Mariners add 2 in Rule 5's Minor League portion

Seattle selects lefty Paez, center fielder Taylor; Gadea plucked by Rays

Mariners add 2 in Rule 5's Minor League portion

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Mariners didn't select anyone in the Major League phase of Thursday's Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings, though they did lose promising right-handed reliever Kevin Gadea to the Rays.

Seattle did select left-handed reliever Paul Paez from the Mets and center fielder Chuck Taylor from the D-backs in the Minor League portion, while losing outfielder Austin Wilson to St. Louis.

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Paez, 24, combined for a 4-1 record and 3.88 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 55 2/3 innings with Class A Advanced St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton last season. He was selected by the Mets in the 38th round of the 2013 Draft out of Rio Hondo College in Whittier, Calif.

"Paez is a kid our scouts really liked," Mariners assistant general manager Jeff Kingston said. "He's a left-handed pitcher who throws strikes and can really spin a breaking ball. He's had a lot of success in the Minor Leagues and finished the year in Double-A last year."

Taylor, 23, hit .261 with a .354 on-base percentage in 83 games for Class A Visalia and Double-A Mobile this past year, with 11 doubles, four triples, four home runs and 30 RBIs.

"Taylor fits our organization really well," Kingston said. "He controls the zone, gets on base, he's a switch-hitter and has a good defensive skill set. We think he can help us in [Double-A] Arkansas next year."

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The Mariners weren't surprised to lose Gadea, a 22-year-old they couldn't fit onto the 40-man roster. The Nicaragua native was 4-1 with a 2.36 ERA with 95 strikeouts and 14 walks in 15 games, including eight starts, with the Rookie-level Arizona League Mariners and Class A Clinton.

"I think teams see him as a guy that got a lot of swings-and-misses in the Minor Leagues and throws strikes," Kingston said. "He's a prospect, for sure. He came on strong for us this year. Finished the year in Clinton and is pitching well in winter ball right now. He's durable and throws strikes. We like him. He's a good-looking kid."

Gadea will need to be kept on the Rays' 25-man Major League roster all season or be exposed to waivers and then offered back to Seattle for $50,000, which is half the $100,000 fee teams pay for each Major League Rule 5 selection.

Wilson was Seattle's second-round pick in 2013 out of Stanford, but he hit just .226 with 13 homers and 49 RBIs in 104 games with Class A Advanced Bakersfield last year. In four Minor League seasons, he's hit .249 with 42 homers and 179 RBIs in 344 games.

"Austin had a really nice year two years ago in Clinton and got hurt a little that year and was never able to get on track after that," Kingston said. "He's a great kid, hard worker, big upside and has the tools. He just really wasn't able to translate them into skills the last couple years."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.