Facing a massive roster crunch after acquiring Jaime Garcia and Anthony Recker from the Braves, and needing to activate Rule 5 Draftee Justin Case Haley from his rehab assignment by tomorrow, the Twins did something I did not expect—return Justin Haley to the Red Sox.
Rule 5 right-hander Justin Haley was outrighted and returned to the Red Sox. Clears 40-man spot for Recker.— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) July 24, 2017
According to the rules of the Rule 5 draft, the drafting teams needs to keep the draftee on their 25-man roster for the entire season. If they don’t they have to return the player to the team they drafted him from, or work out a trade with that team.
Apparently, the Twins have decided to just return Haley to the Red Sox rather than make roster space for him or give up another player for him. To me, the move makes sense, but is also unfortunate. It makes sense because it clears a 40-man roster spot, though Bollinger says it is for Recker and not Garcia, who will also need a roster spot. It’s unfortunate because Justin Haley basically took up a spot on the roster all year for no freakin’ reason.
Haley only ended up pitching 18.0 innings for the Twins this year, and had a 6.00 ERA on the dot. Paul Molitor reportedly liked Haley’s “good eyes,” but the young pitcher was often injured during his time with the Twins. He’ll probably be most remembered for that game against the Tigers where he hit JaCoby Jones in the face with a pitch. It was quite clearly on accident, but then the Tigers tried to hit Miguel Sano with a pitch later and that whole brawl erupted where James McCann slapped Sano in the face with his catching mitt. So thanks for that, Haley.
This move also makes it slightly more likely that Bartolo Colon won’t be DFA’d after tonight’s game as predicted earlier, but the Twins do still need to make a 40-man roster spot for Jaime Garcia somehow...
UPDATE [7:20 pm CT]:
As Imakesandwichesforaliving kindly pointed out in the comments, the Twins actually have two open spots on the 40-man roster because they also DFA’d Craig Breslow yesterday. Hence, the Twins only need to make an extra 25-man roster spot for Garcia, which they could easily do by optioning Kyle Gibson back to Triple-A.
And then Bartolo is saved!