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Yankees lose five Minor Leaguers in Rule 5 Draft

Yankees lose five Minor Leaguers in Rule 5 Draft

Yankees lose five Minor Leaguers in Rule 5 Draft

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Yankees lost five players in Thursday morning's Rule 5 Draft, including reliever Tom Kahnle and outfielder Ravel Santana, who was once considered one of the club's top prospects before a devastating ankle injury in 2011.

Because the Yankees' 40-man roster was full, they were ineligible to select in the Major League phase of the Draft. A Yankees person said that they were not surprised that Kahnle had been chosen and that the organization was pleased it did not lose more players.

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Kahnle, 24, was selected by the Rockies with the fourth overall selection. The right-handed reliever was 1-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 46 appearances at Double-A Trenton last season. In 60 innings, he allowed 38 hits with 45 walks and 75 strikeouts.

Kahnle must remain on the Rockies' 25-man Major League roster all season or be offered back to the Yankees for $25,000 -- half the price of a Rule 5 Draft selection. The Minor League phase works differently, as those players are now the property of the selecting clubs.

In the Triple-A phase, the Astros selected Santana, the Reds selected right-hander Mikey O'Brien and the Pirates selected right-hander Felipe Gonzalez. In the Double-A phase, the Marlins selected right-hander Kelvin Castro.

Santana, 21, cracked some rankings of the Yankees' Top 10 prospects before suffering a devastating ankle injury in 2011 that involved fractures and ligament damage. He batted .216 with three homers and 19 RBIs in 60 games with Class A Staten Island last season.

The 23-year-old O'Brien, a ninth-round selection by the Yankees in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, was a combined 8-10 with a 4.17 ERA in 27 games (25 starts) this year with Class A Tampa and Double-A Trenton.

Gonzalez, 22, was signed out of Mexico and played four seasons with the Yankees' Dominican Summer League squads before appearing stateside this past year. He was 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA in 11 games (five starts) for the Gulf Coast Yankees.

Castro, 25, was originally an infielder in the Yankees' system and converted to pitching in 2012. He was a combined 2-2 with a 3.21 ERA in 20 relief appearances for Class A Staten Island and Class A Charleston this past season.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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