The Tampa Bay Rays selected right- handed reliever Tim Lahey from the Minnesota Twins organization with the first pick in Major League Baseball's annual Rule 5 Draft on Thursday.
The draft order is based on the reverse order of finish during the 2007 season.
This year they did the same thing, sending Lahey to the Chicago Cubs for cash considerations.
Lahey is a converted catcher from
In 2005, his first professional season on the mound, Laheys 15 saves with Rookie League Elizabethtown ranked third in the Twins minor league system.
There were 18 picks made in the major league phase of the draft - 15 in Round One - with the Twins losing the most players, as three from their organization were selected.
Players who are not currently on their team's 40-man roster are eligible to be taken, but only after a standard exemption period has elapsed. Also only Teams whose rosters are under the 40-man limit are eligible to participate.
A player who is 18 when he's signed can spend five seasons in an organization before he has to be protected. Anyone who is 19 or older must be protected after four years. Once past that time of service, a player must be put on the 40-man roster if that team wants to keep him from becoming eligible for the Rule 5 draft.
Teams whose players are selected in the Major League phase of the draft will receive $50,000 per player. The players selected, though, must remain on the new club's 25-man roster for the entire season after the draft or be offered back to their parent organization for half the price.
However, the selecting team may, at any time, waive the Rule 5 draftee. If that player clears waivers by not signing with a new MLB team, he must be offered back to the original team, effectively canceling the Rule 5 draft choice. Once a Rule 5 draftee spends an entire season on his new team's 25-man roster, though, his status reverts to normal and he may be optioned or designated for assignment.
Several players have succeeded through the Rule 5 Draft in the past, most notably two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana. Other prominent players selected through the Rule 5 Draft include pitchers Antonio Alfonseca, Matt Mantei and Graeme Lloyd, as well as second baseman Fernando Vina and outfielder Shane Victorino.
Last year the Chicago Cubs took former first overall pick Josh Hamilton third from the