In their only major move of this past week’s Winter Meetings, the Red Sox selected Astros infield prospect Jonathan Arauz with their lone pick in the major-league portion of Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft.
Arauz, 21, had been part of the Astros organization since December 2015, when he came over from the Philadelphia Phillies in the trade that sent Ken Giles to Houston exactly four years ago Thursday.
The selection of Arauz marks the first time since 2016 that Boston took a player in the Rule 5 Draft. That player? Josh Rutledge, who had signed a minor-league deal with the Colorado Rockies that November before making his return to the Sox’ active roster.
As it goes for all players selected in the major-league portion of the Rule 5 Draft, Arauz must stay on Boston’s 26-man roster or injured list throughout the 2020 season. If he does not, then he would have to be offered back to Houston.
According to the Red Sox’ vice president of professional scouting Gus Quattlebaum, Arauz, a native of Panama, will be given the chance to compete for a utility role with Boston come the spring.
Other infielders the switch-hitting Arauz could be competing with include C.J. Chatham, Marco Hernandez, and Tzu-Wei Lin.
Previously ranked as the No. 25 prospect in the Astros farm system, Arauz’s tenure in the minors has not been all smooth sailing. In fact, he was handed down a 50-game suspension in April 2017 for testing positive for the banned stimulant methamphetamine.
As the first tweet above from the Red Sox mentions, the club now has 37 players on their 40-man roster.
Turning to the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 Draft now, the Sox also selected 22-year-old Jose Espada from the Toronto Blue Jays and 28-year-old Raynel Espinal from the New York Yankees, both of whom are right-handed pitchers who will more than likely begin 2020 with Triple-A Pawtucket.