Braves lose Diamond in Rule 5; why’s Wagner still on roster?

ORLANDO — After the Braves lost left-hander Scott Diamond to the Twins in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft on Thursday, they selected lefty Rowdy Hardy (Royals) right-hander Eliecer Cardenas (Twins) in the minor league phase of the draft.

Cardenas, 22, was 5-1 with a 3.69 ERA in 38 games (23 starts) at Class-A in 2010. Hardy, 28, went 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 36 relief appearances in Double-A, with 57 strikeouts and 18 walks in 81 innings.

Players selected in the major league phase must be kept on the selecting team’s 25-man roster for the entire upcoming season, or be offered back to the team they came from for half of the $50,000 claiming price.

“We knew all along he was probably the most at-risk guy left off our major league roster,” Wren said of Diamond, 24, who was 8-7 with a 3.46 ERA in 27 starts last season in Double-A and Triple-A. “But we just didn’t think we could put together our roster this winter with all the spots filled.”

Wren thought there was a better chance to keep Diamond if a team had to draft him in the Rule 5 and keep him on its roster all season, than if the Braves put him on the 40-man protected roster this winter.

That’s because in the latter case, if the Braves had then needed to take him off in order to open a roster spot later for another acquisition or a non-roster player who made the team in the spring, another team could have simply claimed Diamond on waivers and optioned him to one of its minor league affiliates.

The Twins must keep him on their major league team all season, or offer him back to the Braves for $25,000.

Wags still on roster: Retired closer Billy Wagner still occupies a spot on the Braves’ 40-man roster, but Wren said that’s merely a procedural matter. Wagner has no intention of pitching again, but hasn’t gotten around to filing his retirement papers.

Wren said he spoke with Wagner’s agent last month and was told it would be done soon. Wren said it’s not a problem at this time, because the Braves haven’t needed the roster spot yet. When they do, then could drop Wagner from the roster even if he has not filed his retirement papers yet.

Theoretically, if the Braves dropped Wagner from their roster before he retires, another team could offer him a $15 million contract for 2011. But again, Wagner has never wavered in his retirement decision since he announced it early in the 2010 season, and the Braves have no expectations that he will.

“The player has to retire; the team can’t retire him,” Wren said. “I talked to his agent a few weeks ago. They just haven’t got around to filing the papers. And  I told him, it’s just not an issue for the roster spot today. He said, we’ll get to it. They just haven’t done it yet. But it’s not a problem.”

64 comments Add your comment

ramblingman

December 9th, 2010
3:26 pm

I don’t see losing Diamond as being too bad. As for the pickups, we’ll see.

This is stupid but

December 9th, 2010
3:27 pm

first. Yay, I’m a dork!

ramblingman

December 9th, 2010
3:28 pm

Oh, and a big Thank You to Wags for his contributions to the team. You will be missed.

Heisenberg

December 9th, 2010
3:33 pm

Until the papers are officially filed, the door is not completely shut. Just sayin.

Joey M

December 9th, 2010
3:35 pm

Rule 5 is a crap shoot. We’ll see. By a rule, if Florida isn’t involved with the draft, than the pick probably won’t be any good.

jay

December 9th, 2010
3:42 pm

how hard is it to file retirement papers?

ramblingman

December 9th, 2010
3:46 pm

After the season, Wagner probably went home and began life after baseball. Now his agent is calling and saying hey, I need you sign some papers. Wagner is probably saying yeah, I’ll get around to it. Like they said, they aren’t hurting for the roster spot right now anyway.

ramblingman

December 9th, 2010
3:49 pm

(Florida was not involved when Chicago drafted Josh Hamilton from Tampa and then traded him to Cincinnati)

ryan c

December 9th, 2010
3:52 pm

just in looking at the numbers, diamond looks to me like he could be a useful major leaguer. it’s a bit of a head-scratcher why the braves didnt protect him. even moreso that all it would have taken was a simple call to billy to fill out some papers and remove him from the 40-man (which is another thing that i find peculiar and dont necessarily buy into…i think billy’s having doubts).

on diamond: for one, he’s left-handed and we all know how rare good lefties are. also, he never had “growing spurts: from level to level and has remained a starting pitcher for his time in the minors (which shows that the braves still think fairly high of him).

on the downside, for whatever reason, scott has given up a ton of “unearned” runs (39, to be exact, which comes out to about 20% of his total earned runs, which is incredibly high), so his era might be a little deflated.

