(Photo Credit: Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
Despite not participating in the major league portion of the Rule 5 Draft due to an already full 40-man roster, the Dodgers‘ management crew were indeed instrumental in the minor league segment, choosing Edward Paredes from the Tigers and Kyle Grana of the Cardinals at the tail end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday morning.
Grana, 25, threw 52 innings for High-A Palm Beach least season, tallying a 3.12 ERA with 27 walks, 63 strikeouts and six saves. In 2015 for Low-A Peoria, the 6’4″, 225 lb. righty from Missouri logged 57-1/3 innings over 54 appearances, recording a 0.78 ERA with 69 punch-outs and 24 saves. Grana was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cardinals out of Bellarmine College in 2013, and has a career 11.4 K/9 through four full years on the farm.
Paredes is a 30-year-old Dominican southpaw known for his very quick arm action. His heater normally sits in the 92-94 range and has plenty of tailing action. His slider is especially brutal against left-handed batters, but he has no other controllable secondary pitches, which ultimately relegated him to the bullpen.
Eric Stephen of True Blue LA pointed out that Paredes posted a 2.27 ERA in 46 games with Double-A Arkansas in the Angels system last season, with 53 strikeouts and 21 walks in 43-2/3 innings. Left-handed batters hit .167/.286/.236 against him in 2016, and he had a 36.9% strikeout rate against lefties compared to 23.4% against righties.
Before being left unprotected, Paredes signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in late November.
Both players were drafted from the Triple-A reserve list, costing the Dodgers a total of $48,000. In addition, both Paredes and Grana can be freely moved within the Dodgers’ farm system without having to occupy a 40-man roster spot or being offered back to their original clubs.
As for the Dodgers’ current 40-man roster, there’s already been a bit of fluctuation over the past four weeks. The Dodgers selected the contracts of starting pitcher Chase De Jong, catcher Kyle Farmer and reliever Jacob Rhame in mid-November to protect them from being lost in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft, giving the club a full compliment of 40 players. Consequently, the team did not tender a contract to relief pitcher Louis Coleman before last Friday’s deadline, which freed up one open spot, making the count 39. Eventually, Rich Hill‘s signing on Monday brought the tally back to 40.
The Dodgers will eventually need to clear roster space to make room for the potential signing of a free agent player, most specifically reliever Kenley Jansen or third baseman Justin Turner.
Once a free agent is officially signed, that player is immediately moved to the respective club’s 40-man roster.