The A’s added minor league right-hander Raul Alcantara to their 40-man roster Wednesday, protecting the pitcher from being chosen in next month’s Rule 5 draft.
The Rule 5 draft takes place on the final day of the winter meetings, and it’s a chance for clubs to snag unprotected players from other teams’ farm systems. Adding a player to the 40-man roster, and shielding him from the draft, is a sign that an organization thinks highly of that player.
Alcantara, who turns 21 next month, went 12-6 with a 3.11 ERA in 27 starts last season split between low Single-A Beloit and high Single-A Stockton. He tied for second in the A’s farm system in wins, ranked third in ERA, fourth in innings (156 1/3 ) and fifth in strikeouts (124).
Alcantara was part of the three-player package the A’s received from Boston in December 2011 in exchange for closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney. Oakland also received outfielder Josh Reddick and minor league infielder Miles Head. That trade has proven to be a smart one for the A’s, and it will look better if Alcantara develops into a contributing major leaguer.