San Francisco Giants pick up a bullpen arm on final day of Winter Meetings

The SF Giants selected right-handed pitcher Dany Jimenez in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOV. 13: Gabe Kapler is introduced as the new manager of the San Francisco Giants by Farhan Zaidi, president of baseball operations, during a press conference Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)
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SAN DIEGO — For the second consecutive offseason, the Giants are attempting to turn a former Blue Jays minor leaguer into a valuable major league reliever.

A year after selecting left-hander Travis Bergen in the Rule 5 Draft, the Giants wrapped up the Winter Meetings by drafting right-hander Dany Jimenez out of Toronto’s organization.

Jimenez, who will turn 26 later this month, posted a 2.59 ERA in 59 innings across two levels this season in the Blue Jays’ farm system. After a solid start to the year with High-A Dunedin, the hard-throwing reliever thrived in a 25-game stint with Double-A New Hampshire.

“We were hoping that he would fall to us,” general manager Scott Harris said. “A righty who touches the upper 90s, downward slider with huge performance on both pitches.”

Bergen pitched in 21 games for the Giants last year but battled a shoulder injury and was ultimately returned to the Blue Jays in August when San Francisco decided it didn’t have room for him on the 25-man roster. Jimenez will be subject to the same Rule 5 regulations which will require him to remain on the team’s active roster when healthy.

MLB is adding a 26th player to rosters next season and if Jimenez performs well during spring training, the Giants will be motivated to keep him with the big league club. Jimenez must remain active with the Giants for a minimum of 90 days next year to avoid being subjected to the same Rule 5 restrictions in 2020.

Harris said the decision to select a player in the Rule 5 draft fits with the Giants’ model of using creative ways to acquire young talent.

In president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi’s first offseason with the Giants last year, the organization selected two players in the Rule 5 draft as Bergen was joined by Houston Astros outfield prospect Drew Ferguson. Ferguson struggled throughout spring training and was returned to the Astros organization before the start of the regular season.

Toward the end of Cactus League play, the Giants also acquired Cincinnati Reds Rule 5 pick, Connor Joe, in a trade. Joe began the year as the Giants’ Opening Day left fielder but went 1-for-15 before he was placed on outright waivers and ultimately sent back to the Dodgers organization.

The Giants did not lose any prospects in the major league portion of Thursday’s Rule 5 draft, but they did have three players selected out of the organization in the minor league phase. Pitcher Adam Oller was chosen by the Mets, pitcher Miguel Figueroa was taken by the Reds and infielder Manuel Geraldo was selected by the Nationals.

Very few players drafted in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft have ever become productive major league players.

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