The Winter Meetings ended on Wednesday afternoon and executives have gone home from Nashville. It was an uneventful week. The biggest news was the fact that there was no big news to report. Shohei Ohtani remains a free agent as the baseball world awaits his announcement any day now. The biggest free agents all remain unsigned. There were minor trades made. The Juan Soto trade happened after everyone had left the country music capitol. The World Series champion Texas Rangers did not go home empty-handed. They did sign right-handed reliever Kirby Yates. The more intriguing pickup was who they drafted in the Rule 5 draft.
The Rule 5 draft takes place at the end of the Winter Meetings every year. It is a chance for teams to pick players who organizations have chosen not to protect. These are players who have been in the organization for at least three seasons if they are from college or four seasons if they were drafted out of high school or an international signing. Texas in this draft did lose Justin Slaten , who was drafted by the Mets. He was then subsequently traded to the Boston Red Sox. Texas then followed up that loss by picking up right-handed reliever Carson Coleman.
Texas picks up a potential late inning reliever
Coleman was drafted by Texas out of the New York Yankees organization. The Yankees left Coleman unprotected as he is still recovering from Tommy John surgery that he underwent back in April of 2023. He was one of the Yankees top relief pitching prospects before the surgery. In 2022 Coleman had a fantastic season. He had a 2.13 ERA in 63 1/3rd innings pitched. He saved 19 games in 21 opportunities. Coleman held batters to a .170 batting average.
Coleman features a fastball that sits in the mid to upper 90s and can get as high as 98mph. In an interview back in January with New Jersey Advance Media, he described his fastball as a rise-run fastball. He said this about it in the interview,
"I have all the little things that go into what makes a fastball good. A lot of it is my lower arm slot. That’s what makes the appearance of the rise. And then me throwing three-quarters is what gets some of the run. That’s why it’s a rise-run fastball"- Carson Coleman
He also throws a slider and a changeup that he has been working to improve upon. He throws from a 3/4 arm slot giving the ball the appearance of rising in the strike zone. He has trained with Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler in the past. He is a high-character guy who is very involved with charity work.
Coleman will likely come to camp and still be rehabbing his surgically-repaired elbow. Coleman as a Rule 5 draftee has to spend at least 90 days on the major league roster for Texas to retain his rights past 2024. Texas can stash Coleman on the 60-day IL to start the season. He can go on a 30-day rehab assignment by June. Then Texas can bring him up by July 1st and if he stays on the roster for the rest of the season then Texas will hold on to his rights for at least the next five seasons.
Texas made a short term play in signing Kirby Yates for one season and a long-term play in drafting Carson Coleman. In a week when little to no moves were being made, Texas might have made two moves that will significantly help this franchise be able to repeat as World Series champions in 2024.