Cleveland Indians draft Trevor Stephan, lose two players in Rule 5 Draft

The Indians opted to make a pick in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft while also seeing one of their unprotected players get selected.

The conclusion to a quiet 2020 Winter Meetings for the Cleveland Indians and majority of baseball did see some action as MLB held it’s annual Rule 5 Draft Thursday.

While most teams’ passed on making selections, the Indians did indeed select a player as they drafted 25-year old right-handed pitcher Trevor Stephan of the New York Yankees during Round 1 of the Major League Phase of the draft.

The Indians also watched two of their players get selected as outfielder Ka’ai Tom was drafted by the Oakland Athletics Round 1 while right-handed pitcher Luis Oviedo was selected by the New York Mets during the Triple-A Phase of the draft.

Stephan was originally drafted in the 32nd round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox out of Hill College but opted instead to transfer to the University of Arkansas instead. At Arkansas, Stephan posted a 6-3 record, a 2.87 ERA, and 120 strikeouts in 91 innings pitched.

He was selected by the Yankees in the third round of the 2017 MLB Draft and last pitched in Double-A Trenton in 2019.

As for the departing players, Tom was drafted by Cleveland in 2015 in the fifth round of the MLB Draft out of the University of Kentucky. Tom spent the 2019 season at Triple-A Columbus, where he hit .298 with nine home runs.

Oviedo was the Indians’ 19th ranked prospect who posted a 5.38 ERA at Lake County in 2019. While he was selected by the Mets, he is expected to be traded from New York to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations, per a report.

Rule 5 player draft rights are as followed per MLB: “Not every club will make a selection, but those that do pick a player must pay $100,000 to the club from which said player was selected. Rule 5 Draft picks are assigned directly to the drafting club’s 26-man roster and must be placed on outright waivers in order to be removed from the 26-man roster in the subsequent season. Should the player clear waivers, he must be offered back to his previous team for $50,000 and can be outrighted to the Minors only if his original club does not wish to reacquire him. A Rule 5 Draft pick can be placed on the Major League injured list, but he must be active for a minimum of 90 days to avoid being subject to the aforementioned roster restrictions in the next campaign.”