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Cubs Lose Armando Rivero In Rule 5 Draft

This annual draft concludes the 2016 Winter Meetings.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cuban-born righthander Armando Rivero has been a particular favorite of many here. He’s always had a good arm, but never got the call to the major leagues with the Cubs, not even for a September callup.

Thursday morning, the Atlanta Braves used the fifth pick in the Rule 5 draft to select Rivero.

The Cubs signed him out of Cuba in 2013 and he made his way steadily through the system. In 2016 he had a pretty good year at Triple-A Iowa: 2.13 ERA, 1.123 WHIP, and 105 strikeouts in 67⅔ innings.

Rivero will turn 29 in February and will have to remain on the Braves’ 25-man roster all year (or disabled list, teams have used this before, including the Cubs -- but the player must be active for at least 90 days) or be offered back to the Cubs for half the $100,000 price paid. Occasionally, teams work out trades so that the drafting team can keep the player, which means if the Braves want to keep Rivero but don’t have room on their big-league roster, they could make a deal with the Cubs to keep him.

The Cubs did not select anyone for their own 40-man roster in the major-league phase of the Rule 5 draft.

In the Triple-A phase of the draft, the Cubs selected Kevin Cornelius, a shortstop from the Yankees organization, who was on their Double-A Trenton roster. Cornelius hasn’t played a full season in four minor-league years, but has a .383 OBP in 581 professional plate appearances.

The Cubs lost Daniel Lockhart to the Braves in the Triple-A phase. Lockhart has been in the organization for six years, peaking at Double-A (except for two games at Iowa in 2013). He was the Cubs’ 10th-round pick in 2011 and is the son of former major league player Keith Lockhart, who is now a scout in the Cubs organization.