Red Sox lose Michael Almanzar in Rule 5 draft

Rob Bradford
December 12, 2013 - 5:03 am

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It just hasn't worked out for the Red Sox and Michael Almanzar like either party had planned. Now it will be the Orioles who will be giving it a try. The 23-year-old third baseman was selected by Baltimore in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft Thursday, with the Red Sox having chose to not place Almanzar on the 40-man roster earlier this offseason. It was the second straight season he had been eligible for the Rule 5 draft, having not been selected last time around. In order to keep Almanzar, the Orioles will have to carry him on their major league roster for the entire '14 season. If they choose not to have him on their team, and can't work out a trade with the Red Sox, the O's will be required to return the 6-fooot-3, righty hitter back to Boston. Playing at Double-A Portland (see stats here), Almanzar started '13 showing some of the promise that led the Red Sox to sign him to a $1.5 million bonus as a teenage out of the Dominican Republic in '08. But he would tail off, finishing with a .760 OPS, .268 batting average and 16 home runs. Defensively, he projects to be capable at either third or first base (having started his career as a shortstop). The Red Sox 40-man roster is currently full, with the team needing to make a move before officially adding Mike Napoli. With Napoli having undergone some routine medical tests earlier this week, the first baseman's announcement is expected as early as Thursday.