Padres add arms in Rule 5 draft

The Padres selected right-handed pitcher Seth Etherton from the Kansas City Royals organization in this morning's Rule 5 draft and have added a second pitcher out of the procedings. The team has also acquired reliever Stephen Andrade from Tampa Bay, who claimed him from Toronto with the third pick, for cash considerations.

Typically Rule 5 selections are young with little or no experience above Double-A and generally are taken based on projectable talent. The Padres, however, went a different direction.

A 28-year old who has already pitched for five different organizations, Etherton has 21 career big-league starts for Anaheim, Cincinnati and Oakland. He signed a minor league free agent deal with Kansas City this off season, but was left off their 40-man roster.

Andrade, a reliever, also has more experience than most Rule 5 picks. Originally taken out of Cal State Stanislaus by the Angels, he reached Triple-A in 2004, before jumping to the Blue Jays organization. He is a short reliever who has averaged more than one and a half strikeouts per inning over his five year career and has amassed a 2.15 overall ERA.

The swap with Tampa Bay grew out of the talks which led to yesterday's Dewon Brazelton for Sean Burroughs trade, and gives the Padres another option going into spring training after they declined arbitration to two members of the 2005 bullpen last night.

Of the 12 players taken overall in the major league draft, ten are pitchers. No Padres farmhands were taken in the Major League draft.

The Padres were also active in the Triple-A portion of the draft, claiming three players. In the first round, the Padres claimed outfielder Joey Gomes from the Tampa Bay system. Gomes, whose younger brother is already in the big leagues, hit .325 in the California League this year. In the second round, they took left-handed pitcher Andy Santana from the Chicago Cubs. The 21-year old from the Dominican had a 2.47 ERA in the Northwest League. With their final pick, they tabbed infielder Peter Maestrales from the Kansas City organization.

The Padres lost pitcher Eddie Bonine (Detroit), a right hander who spent the year in Elsinore transitioning to being primarily a knuckleball pitcher. Mobile's double-play combination Peeter Ramos and Ronnie Merrill were claimed by the Phillies and Athletics respectively. Righty Geivy Garcia went to the Cubs.

Any player with three or four years of professional experience, depending on his age at the time he was drafted, who is not on his team's 40-man roster is eligible to be taken by another club in the Rule 5 draft. Any player taken in the draft must remain on the active roster of the big league club or be offered back to the original club.

1. Kansas City Fabio Castro, LHP (White Sox)
2. Colorado Luis E Gonzalez, LHP (Dodgers)
3. Tampa Bay Stephen Andrade, RHP (Blue Jays)
4. Pittsburgh Victor Santos, RHP (Royals)
5. Detroit Chris Booker, RHP (Nationals)
6. San Diego Seth Etherton, RHP (Royals)
7. New York (NL) Mitchell Wylie, RHP (Giants)
8. Florida Dan Uggla, 2B (Diamondbacks)
9. Minnesota Jason Prydie OF (Tampa Bay)
10. Boston Jamie Vermilyea, RHP (Blue Jays)
11. St. Louis Juan Mateo, RHP (Cubs)

Round 2
1. Florida Michael Megrew, LHP (Dodgers)

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