A lot of times things go by so fast that you miss them (I call that the Ferris Bueller Effect). But many times it is one of these little things that scoot by can make a big difference.
Take, for instance, THIS little tidbit.
Steve Johnson (son of former Orioles pitcher and current MASN broadcaster Dave Johnson) is one of the players the Orioles received in the George Sherrill trade last year (along with 3rd base prospect Josh Bell). He pitched well for the Orioles’ AA affiliate Bowie Baysox after the trade (3-2, 2.84 ERA in 7 starts), but was not put on the 40 man roster after the season and was claimed by the San Francisco Giants as a Rule V draftee (just in case anyone is unsure of what a Rule V draftee is, basically it involves a player with 4-5 years of minor league service time – depending on their age when originally drafted / signed by the original team – who is not on their current team’s 40 man roster. The teams get to select eligible players in reverse order of final record as long as they have room on their 40 man roster. The team that lost the player receives $50,000. The player selected has to be kept on that team’s 40 ma roster for the entire year, or be offered back to the original team for $25,000. Most players wind up going back to their original teams. The last player the Orioles signed as a Rule V guy that stuck around with the team was Jay Gibbons back in 2001).
The nice thing about this is that while he is not currently thought of on the same level as a Brian Matusz or a Jake Arrieta, he is a legitimate big league prospect and he provides quality depth at a position where you can never have enough depth. He is a player that helps push the Jason Berkens and Cla Merediths of the team to be their best, because Johnson is definitely the type of player that could be looked at right now for the bullpen. And the fact that he drew enough interest to be selected by a team that has legitimate division championship aspirations shows that if nothing else Johnson is a possible trading chip for Andy MacPhail if Johnson is not going to be on the 40 man roster by the end of the year.
It is the little things that can add up to a lot. And this is another one of those little things.
About the Author
Written by Ron Burr
Ron is a lifelong resident of Maryland and has been a passionate player and fan of sports for as long as he can remember. When he is not watching the games or explaining to his lovely wife why he is cursing at the television, he runs an improv/sketch comedy troupe, Drop Three. He can't hit a curveball or run a sub 4.5 40 yard dash, but he knows the games and loves talking about it with anyone. Differing opinions are welcome and encouraged!