Today was the day for MLB teams to set their 40-man rosters in advance of the upcoming Rule 5 draft at this year’s Winter Meetings. Teams must place players who could be eligible for the draft on their 40-man rosters in order to protect them, and keep them in the organization. The Athletics elected to add pitcher Raul Alcantara to their roster, the team announced.
Alcantara seems to have improved his standing within the organization since being acquired in the deal that sent Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney to the Boston Red Sox. Just 20 years old, Alcantara posted a solid 3.11 ERA in 156.1 innings between Class A Beloit, and High A Stockton. He struck out 124 batters, and had a pretty impressive 5.17 SO/BB ratio. Alcantara figures to log significant time at Double A Midland in 2014, and could find himself in the mix to get a September call up if things go really well for him. At the very least, he appears on track to perhaps arrive in Oakland some time in 2015.
The Rule 5 draft can play an important role in helping to compliment a roster, as the A’s found out in a roundabout way last year with the addition of Nate Freiman. Freiman was selected by the Houston Astros in last year’s draft from the San Diego Padres, then picked up by the A’s. He had to stay on the roster or else be offered back to San Diego, but he earned his keep and would have been kept on the roster even if the team wasn’t obligated. This year, the A’s may simply look to protect their assets, as they have now done with Alcantara.