A's Take Four; Lose Three In Rule 5 Draft

For the second consecutive year, the Oakland A's took a reliever from the Chicago White Sox organization in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. Right-hander Fernando Hernandez will need to remain on the A's 25-man roster throughout the season or be offered back to Chicago. The A's also took three players in the minor league portion of the draft and lost three in that phase.

A's Select Hernandez
One again, Oakland was a surprise participant in the Rule 5 draft. We anticipated earlier in the week that if the A's were to be involved in this year's Rule 5 draft, it would be to grab some bullpen help. That assumption proved to be correct, as Oakland nabbed right-handed reliever Fernando Hernandez from the Chicago White Sox chain. It is the second consecutive year that the A's have taken a reliever from Chicago. Last season, Oakland took left-hander Jay Marshall.

Hernandez is coming off of a strong 2007 season. He appeared in a league-high 60 games for Double-A Birmingham of the Southern League, posting a 3.06 ERA and saving nine games. Hernandez was on the Phoenix Desert Dogs roster during the Arizona Fall League, where A's coaches got to take a closer look at him. He was outstanding this fall, not giving up a run in 12.2 innings.

The Miami native was a 49th round pick of the White Sox in 2002. He has a career 3.25 ERA and 300 strike outs in 293.1 innings. Hernandez has allowed only 16 homeruns during his five-year career.

There were 18 players chosen during the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. The Twins lost three players in the major league portion, while the Indians lost two. All 18 players must remain on their new teams' 40-man rosters for the entier 2008 season or be offered back to their old teams.

A's Take Three In Minor League Portion
Oakland selected three players during the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 draft. These players are now property of the A's and do not have to remain on any particular roster during the 2008 season. Oakland took three right-handed pitchers, Jose Fragoso from Detroit, Jose Rojas from Cincinnati and Scott Mitchinson from Philadelphia.

Fragoso split his 2007 season between two Low-A affiliates in the Tigers chain, posting a 3.77 ERA in 43 innings for Oneonta and a 7.82 ERA in 12.2 innings for West Michigan. Fragoso is a Dominican native and just turned 23 in November.

Rojas split his 2007 season between Low-A and High-A. He had a 3.65 ERA for Dayton of the Midwest League in 37 innings and a 4.32 ERA in 33.1 innings for Sarasota of the Florida State League. The Venezuela native will be 25 in March.

Mitchinson has been in the Phillies chain since 2004, when he signed as an undrafted free agent. He was at three levels in 2007, Rookie League, Low-A and High-A. He went 3-6 with a 3.74 ERA in 67.1 innings combined between the three leagues. The Australian native won't turn 23 until the end of December. He has a career ERA of 3.69 in 266 minor league innings.

A's Lose Appert, Colamarino and Fritz in Minor League Portion
The A's lost three players during the Triple-A portion of the draft: Luke Appert, Brant Colamarino and Ben Fritz. Appert was taken by Philadelphia after he hit .304 in 125 games split between Single-A and Double-A for the A's in 2007. It was Appert's first taste of Double-A baseball. The 2003 sixth round pick was one of the most patient hitters in the A's chain, posting a career OBP of .396.

Colamarino and Fritz were members of the A's famed "Moneyball" draft class of 2002, but they had been blocked at Triple-A in the A's system. Colamarino had a down 2007 season, posting an OPS under 700, but he is usually a strong hitter with a good eye and some power. He hit 17 homers in 2006 and 21 in 2005. Colamarino is also an above-average defensive first baseman. He saw time at Triple-A in 2005. He is headed to Toronto.

Fritz was a first round pick by Oakland in 2002. His time with the A's was marred by an elbow injury that caused him to undergo Tommy John surgery back in 2004. He reached Triple-A during the second half of the 2006 season, but spent the entire 2007 campaign in Double-A Midland. The right-hander is currently pitching for Caracas of the Venezuelan Winter League. He is headed to Detroit.

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