Friday, December 10, 2010

See Ya Scotty

Widely covered already, the Braves lost LHP Scott Diamond to the Minnesota Twins in yesterday's Rule 5 Draft. I probably wouldn't be holding true to my "Atlanta Braves fan from Upstate, NY" blog intent if I didn't specifically highlight this move.

Diamond wasn't a top-level prospect for the Braves (hence the reason why the team didn't protect him with their open 40-man roster spot), but he is a product of Upstate, NY. Despite being from Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Diamond pitched collegiately for the Division I Binghamton University Bearcats in Vestal, NY. Binghamton also happens to be in the same conference (America East), and serves as the main rival, of my alma mater, the University at Albany. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by Atlanta in 2007. While I wasn't tuned in enough to college baseball at the time Diamond pitched for the Bearcats to see him play, I enjoyed following him through the Braves minor league system over the past year or two due to his connection to Upstate, NY.

Diamond pitched well in 2010 between Double A Mississippi and Triple A Gwinnett, but he was caught in the middle of a stocked Atlanta pitching prospect group. His selection by the Twins gives him a pretty solid major league chance. Minnesota has bullpen needs that might allow him to fill a lefty specialist role and there are still some questions at the back end of their starting rotation.

But there's still a chance Diamond could return to the Braves system. As compensation for the pick, the Twins sent Atlanta $50,000. Rule 5 requires Minnesota to keep him on the team's 25-man roster for the entire 2011 season in order to guarantee his rights. If they don't, the team must offer Diamond back to the Braves for $25,000. I'd love to see him return as a Brave, but it would certainly be exciting to see him given a shot at the big leagues.

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