I predicted three players would be added. But two of the three were different.
Juan Diaz - As a SS, he does fit one of the types of players picked in Rule 5 drafts: middle infielders. He is a potential breakout candidate next year but protecting him seems one year too premature. Neither his offense or defense is polished enough for him to stick next year, even as a utility infielder. Consider Josh Rodriguez last year compared to Diaz this year. Rodriguez couldn't stick and Diaz is not nearly as refined a player as Rodriguez was at the same point last year.
Danny Salazar - This one is the most puzzling one: a low A righty without a great fastball coming off TJ surgery. The kid has potential but he is so far away from the majors that NO team would have taken him. They say the last thing to come back after TJ surgery is command. Why would you protect this guy who, even if his stuff played up next spring, he never would have been competent to pitch at the big league level.
So, all in all, not a very good set of players added, except for Barnes, who was a no-brainer.
The big screwup, I think, is Araujo. He will almost certainly be one of the Indians' top 10 prospects. Teams would be crazy not to risk the $50,000 that he might stick as a lefty specialist or a long man next year. How many times can you increase your talent pool with a top 10 prospect from another organization and it cost you no players and only $50,000. Stupid move by the Indians not to protect him. Very stupid.
TJ McFarland. He is a good pitcher but does not project to be the type of guy who gets picked in the Rule 5. He throws about 88 mph and I don't think he is especially tough on lefties. Not protecting him makes sense.
But protecting Salazar instead of Araujo. Just plain stupid.
Protecting Salazar instead of Araujo. Just plain stupid.
Protecting Diaz insteas of McFarland. Understandable and I might have done it.