JaxNCBravesFan

December 9th, 2010
3:55 pm

So what’s the deal with the minor league phase of the draft? The Braves have to keep the pickups at a certain level or what?

David O'Brien

December 9th, 2010
3:59 pm

just in looking at the numbers, diamond looks to me like he could be a useful major leaguer. it’s a bit of a head-scratcher why the braves didnt protect him. even moreso that all it would have taken was a simple call to billy to fill out some papers and remove him from the 40-man (which is another thing that i find peculiar and dont necessarily buy into…i think billy’s having doubts). – ryan c

The point Wren made was that, even if they’d put Diamond on the roster, they would probably need to take him off later in winter or spring if they added another player in a trade or signing, or if another player made the team in the spring as a non-roster invitee (which always happens). He’d be the least-qualifed guy on the 40-man, probably, so he’d be first to go. And in that case, another team could just pluck him off waivers and send him to their minor league system, where Diamond would have all three of his options remaining.

David O'Brien

December 9th, 2010
4:00 pm

ramblingman: exactly right, at 3:46. or at least that’s how I’ve viewed it.

AdirondackDave

December 9th, 2010
4:32 pm

Well, you win some and you lose some. The numbers game works against the better stocked teams, like the Braves.

JD

December 9th, 2010
4:34 pm

i somehow take comfort in the fact that Wags is letting it ride for a while….

steve brown

December 9th, 2010
4:39 pm

Smoltz has had enough time to rest his aching body so I say let’s see if he has anything left as our veteran in the pen.

ramblingman

December 9th, 2010
4:39 pm

True, Dave, the Braves always seem to lose someone. That just speaks volumes for the system though. They always seem to have a hard time when it comes down to the last few spots because they have so many good prospects.

steve brown

December 9th, 2010
4:40 pm

At least star a rumor!

yogi2

December 9th, 2010
4:41 pm

The Braves should have protectd Diamond instead of Schafer. Some people never learn.

steve brown

December 9th, 2010
4:41 pm

I meant start

Jim Hertel

December 9th, 2010
4:43 pm

Put me down as one of those who’d love to see Billy the Kid Wagner come back. I know it’s unlikely, but would the Braves have the money to pay him even if he did?

SuperB

December 9th, 2010
4:56 pm

Mr. Wrenn: Please talk Billy Wagner into pitching just one more season. As a die-hard Braves’ fan and fellow Ferrum College alum– I want Billy to help the Braves win the pennant in 2011!!!

ramblingman

December 9th, 2010
4:59 pm

LOL@yogi.

I would have responded if I thought you were serious.

Chop It Up All-Star

December 9th, 2010
5:05 pm

Just wondering DOB, what if Wagner did in fact decide to come back? How would that adversely affect, if at all, the Braves financially?

ray

December 9th, 2010
5:10 pm

lots of other teams lost more than 1 player. we did okay considering we have a better than average farm system. Diamond was a non drafted free agent so we didn’t invest that much in obtaining him.
I don’t see why Proctor is on the 40 man roster frankly either. he hasn’t proven he is healthy and can pitch again in the majors.

ramblingman

December 9th, 2010
5:19 pm

I found it strange that the Yankees drafted two players, as did the Mets (less surprising for them)

Tyler

December 9th, 2010
5:20 pm

DOB, is there any truth to the rumor that the Braves are negotiating trading Kawakami to the Pirates?

gwinnett fred

December 9th, 2010
5:36 pm

@Tyler

Yes, and it should go thru just as soon as we agree to pay $10,999,999 of his $11,000,000 salary for next year!

ppaddy123

December 9th, 2010
5:43 pm

Is there any truth to the rumor…………hmmmm??? Maybe you should take it for what it’s worth…….a rumor

IOPBRAVE

December 9th, 2010
6:01 pm

C’mon Wags- one more time. Also, the Mets signed Boof Bonser- we need to make a countermove!

Bravissimo

December 9th, 2010
6:15 pm

Rowdy…Love the name…is he a starter or reliever?

