Blue Jays select RHP Joe Biagini in Rule 5 Draft


The Toronto Blue Jays have selected 25-year old pitcher Joe Biagini in round one of the MLB Rule 5 Draft. Biagini was a member of the San Francisco Giants organization, where he’s spent the entirety of his professional career since being drafted in the 26th round in 2011 out of UC Davis. 

Biagini spent the 2015 season with the AA Richmond Flying Squirrels of the Eastern League, enjoying the strongest season of his career over 22 starts in 23 games. In those 130.1 innings (128.0 IP in 2014), he posted a 2.42 ERA and 1.12 WHIP while allowing an opponent’s average of .228.

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Now that he’s been selected, Toronto will pay $50,000 to the Giants and be required to keep Biagini on their active 25-man roster for the entirety of the 2016 season. Should they choose to remove him from the roster at any time, he must be offered back to San Francisco for a fee of $25,000. Essentially, this pick is a $25,000 gamble that Biagini will stick. Given the price of pitching around baseball, file this one under “Why not?”.

Given that he’d be looking up at Jesse Chavez, Aaron Sanchez and Drew Hutchison for a starting rotation job, it seems likeliest that he’d be given an opportunity to win the role that Toronto may have had in mind for Yusmeiro Petit.

Chavez opening the season in the bullpen would give the Jays a “long man”, mostly by default, but Biagini can now represent a backup to that plan that comes with some upside. At 6’4″, 215 pounds, you’ll see the word “workhorse” tagged to Biagini often in scouting reports, and some believe he has the potential to eat up innings at the Major League level should he continue to take steps forward.