Cubs select Cutler in Rule 5 Draft's Triple-A phase
Left-handed-hitting catcher the lone pick as Chicago loses four players
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Cubs selected catcher Charles Cutler from the Pirates' Double-A affiliate on Thursday in the Triple-A Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, and lost four players overall, including pitcher Marcos Mateo and first baseman Justin Bour.
The Cubs did not have a pick in the first round of the Major League phase as they forfeited it to the Phillies, who had filed a grievance over Lendy Castillo, who spent most of the 2012 season on the disabled list. The Cubs did have a chance to pick a player in the second round of the Major League phase, but passed.
Mateo was the only player the Cubs lost in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. Teams pay $50,000 to select a player in the Major League phase, and if that player does not stay on the selecting team's 25-man roster for the full season, he must be offered back to his former team for $25,000.
It costs $12,000 to take a player in the Triple-A phase and $4,000 in the Double-A portion. In those phases, there are no rules about what level the selected prospect must play to remain with his new organization.
Mateo, 29, compiled a 1.74 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 31 innings at three Minor League levels last season.
Cutler, 27, batted .298 in 86 games at Double-A Altoona last season, hitting 16 doubles, three home runs and driving in 26. He was the Cardinals' 14th-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, and this is the second time Cutler has been picked in the Rule 5 Draft. He was the Pirates' selection in the Minor League phase after the 2011 season.
He began the 2013 season as the backup at Altoona behind Carlos Paulino. In 30 games behind the plate, Cutler threw out 21 percent of basestealers and had no passed balls.
"He was a guy we targeted," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said of Cutler. "We're always looking for catching. He's a left-handed-hitting catcher with some on-base skills. At that part of the Draft, we don't have the strings attached and it's nice to be able to acquire a player like that. He was a guy who stuck out."
In the Triple-A phase of the Draft, the Cubs lost three players. Bour was picked by the Marlins, outfielder Julio Borbon selected by the Orioles, and pitcher A.J. Morris selected by the Pirates.
Bour, 25, batted .237 in 83 games at Double-A Tennessee last season. He sustained a hairline fracture in his left wrist that limited his playing time.
Borbon, 27, was with the Cubs in 2013, and batted .200 in 73 games. He batted .260 at Triple-A Iowa in 2013. Morris, 27, was 4-2 with a 4.75 ERA in 31 games (10 starts) at Tennessee.
The Cubs have taken pitchers in each of the last two Rule 5 Drafts under Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, including Hector Rondon, who will be in the mix for a setup role in 2014.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.