Einsteindawg

December 9th, 2010
6:24 pm

Rowdy Hardy…I like that handle! Sounds like a 20+ game winner down the road. Maybe even a Cy Young award. Just don’t let McDowell mess with his mechanics.

ryan c

December 9th, 2010
6:40 pm

DOB, no offense to you or anyone else, but it’s december. imo, if billy werent having doubts about retirement, he’d have made his position available. understand, i’m not doubting your credibility, i’m doubting wag’s desire to stay retired.

tooslim73

December 9th, 2010
6:43 pm

This is stupid but…

Your failed firsties are pathetic.

…that goes to the rest of you.

Bobby

December 9th, 2010
7:28 pm

Bobby

December 9th, 2010
7:29 pm

Piedmont Blues

December 9th, 2010
7:40 pm

Wags isn’t coming back, but if he did, he’s under contract for $6.5 million next year, IIRC.

ISH

December 9th, 2010
7:48 pm

It sure is depressing seeing Boston having yet another great winter… First AGon, now Crawford… Makes me wanna puke. We’ve got a no-hitting scrub in CF, a ? in LF if you factor in Chip’s health, a non-tested 1B who may or may not pan out, and numerous other gripes I can’t even get into for fear I might blow a gasket… We did trade for Ugla, that’s a positive… We’ll re-sign him too because this is Chip’s last year. We’re basically trading one big contract for another there, Ugla will want big money if he repeats his numbers this year since he’s been underpaid (in comparison) for the last few years in Florida. That means we won’t have a ton of money to spend next year either.. I’d give my left nut for a salary cap in MLB. Sure, the most expensive teams aren’t always in the World Series… but for the most part they do make the playoffs and once you’re in anything can happen. Anyway, it’s just my opinion and it didn’t cost you anything…

Lance

December 9th, 2010
8:11 pm

Maybe it’s all a ruse against Liberty Media. We use up the budget then Wagner announces he’s coming back, then we have to pay him. Immediate raise in budget! If that’s even how it could work.

ISH

December 9th, 2010
8:24 pm

I don’t know the particulars of Wags’ contract but I’d have to imagine Wren would have already released him if he didn’t stand to gain something by him coming back… It’s not as innocent as Wren made it out to be in DOB’s article…

Troy

December 9th, 2010
8:37 pm

If the Braves protected diamond, they could have at least packaged him with Kawakami and made the team eat all of his salary. How do you just let a good young lefty go for nothing?

Younger Than That Now

December 9th, 2010
9:13 pm

Billy Wagner… “well, these kids are a lot louder now than they were when I first got home in October or when I came home for a day or so during the season… and my wife’s not quite the cook that the caterers who prepare the clubhouse spread every day are… and if I go back and play another season at least I’ll have a couple of hours of peace and quiet every day, not to mention six weeks of an all expense paid semi-vacation in the spring… and I really could use another 6 million clams after all. Hey Frank, Wags… about next season…”

ramblingman

December 9th, 2010
9:39 pm

If the Braves protected Diamond and left someone else off, then someone else would have been picked and we would be hearing the exact same comments about them. Endless cycle.

25 spots means 25 spots. 40 man roster means 40 players. Math is math.

Joey M

December 9th, 2010
9:45 pm

The only Rule 5 draft I remember hurting the Braves was when Colorado drafted Vinny Castilla and David Nied from us. Castilla was a young SS and Nied was a promising right handed pitcher. Nied fell apart from pitching in Colorado and Castilla went on to have a couple decent seasons. And by decent, I mean hit over 40 HR and drive in over 100 RBI’s. Something Braves fans would kick a puppy to get. Had Nied stayed in Atlanta, I believe he would have been a very good pitcher for us. Colorado murdered him. It’s a shame too. Good kid.

Chipper Sucks

December 9th, 2010
10:00 pm

chipper should retire he will play 60 games and be hurt again, and again, and again. He is a true waste of money. I wish he was a man of his word. If I dont have a good season I will retire. hahahah yeah after he gets his 15 million. What a joke.

ramblingman

December 9th, 2010
10:14 pm

Joey, technically that was not a rule 5 draft. That was an expansion draft. but your point is taken.

David O'Brien

December 9th, 2010
10:22 pm

Tyler, we addressed the Kawakami situation earlier today, before I left Orlando. The Pirates writer who posted that rumor had different information than what I was told this morning, which was that nothing was imminent and the Braves thought it might take some time for the market to shake out with the back-of-rotation starting pitchers.

That could, of course, change at any moment if Pittsburgh, Baltimore or some other team decides to raise the amount they’re willing to pay of Kawakami’s salary. Simple as that. It’s a salary dump.

