With the 2006 Rule 5 Draft looming, the San Francisco Giants purchased the contracts of relief pitcher Osiris Matos and infielder Eugenio Velez. The two players were added to the Giants 40-Man Roster and will not be eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft in December.
Velez, 24, was selected by the Giants in the Minor League portion of the 2005 Rule 5 draft, from the Toronto Blue Jays. While considered old for the league, Velez put together a year that was not even close to the performance he had in previous years. Repeating Class-A ball, but in a different league, Velez hit .315, had 29 home runs, 20 triples and 14 home runs, in addition to 64 stolen bases, and won the South Atlantic League Most Valuable Player award.
Matos, 22, spent most of the year repeating the South Atlantic League. Matos had a 4.99 ERA in 22 starts in 2005, but worked exclusively as a reliever in 2006. He had a 1.76 ERA in 44 games, and picked up 13 saves. He had 81 strikeouts in 61.1 innings, with just 12 walks. He was promoted to Double-A and had a 3.72 ERA in 6 appearances at the end of the year.
With the move, the Giants have 33 players on their 40 Man roster, with the bulk of free agency remaining.
The Rule 5 Draft allows teams to select players from other teams if they have been in the minors for a number of years. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement extended the number of years before players are eligible for the draft. Players who are selected in the Major League portion are required to stay on a team’s 25 Man active roster, otherwise, they must be returned to their former team.
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