Rule 5: Sox lose Fields, gain local prospect

The Boston Red Sox selected three players and lost two in Thursday morning’s Rule 5 draft, which capped off baseball’s winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn.

The Red Sox lost pitching prospect Josh Fields when the Astros grabbed the reliever with the first pick, and lost another righthander when the Twins selected Ryan Pressly with the fourth pick. Fields was expected to be picked up after the Red Sox couldn’t find room for him on their 40-man roster. The 27-year-old had a finally-figured-it-out season, posting a 2.01 ERA, 78 strikeouts and just 18 walks in 58 1/3 innings between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket.

The Astros must pay the Red Sox $50,000 and keep Fields on their 25-man major league roster throughout the 2013 season, per Rule 5 rules, or else offer him back to the Red Sox for $25,000. The same goes for the Twins and the soon-to-be 24-year-old Pressly, who had a 2.93 ERA at Double-A Portland last season.

The Red Sox selected second baseman Jeff Kobernus with the seventh pick, but, according to a report on WEEI.com, traded him to the Tigers for 27-year-old utility man Justin Henry, who hit .300 and stole 22 bases for Triple-A Toledo.

In the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft, the Red Sox selected a local product: 23-year-old left-hander Jack McGeary, who starred for Roxbury Latin and was the Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year in 2006. He was drafted by the Nationals in the sixth round of the 2007 draft and worked out a unique deal that allowed him to attend Stanford and pitch in the minors during the summers. He had first-round talent and got a first-round signing bonus ($1.8 million).

He earned his degree from Stanford in 2011, while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He hasn’t pitched in more than 8 games since 2009, when he struggled with a 2-12 record and a 5.54 ERA in 26 starts.

The Red Sox also picked up right-hander Jon Bachanov from the White Sox in the minor league phase of the draft (the roster rules are much less stringent than in the major league portion of the draft). The 23-year-old was 7-3 with a 4.82 ERA in 32 games (10 starts) between Single-A and Double-A in 2012. He struck out 64 and walked 58.


The Red Sox also announced Thursday it had completed the deal that sent right-hander Zach Stewart to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The player to be named later in the deal is righthander Kyle Kaminska, who has been assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

The 24-year-old combined to go 9-4 with a 4.19 ERA, 66 strikeouts and 11 walks in 81 2/3 innings between the Pirates and Florida Marlins systems last season. He also made six starts in the Arizona Fall League, finishing with an impressive 3-1 record and 1.61 ERA.