DALE

December 10th, 2010
12:51 am

I think Wags Is Thinking about how it ended. We all know going into that last game.We will be hurting.
To go out not being able to pitch. Hmm. That is something I think is got him thinking. To go out giving it 100% is one thing. To go out not being able to pitch is another. Am in Pro-Sports and one day i will even have to give up my love to compete. But my last time will be when i gave 100% and tell me self that’s all there is. Wags think long and hard. Once it’s over its over.

braves fan

December 10th, 2010
2:14 am

“chipper should retire he will play 60 games and be hurt again, and again, and again. He is a true waste of money. I wish he was a man of his word. If I dont have a good season I will retire. hahahah yeah after he gets his 15 million. What a joke.”

go root for the mets or something, little kid

Eric Hankin

December 10th, 2010
5:24 am

I’m from Minnesota. I’m a Twins fan. I hope the kid lives up to his name. Even in the rough, it’s nice to get a good lefty!

Obee

December 10th, 2010
6:41 am

Given that Wagner went out on an injury, it wouldn’t be terribly surprising to see him “unretire” ala Favre or Clemons in mid season. These hyper-competitive guys have a very hard time leaving it all behind, especially when they know they can still compete. However, my impression is that Wagner is true to his word, unlike those other two.

Scott from Fairburn

December 10th, 2010
7:09 am

Joey M – Castilla and Nied were taken in the expansion draft, not Rule 5

5manattackmachine

December 10th, 2010
8:10 am

I thought Wags hurt his arm in his last game. How did that turn out? Could he still pitch if he wanted to? did he need surgery?

BrAnDi

December 10th, 2010
8:42 am

@Jay-How hard is it to file retirement papers?? I’d say it would be hard. Especially when you have a job, like being a closer for a major league baseball team.

RamblinGamblinGator

December 10th, 2010
9:15 am

How many of us would retire if someone were dangling millions in front of us for next season? Not saying it’s right, just saying it’s tough to walk away from one more big payday, especially if you are the hyper-competitive type.

GTSteve

December 10th, 2010
9:50 am

I think it is a lot easier if the person already has millions in the bank…

jwilli120

December 10th, 2010
10:16 am

wags hurt an oblique didn’t he or his side not his arm

David O'Brien

December 10th, 2010
10:22 am

I thought Wags hurt his arm in his last game. How did that turn out? Could he still pitch if he wanted to? did he need surgery? — 5manattackmachine

He pulled an oblique muscle. He did not injure his arm.

ramblingman

December 10th, 2010
10:37 am

If you have made enough money to live on, and you have not been there for your family, and you are a big family type person, and you now have the opportunity to spend time with your family, I think it would be quite easy to walk away from something no matter how competitive you are.

I would love to see Wagner back, but I am happy for him and his family, especially his children who will have Dad home now instead of gone for 8 months out of the year. I wish more people would put their families so high on their priority list.

ABraveFan2

December 10th, 2010
12:50 pm

I echo the sentiments towards Wagner. Didn’t like him on the Astros & Mets, but loved him in a Braves jersey! Good luck in retirement.

AceUnderwood

December 10th, 2010
2:23 pm

If Wags decided to come back, I’d be ready to plan the Welcome Back Party. The guy fit with the Braves amazingly. LOVED his attitude, and personality. The way The Ted came to life when Enter Sandman blasted over the P.A.? That was special. I would love to see that one more season. But if he’s done, best of luck to him. He definitely earned it.

Luke Scott

December 10th, 2010
3:31 pm

How many steroids do you have to take before it begins to affect your brain?

Brava

December 10th, 2010
11:35 pm

Oh now you know if Wags decides to come back, the Braves are going to sit on that until closer to Spring Training when all the big trades and deals are done because of the impact. I mean what a publicity coup that would be!!

I know, I know, it’s wishful thinking, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

3-2 pitch, Wags delivers...STRIKE THREE CALLED

December 12th, 2010
12:10 pm

I imagine it’d be hard to leave when your hurt…maybe that’s why Chip keeps coming back year after year hoping for another year of greatness…and not finding it. I have been a huge Chipper fan, but he is now hurting the team, something I never thought I’d have to watch.

Ned

December 17th, 2010
2:00 am

I am reading this while sitting on the john. Too bad the internet doesn’t come with Smell-o-vision. It’s a stench most heinous.

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