D-backs add pitcher Albert Suarez in Rule 5 draft

The Arizona Diamondbacks gained one player and lost two in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft, their only transactions at baseball’s winter meetings.

The D-backs selected right-handed pitcher Albert Suarez off the San Francisco Giants’ Triple-A roster and added him to their 40-man roster. Outfielder Victor Reyes was selected by the Detroit Tigers with the first pick in the draft, and right-handed pitcher Brad Keller was taken by the Cincinnati Reds with the fifth pick and subsequently traded to Kansas City.

Suarez, 28, averaged 9.66 strikeouts per nine ninnings with the Giants in 2017, compiling an 0-3 record, one save and a 5.12 ERA in 18 appearances. For his career, he’s appeared in 40 major-league games (12 starts), going 3-8 with a 4.51 ERA.

General manager Mike Hazen told mlb.com he sees Suarez competing for a spot in the bullpen.

“He’s pitched in the big leagues and we like his stuff. He’s got a good curveball. We think he could slot right into the competition that we’re going to have next year.”

Reyes, 23, was ranked as the D-backs’ No. 18 minor league prospect. He hit .292 with four home runs and 18 steals for Double-A Jackson and is a .298 career hitter in six minor-league seasons.

“He’s a great kid,” Hazen told mlb.com. “From a protection standpoint we felt like it wasn’t the right time to put him on the roster, and we’ll see. He’ll have an opportunity over there I would imagine and good for him.”

Keller, 22, was the D-backs’ 12th-ranked prospect. He was 10-9 with a 4.68 ERA for Jackson, striking out 111 batters in 130 2/3 innings.

Teams must keep Rule 5 selections in the big leagues for the entire season or offer them back to their original team for half of the $100,000 selection fee.

The D-backs also selected two players in the Triple-A portion of the draft, adding outfielder Jay Gonzalez from the Orioles organization and left-handed pitcher Lane Ratliff from the Mariners organization.

Gonzalez, 26, hit .273 with 31stolen bases last season for Double-A Bowie and Single-A Advanced Frederick. Ratliff, 22, was 3-2 with a 5.13 ERA in 14 appearances (six starts) at three different levels.

 

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