O's Add Loomis, Sweeney In Minor League Rule 5
BALTIMORE—The Orioles weren't one of the busier teams at the Winter Meetings in Dallas, but they made pretty good use of the Rule 5 draft.
Besides selecting infielder Ryan Flaherty from the Cubs in the major league phase, they also took lefthander Andy Loomis (Phillies) and infielder Matt Sweeney (Rays) in the minor league portion of the draft.
Loomis, 26, is 10-10, 3.34 over four minor league seasons. He went 1-2, 1.14, with 10 walks and 39 strikeouts in 32 innings with high Class A Clearwater in 2011.
The Marlins drafted Loomis in the 16th round in 2008 out of Purdue. The Phillies, who acquired him for future considerations in June 2011, left him off their 40-man and Triple-A rosters.
"He's a lefthanded pitcher that has had some success at Single-A and Double-A," scouting coordinator Matt Snyder said. "We're excited to have him. (He has) good control and strikes out a lot of guys.
"Our scouts have seen him a decent amount. He throws high 80s. They like the offspeed pitches . . . We've had a number of scouts see him the past few years."
Sweeney, 23, is a career .247/.329/.423 hitter in five minor league seasons in the Angels and Rays systems, after Los Angeles selected him in the eighth round of the 2006 draft out of a Maryland high school.
He went to the Rays in the August 2009 deal centered around Scott Kazmir. He batted .154/.262/.282 in 82 games with Double-A Montgomery in 2011.
"He's an infielder that can play first base, third base and DH," Snyder said. "He's a good hitter. We like his swing. He's had success at the Single-A level. He struggled a little bit at Double-A, but we're confident he can come in and help us. We're happy to have him."
The Orioles considered taking more than two players in the minor league phase of the draft, but they settled for Loomis and Sweeney.
"There was a thought," Snyder said. "The way it plays out, you go through a number of guys and you see who fits the needs and those were the two we decided on," Snyder said.
• The Orioles had not yet announced all of their minor league managers and coaches. Former Red Sox first-base coach Ron Johnson will manage at Triple-A Norfolk, with Gary Allenson expected to run extended spring training and manage at short-season Aberdeen.
• Fred Ferreira, hired as the Orioles' new director of international scouting, told MASNsports.com that he had reached agreements to hire 10 new international scouts. Ferreira said the scouts will work in Costa Rica, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, the Netherlands and Venezuela.