Pirates lose three, including Oliver, in Rule 5 Draft

Waldron, Urena selected in Triple-A phase; Bucs make no picks for third straight year

Pirates lose three, including Oliver, in Rule 5 Draft

SAN DIEGO -- In the Triple-A portion of Thursday morning's Rule 5 Draft, the Cardinals selected a right-hander with the first name Tyler out of the Pirates' Minor League system.

But relax -- his last name is Waldron, not Glasnow.

Tyler Waldron and Luis Urena, another right-hander taken by Tampa Bay, were both plucked off Double-A Altoona's roster in the Draft's Triple-A phase.

The Pirates did lose one pitcher in the Major League phase of the annual Draft -- left-hander Andy Oliver was selected by the Phillies.

The Bucs themselves did not make a selection, for the third year in a row. Pittsburgh was eligible to participate, with one opening on its 40-man roster. The Pirates, however, will need that slot and one additional vacancy when tentative contracts with free-agent pitchers Francisco Liriano and Radhames Liz are finalized.

With Oliver being a left-hander with some big league experience, he figured to appeal to a team optimistic it could yet get him on the right track. Beset by chronic control problems, Oliver last appeared in the Majors in 2011 with Detroit and spent all last season with Triple-A Indianapolis, where he walked 47 in 64 innings as he converted to relief work, appearing in 48 games.

However, Oliver, 27, did have 85 punchouts and an ERA of 2.53 with the Indians. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington recognized he was one of the risky omissions when the club set its 40-man roster for Rule 5 protection.

"Some guys we were uneasy about leaving unprotected," Huntington said. "We'll leave it to the other teams to do their work and figure out which they like. I would've been more surprised if we didn't lose anybody."

"It's always a calculated risk," assistant GM Kyle Stark said on the floor of the Rule 5 Draft.

Waldron, 25, was signed as a fifth-round choice in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft and has gone 27-30 with a 4.50 ERA in five pro seasons, including 3-3 in 23 games last season.

Urena, 22, batted .216 as an outfielder in 2010-13 and transitioned to pitching in 2014, when he posted a 5.25 ERA in 17 relief appearances for Jamestown of the lower Class A New York-Pennsylvania League.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.