NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The annual Rule 5 Draft of veteran minor leaguers will be this morning. The Red Sox have the seventh pick if they care to use it.
Any player selected must remain on the major league roster all season or be offered back to his original team.
“Wouldn’t rule it out,” GM Ben Cherington said when asked if the Sox would pick a player. “We have done it in years past, we’ve taken Rule 5 guys and carried them. It’s a little tough in a place where you’re trying to win, trying to put the most developed 25-man roster out there.”
First baseman Chris McGuiness could interest the Sox. The 24-year-old lefthanded hitter was drafted by the Sox in 2009 and spent part of two seasons in the organization before being traded to Texas as part of the deal for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
He reached Double A last season and had an .840 OPS, McGuiness was then selected as the MVP of the Arizona Fall League.
Cubs righthander Nick Struck is considered a likely pick by scouts.
The Red Sox have several players they could lose. Righthanded reliever Josh Fields, 27, had 78 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings last season and walked only 18. He spent the majority of his season with Double A Portland.
Outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker hit .273 with an .807 OPS last season. He had 19 home runs and 36 steals.
“Wouldn’t be surprised,” Cherington said when asked if he expected the Sox to lose any players.
Once the Rule 5 Draft ends, the Winter Meetings will be over, too. Everybody will head home.