Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Padres Pick Up Cards Prospect Cordoba in Rule 5 Draft

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Padres Pick Up Cards Prospect Cordoba in Rule 5 Draft

Article excerpt

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. * The Cardinals took a risk by leaving a rising, enticing prospect unprotected for Thursday's Rule 5 draft and lost, but maybe only for a few months.

With the third pick of the annual draft, the San Diego Padres poached infielder and former Gulf Coast League MVP Allen Cordoba from the Cardinals' minor-league system. It was the second consecutive Rule 5 draft that the Padres took a high-upside prospect from the Cardinals' low minors with the intent to stash him on the major-league roster and gain control of his rights. The approach is simple: Tank now, thank later.

"I think it's very challenging to keep someone who has (only) been at a short-season club on a major-league roster," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said as he departed baseball's annual winter meetings, held this year at Gaylord National Resort. "But a team that had space and might not be trying to contend this year can roll the dice. I still think there is a pretty good chance we get him back."

The Padres, perhaps telegraphing the view they expect to have in the standings, acquired three players in Thursday's Rule 5 draft. All three must remain on the major-league roster for the Padres to gain permanent control of the players' rights. A year ago the Padres traded for Rule 5 pick Luis Perdomo, a hard-throwing righthander who had just finished the season at Low-A for the Cardinals and represented the team in the Futures Game. The Padres were willing to ride out the quantum leap to the majors with Perdomo and he finished the year in their rotation.

He's the rarity among Rule 5 picks, and it is easier for a team to pull that off with a pitcher than a position player, let alone three Rule 5 selections at the same time.

The Cardinals have spent most of this offseason in a roster bind. They had to add switch-hitter Breyvic Valera to the 40-man in November to avoid losing him as a minor-league free agent. …

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