ORLANDO - It's the last day of the annual Winter Meetings, which means it's time for the Rule 5 draft.
For those unfamiliar, the Rule 5 draft gives teams the chance to draft a players from other organizations who are not on the 40-man roster. Said drafted player then must make the major-league team out of camp and stay with the MLB club or be returned to the previous team. Well, it's more complicated than that, with waivers and options coming into play, but that's the basic gist of it.
Anyway, some big-name players have been selected in the recent history of the Rule 5 draft, such as Josh Hamilton, Johan Santana and Dan Uggla. Overall, though, most of the names end up being largely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.
Here are the nine players taken in the major-league phase of the Rule 5 draft this time around, listed with their position and new team:
[Note: The pitchers were all relievers this past season unless otherwise noted]
Patrick Schuster, P, Padres: He is taken by the Astros from the Diamondbacks but sent to the Padres to complete a trade that sends pitcher Anthony Bass to Houston. The 23-year-old lefty had a 1.83 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 45 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings last year in High-A.
Kevin Munson, P, Phillies: From Arizona. The 24-year-old right hander had a 4.12 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 66 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings across Double-A and Triple-A last season.
Seth Rosin, P, Mets: By way of the Phillies. The 25-year-old right hander was mostly a starter last year. He went 9-6 with a 4.33 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 96 strikeouts in 126 2/3 innings.
Wei-Chung Wang, P, Brewers: From the Pirates. He started 11 of his 12 appearances, going 1-3 with a 3.23 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 42 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings -- but this came in Rookie Ball and was his first season in the minors. Making the big-league squad would be quite the leap.
Marcos Mateo, P, Diamondbacks: Mateo comes from the Cubs and the 29-year-old righty actually saw some time in the majors, though it was back in 2010-11. He appeared in 23 games for the Cubs in 2011, putting together a 4.30 ERA, 1.48 WHIP and 25 strikeouts in 23 innings. Across Rookie Ball, Double-A and Triple-A last season, Mateo had a 1.74 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 30 strikeouts in 31 innings. He probably qualifies as the biggest name to move here.
There's also a minor-league phase of the Rule 5 draft, in which Russell Wilson (yes, that Russell Wilson) was selected by the Rangers.