ROCKIES

Rockies snag young righty from Rays, you’ll see him in Denver

Dec 6, 2023, 12:46 PM

The Colorado Rockies made a 40-man roster move on Wednesday that will impact their big league roster in 2024.

The Rockies cut struggling righty Connor Seabold to open up a spot to take right-handed pitcher Anthony Molina in the Rule 5 Draft from the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rule 5 Draft allows teams from around MLB to pick off prospects from other organizations whose growth is being stunted. The catch is the team spending $100,000 to acquire the player must stay on the big league roster all season, and if he doesn’t, he’ll go back to the original team.

This means Molina will likely stay up with the Rockies all year and is required to be active for at least 90 days to prevent teams from stashing these players on injured reserve.

Molina is a 6-foot-1 right-handed, who turns 22 next month. Last summer he made a midseason jump to Triple-A, throwing 102 strikeouts to 38 walks in 122 innings over 28 games (27 starts) in the high minors.

The last time the Rockies got a young right-handed Venezuelan from the Rays was in 2016 when they got German Marquez in the swap of Corey Dickerson for Jake McGee.

The Rockies most notable Rule 5 pick came in 2013 when they added reliever Tommy Kahnle. Though an obscure part of the baseball offseason that hasn’t had a huge impact on the Rockies, in the past Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente, Hack Wilson and Christy Mathewson were selected in this draft. More recently, Jose Bautista, Josh Hamilton, Johan Santana, Dan Uggla, Shane Victorino and R.A. Dickey have been taken in this process.

While the Rockies let go of a pitcher to get Molina, Bill Schmidt is clearly focused on pitching this offseason. In a less important phase of this same process on Wednesday, the Rockies also snagged righty Brendan Hardy from the Mets. A 6-foot-4 reliever with a 1.80 ERA over 24 appearances in 2023, who has made it to Double-A. Expect Hardy to start in Albuquerque. The Rockies also signed righty Matt Koch, who made 39 appearances in Denver this past season, to a minor league deal on Wednesday.

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