The rule 5 draft is always a time to watch the Phillies. Shane Victorino and Odubel Herrera both came from there, and they worked out really well. But with this year’s class relatively weak, the Phillies decided to spin their pick into something else.
With their rule 5 pick, the Phillies grabbed Nick Burdi, a right-handed pitcher from the Minnesota Twins. And then they almost immediately traded Burdi to the Pittsburgh Pirates for the princely sum of $500,000 in international bonus pool money. Ahh, international bonus pool money. One of the most coveted commodities in the business.
Of course, the Phillies did have to leave several players unprotected. They left Carlos Tocci, the 22 year old outfielder, off the 40-man roster, exposing him to the rule 5 draft. And while the Phillies got away with doing that last year, they weren’t as lucky this year.
Tocci was selected by the White Sox, who then flipped him to the Rangers. Losing Tocci hurts for anyone who has been watching his journey through the Phillies. He’s been around forever, and he’s been making slow but sure strides forward. In 2017, he spent most of the year in Double-A and hit .307/.362/.398 over 113 games. He spent 17 games in Triple-A and hit .189, but he would have had 2018 to figure himself out. If only.
There’s always a chance he could return, though. Rule 5 players have to stay on the big league roster all year, or be offered back to their original team for $50,000. As much as I’d want him back, I want him to be successful with the Rangers. He’s been with the Phillies since he was a teenager, and I’m glad he’ll get the chance to make a big league roster.
Good luck to Carlos, and to that giant pile of international money the Phillies acquired today. May they both find success.