There was more than a little surprise at the winter meetings last December when Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik made a Rule 5 draft pick and took pitcher Jose Flores from Cleveland.
Under the rules of the draft, any player taken must remain on the 25-man roster all season or be offered back to his orginal team.
Given that Flores, 21, had never pitched above Class A, it seemed more than a long shot - more like a waste of inings and energy. Well, Flores pitched 4 2/3 innings this spring - including one in an intrasquad game - allowed five hits, four walks and five runs.
Today, the Mariners decided they'd rather have the roster spot than Flores, and sent him back to the Indians. They will get back half of the $50,000 the transaction cost.