Rule 5: Orioles lose Steve Johnson
The San Francisco Giants have chosen Orioles prospect Steve Johnson with the 23rd pick in today's Rule 5 Draft.
Johnson, the son of former Orioles pitcher and current Orioles broadcaster Dave Johnson, was acquired from the Dodgers along with third baseman Josh Bell in the deal for reliever George Sherrill.
The Orioles knew they ran the risk of losing Johnson when they left him off their protected list, but gambled that no major league club would be willing to keep him on a 25-man roster all season since he has never pitched above the Double-A level.
Johnson was 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA in seven starts for the Baysox. He was 12-7 with a 3.41 ERA overall at the Class-A and Double-A levels last season.
This doesn't necessarily mean he won't eventually break in with the Orioles, since the Giants have to keep him in the majors or place him on waivers. If he's put on waivers and goes unclaimed, he has to be offered back to the Orioles for half the $50,000 draft price.
So, actually, there's a fair chance he'll be back in the O's system at some point this year.
In the Triple-A phase of the draft, the Orioles chose right-hander Jose Duran out of the Houston Astros organization and lost shortstop Rodolfo Cardona and left-hander Jake Stevens off the Bowie Baysox roster.