A's Lose Two, Gain One In MiLB Rule 5

Tony Thompson is heading to Miami.

The 2013 MLB Rule 5 draft took place on Thursday morning in Orlando. The Oakland A's were relatively quiet during the Rule 5, electing to pass on the major-league portion and taking only one player in the minor league phase of the draft. The A's lost two infielders in the minor league portion of the draft. We have the details inside.

The 2013 MLB Rule 5 draft didn't generate as much buzz as it has in previous years, and only nine players were selected in the major-league portion of the draft. That was the fewest number of players selected in the MLB-portion of the draft since 2000.

The Oakland A's had one 40-man roster spot available for the draft, but they elected not to use it, as they passed on their chance to take a Rule 5 player. The A's didn't select a Rule 5 player in the major-league portion of the draft last year either, although they did wind-up trading for a Rule 5 player (Nate Freiman) later that spring.

The A's made it through the major-league portion of the draft without losing any of their unprotected players. Players who were drafted/signed out of college in 2010 or earlier or out of high school in 2009 or earlier who weren't on the 40-man roster were eligible for the draft.

During the minor-league phase of the draft, the A's selected RHP Tim Atherton from the Minnesota Twins. A native of Australia, Atherton was originally signed by the San Diego Padres in 2008 as an outfielder. He converted to the mound in 2011 after signing with the Twins as a minor league free agent.

Since then, Atherton has put up good numbers in the lower levels of the Twins' system. Last season, he pitched for Cedar Rapids of the Midwest League. In a career-high 95.2 innings (11 starts, 20 relief appearances), Atherton had a 2.54 ERA with a 102:33 K:BB. His GO/AO was 1.14 and he allowed just four homeruns.

Atherton's fastball sits in the high-80s/low-90s and he has a slow 12-6 curveball and an effective change-up. He turned 24 in November and should start the 2014 season with High-A Stockton. Minor league Rule 5 picks can be assigned to any level of their new team's minor league system.

The A's lost two players in the minor league portion of the draft: third baseman/first baseman Tony Thompson (Miami Marlins) and third baseman Vinnie Catricala (Milwaukee Brewers).

Thompson was the A's sixth-round pick in 2010 out of Kansas. He had a record-setting career with the Jayhawks, earning a Big 12 Triple Crown as a sophomore in 2009. Thompson struggled with injuries in 2011 and 2012, but he was healthy in 2013, appearing in 116 games with the High-A Stockton Ports. Thompson spent the past two seasons with Stockton, posting a 785 OPS in 2012 and a 751 OPS in 2013. He hit 18 homeruns and drove-in 92 runs for the Ports last season.

Catricala was claimed off of waivers by the A's midway through the 2013 season. The Seattle Mariners' Minor League Player of the Year in 2011 has struggled the past two seasons. In 2012 with Seattle, he posted a 640 OPS in 122 games for Triple-A Tacoma. In 2013, he split the year between Double-A Jacksonville and Double-A Midland, posting a 621 OPS. He is a native of Sacramento and he attended Jesuit High School.

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