The Rule 5 draft happened Thursday, and there were two moves made that will impact the Boston Red Sox, at least at the minor league level. Michael Almanzar was selected in the big league portion by the Baltimore Orioles, and the Red Sox picked up Janathan Roof from the Philadelphia Phillies in the minor league portion.
Almanzar is currently listed as a third baseman, but due to defensive limitations he probably best fits at first base. The Orioles selecting him was a bit of a surprise, as being a Rule 5 selection requires the player remain on the big league roster the entire season if a trade is not made for him; otherwise he will be returned to the Red Sox. If Manny Machado makes it back for opening day as expected, there is no spot for Almanzar to play as the other corner infield spot is held down by the AL home run champ Chris Davis. The Orioles don’t currently have a quality DH. Almanzar would provide power in the lineup, but he isn’t a polished enough hitter to play a significant role on a team that expects to contend like the Orioles.
Roof was originally drafted by the Red Sox back in 2007 but decided to attend Michigan State instead and was eventually drafted and signed by the Texas Rangers. The Red Sox will be the fifth organization Roof has been a member of despite being traded by the Detroit Tigers before ever making an appearance in the organization. He has reached as high as AAA but spent last season between Low-A and High-A. The shortstop will likely kick off the season in either High-A or AA, but he would not be a starter at either spot as he would likely be behind Jose Vinicio or Deven Marrero. Roof has seen time at second base in his minor league career and could get some playing time there if he starts with High-A Salem.