Dodgers lose Wright in Rule 5 Draft
If lefty doesn't stick in Houston for 2008, LA regains rights
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Dodgers lost the one player they didn't want to lose in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday, when the Houston Astros selected left-handed reliever Wesley Wright for the $50,000 fee.
Wright, who turns 23 next month, was a seventh-round pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft. In 2007, he went 6-2 with a 2.47 ERA at Double-A Jacksonville, then struggled to a 1-2 record with a 9.18 ERA at Triple-A Las Vegas.
Dodgers management wasn't surprised that he was lost, but decided that he was a longshot to stick with any selecting club for the entire 2008 season and expected to regain his rights.
"He's a left-hander with good stuff and needs refinement with his command," said general manager Ned Colletti. "He pitched well at Double-A, but Vegas was a big leap for him, where the ballpark plays like a Little League field. We protected seven players, but took a chance with him."
The irony in losing Wright to Houston is that the Dodgers took D.J. Houlton from the Astros in the 2005 Rule 5 Draft, and he remained with the Dodgers' big league team the entire 2006 season.
In the Triple-A phase of the draft, the Astros took Dodgers Double-A pitcher Giuseppe Norrito, but the Dodgers then selected Houston Double-A left-handed pitcher Victor Garate. The Dodgers also lost catcher Juan Apodaca to Cincinnati in the Triple-A phase.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.