Rule 5 Draft Pick Gus Varland Possibly Returning To Dodgers

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The Los Angeles Dodgers lost Gus Varland to the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2022 Rule 5 Draft, but they may soon find the right-hander back in their organization after he was designated for assignment.

The Brewers selected Garland from the Dodgers with the 10th pick in last year’s Rule 5 Draft. Players signed at age 18 or younger need to be added to their club’s 40-Man roster within five seasons or they become eligible for the draft, and players who signed at age 19 or older need to be protected within four seasons.

The players selected are assigned directly to the drafting club’s 26-man roster and must remain on the active roster for the season. To be removed from the 26-man roster, they must be placed on outright waivers.

If the player clears waivers, they must be offered back to his previous team, and they can only be sent to the Minor Leagues if the original club does not wish to re-acquire him. The Brewers may also attempt to trade Varland and have just under one week remaining to find a partner.

If another club claims or trades for Varland, they are subject to the same roster rules the Brewers faced. Should he return to the Dodgers, they would not be subject to the Rule 5 rules and he may rejoin their Minor League affiliates.

Varland was originally selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 2018 MLB Draft out of Concordia University before he was acquired by the Dodgers as part of a trade involving Adam Kolarek.

The 26-year-old went 4-4 with two saves, a 6.11 ERA, 1.64 WHIP and 85 strikeouts in 70.2 innings for Double-A Tulsa last year. He spent the past two seasons with the Drillers after pitching for the High-A Stockton Ports in 2019.

Varland’s 2021 season was not much better as he posted a 5.71 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. In his Minor League career, Varland has gone 7-10 with two saves, a 4.30 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 184 strikeouts and .249 batting average against in 169.2 innings.

At the Major League level, Varland pitched 8.2 innings with an 11.42 ERA, 9.54 FIP and 2.65 WHIP for the Brewers. He additionally had a higher walk rate (15.7%) than strikeout rate (11.8%).

Varland spent three weeks on the 15-day injured list after being hit in his pitching hand by a line drive. Varland was activated for the series against the Dodgers, and he threw 1.1 scoreless innings in an appearance against his former organization.

Varland did not appear in a game above Double-A before making his MLB debut.

Gus Varland and who else Dodgers lost in 2022 Rule 5 Draft?

In addition to Varland, the Dodgers also lost Ryan Noda and Jose Hernandez during the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. All three players made the Opening Day rosters of their selecting clubs.

Noda was selected by the Athletics and has found some success with his new club, slashing .215/.400/.421 with a 140 wRC+ in 41 games. Hernandez has also been a solid contributor to the Pirates, pitching to a 3.12 ERA in 17.1 innings out of the bullpen while striking out 9.87 hitters per nine and walking just 1.56 per nine.

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