record with a 5.65 ERA. Donachie is a .247 hitter in the Minors, and he's played his entire career in Kansas City's organization.
Donachie, a right-handed hitter, reached Double-A last season for the first time in his career and batted .191 in 29 games. Baltimore will likely invite at least five catchers to Spring Training: Major League veterans Ramon Hernandez and Paul Bako, Donachie, and top Minor League backstops J.R. House and Eli Whiteside.
Baltimore also lost a player in the Rule 5 Draft. First baseman Josh Phelps, who signed a Minor League deal last month, was selected by the Yankees. Phelps was a dark-horse candidate to make the team and spell Kevin Millar or designated hitter Jay Gibbons against left-handed pitchers. Now, he'll try to carve out that role in New York.
"We were a little surprised at that," Duquette said. "You don't see that very often, when a Minor League free agent gets taken in the Rule 5 portion. We had a little side bar on who would get taken and how many guys would get taken, and a couple guys thought we might lose him. There's a couple other guys we thought we might lose, too.
"I hate losing players in the Rule 5 Draft. I just can't stand it, because we invested all that time to sign them."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.