Rule 5 Draft puts Cats' Rickard in the big leagues - Tucson News Now

Rule 5 Draft puts Cats' Rickard in the big leagues

(Cover photo courtesy: MASN) (Cover photo courtesy: MASN)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Joey Rickard will become a major leaguer today.

The 2012 National Champion Arizona Wildcat was all but guaranteed a spot on the Baltimore Orioles Opening Day roster after his selection this past December in the Major League Rule 5 Draft.

Rickard though earned his keep this spring by batting .397 and he could find himself starting in centerfield today when the Orioles host the Minnesota Twins in 12:05 p.m. Tucson time first pitch at Camden Yards.  

Rickard is the second player from the Wildcats' 2012 National Championship team to reach the big leagues.   

Robert Refsnyder appeared in 16 games last summer for the New York Yankees. Refsnyder however will start this season in Triple-A, making Rickard the first of that talented 2012 Cats junior class to make a Major League Opening Day roster.

Rickard was originally drafted in 2012 by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 9th round. He’s batted .283 in four minor league season but may have jumped on the radar after he hit .321 and stealing 23 bases last season, including a .360 batting clip in 29 games at Triple-A Durham to end the season.

He was selected in the Rule 5 draft at a price of $50,000 by the Orioles.

The 24-year old must remain on the Baltimore’s 25-man active roster for the duration of the 2016 season.

If the Orioles at some point want to send Rickard down to the minor leagues, they would first have to offer him back to the Rays. 

By rule Tampa Bay could reclaim Rickard for a price of $25,000, decline his services at which point the Orioles could either waive Rickard and loss him completely or the two teams could work out a trade with Baltimore retaining the player but with the ability to utilize Rickard’s minor league options.

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

Stevie Katz contributed to this story.

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