Seattle, on behalf on its Triple-A affiliate, the Tacoma Rainiers, selected three players in the AAA portion of the Rule V Draft. Seattle selected first baseman Aaron Rifkin from the New York Yankees organization in the first round, infielder Aaron Herr (Atlanta) in the second round and infielder Kervin Jacobo (San Diego) in the third round.
Seattle did not select a player in the AA portion of the draft.
Rifken, 25, spent last season with Double-A Trenton. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound left-handed hitting first baseman batted .252, smacked 27 doubles and hammered 23 home runs in 127 games last season. He was originally the Yankees fourth round selection in the 2001 draft.
"Rifken is a good looking young player with some left-handed power," Mattox said. "We're always looking to add some power potential to our organization."
Herr, 23, hit .272 with 20 doubles in 94 games with double-A Greenville last season. He was the Braves first round selection (#40 overall) in the 2000 June draft.
"Herr is a middle infielder that we think has some offensive potential," Mattox said.
Jacobo, 22, played 123 games last season as a third baseman/shortstop, but the Mariners plan on having him pitch.
"We are looking forward to trying Jacobo's best tool – his arm – on the mound," Mattox said. "We've had some success the past couple of seasons converting guys, including Rafael Soriano."
Seattle lost left-handed pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith as the 18th pick in the first round of the Major League draft to the Minnesota Twins. Selecting teams pay $50,000 to take a player in the Major league portion of the draft. If Rowland-Smith does not remain on the Twins Major League 25-man roster for the full 2005 season, he must be offered back to Seattle for $25,000.
Seattle also lost right-handed pitcher T.A. Fulmer in the third round of the AAA portion of the minor league Rule V Draft to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Selecting teams pay $12,000 to take a player in the Triple-A portion of the draft, and $4,000 to take players in the Double-A portion of the draft.
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