Twins add INF Machado in Rule 5 Draft

Twins add INF Machado in Rule 5 Draft

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Twins general manager Terry Ryan made it clear this week that infield depth was something the team would have to likely address before Spring Training.

The club gave itself at least one option in that department Thursday morning when the Twins selected shortstop Alejandro Machado from the Washington Nationals in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft.

Machado spent last season with Boston Triple-A affiliate Pawtucket. He batted .260 with 12 doubles, four triples, four home runs and 32 RBIs in 116 games. Machado was then signed to a Minor League deal by Washington in November.

Known mostly for his solid glove, Machado can play a variety of positions in the infield. Offensively, he's not the strongest player but seems to fit what the Twins could be looking for as a reserve player.

"He's a middle infielder and a veteran player, which is a different sort of player than we usually take in the Draft," said Vern Followell, the Twins' pro scouting coordinator. "He has a lot of experience and is more of a defensive guy. But we are looking for backup help at the Major League level and we're hoping that he can fit."

Despite being considered a veteran, Machado is just 24 years old. He was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Braves on July 2, 1998.

"He's still a younger guys but one that has played a long time," Followell said. "He's played a lot in Triple-A and been through a lot of organizations so he's doesn't have a problem hanging in there and fitting in on a Major League roster.

This is the second time that Machado was selected in the Rule 5 Draft. In 2004, Machado was taken by Boston from the Nationals.

The Twins also selected right-handed pitcher Jesse Floyd and third baseman Brian Buscher, both from the San Francisco organization, in the Triple-A phase of the Draft.

Minnesota did lose four players from the organization in the Draft, most notably by name left-hander pitcher Justin Jones. The 22-year-old, selected by the Nationals in the Triple-A portion, was taken off the Twins' 40-man roster earlier this offseason. Jones was the lone player the Twins received when they traded Doug Mientkiewicz at the trade deadline in 2004.

Right-handed pitchers Kevin Cameron was selected by San Diego and Levale Speigner was also selected by the Nationals in the Major League portion of the Draft. Outfielder Erold Andrus was chosen by Tampa Bay as well in the Triple-A phase. A total of 46 players were taken overall in the three phases of the draft.

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.