Winter Meetings: Exit

WMempty.jpgOnly a few hours earlier, the chairs in this photo were filled with reporters and baseball types, all on hand for this morning’s Rule 5 Draft here at the Swan and Dolphin.

You can still here the typing of the remaining media corps here in the workroom, but the numbers are dwindling as we all tidy up our stories, grab our luggage and bolt for the airport.

The Indians made a quick exit after standing pat during the Rule 5 Draft. The club opted against disrupting its 40-man roster in order to make a selection. The available options were not deemed significant upgrades over the group of players that is already in the fold.

On the other side of it, though, Cleveland lost a pair of players — infielder Josh Rodriguez and pitcher Jose Flores — in the Rule 5. Rodriguez went first overall to the Pirates, who will give him a shot as a utility man, and Flores went second to the Mariners, who plucked him up from low-A ball for a chance at a bullpen job.

The selections cost $50,000 each and the players are required to stay on their respective team’s active roster throughout the season. If they are removed from the roster, they must be offered back to the Tribe for a discounted price of $25,000. Cleveland would “absolutely” accept both players back, said vice president of player development Ross Atkins.

As expected, the Indians were quiet here this week in the Land of Mickey. The only deal that came to fruition was the signing of catcher Paul Phillips to a Minor League deal with a spring invite. He’ll compete for the backup job. Beyond that, these Meetings simply provided a forum for face-to-face dialogue with agents and other clubs.

Before I dart off to catch my flight back to Cleveland, I will leave you with the links to the stories I wrote this week in Walt Disney World. And you can rest easy, I was able to buy some Mickey-themed Christmas presents for MLBastian Jr.

Also, as of this afternoon, there was no further update on 92-year-old Hall of Famer Bob Feller, who was tranferred to hospice care on Wednesday. As soon as I hear anything else, I will let everyone know. So stay tuned on that front and keep Mr. Feller and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Over in his blog, Anthony Castrovince has a nice entry about Feller.

To the links…

–JB

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