Royals pass in Rule 5 but lose two pitchers

Sparkman goes to the Blue Jays while Stumpf picked by Tigers

Royals pass in Rule 5 but lose two pitchers

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Royals passed on selecting a player at Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, but they lost right-hander Glenn Sparkman to the Blue Jays and left-hander Daniel Stumpf to the Tigers.

Sparkman, 24, was a 20th-round pick in 2013. He had Tommy John surgery in 2015 and returned to make 16 starts through four Minor League stops in 2016, posting a combined 5.22 ERA.

The Royals lost Stumpf for the second straight season. He was picked by the Phillies in last year's Rule 5 Draft, was suspended for PED use and was released after giving up six runs in five innings over seven big league appearances. Kansas City eventually re-signed Stumpf, 25, and he posted a 2.11 ERA in 14 games at Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

"We weren't really surprised those guys got picked," Royals assistant general manager J.J. Picollo said. "We were just hopeful they would get through. We like them a lot."

The Royals did select 22-year-old right-hander Kelvin Magallanes from the Yankees in the Minor League portion of the Rule 5 Draft. Magallanes has a 6.89 ERA in four seasons of Rookie ball. But Magallanes has not allowed a home run in 160 2/3 innings.

"Truthfully, his ground-ball rate really stood out for us," Picollo said. "That skill attracted us. You try to identify one skill in guys like that. Good sinker-ball guy."

Picollo said Magallanes likely will start out at Rookie ball again or possibly Class A.

The Royals could use bullpen help at the Major League level, but Picollo said no one stood out in the Rule 5 Draft that the team felt could make the 25-man roster and stay there a full season.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.