Rule 5 Reports: Angels RHP Mason Tobin Selected by Cubs (and Traded to Rangers)


It’s yet another intra-divisional Rule 5 selection, and yet another pitcher, as the Rangers wound up with Angels farmhand Mason Tobin after acquiring him from the Cubs, who selected him with the seventh pick of the 2010 Rule 5 Draft.

Tobin, 23, has had great success when healthy, but has thrown exactly 40 innings in the past three years. He’s still never left A-ball. A righthander with good command and an excellent changeup, he’s been a starting pitcher throughout his career, but given his extensive injuries, he likely would have been moved to relief full-time in 2011.

Who knows what Tobin will bring after years of injuries? We do know that he’s a rarity here in that he was once a top 10 prospect in his organization, so he’s previously achieved a pretty high prospect profile: he’s only available for the obvious injury reasons. If he’s back to form, he has mid-rotation upside long-term (if he stays a starter; if not, he has setup upside), and his changeup may be good enough to make him a decent garbage-time reliever in 2011.

It’s anyone’s guess as to what will go down here, but just based on his former high status and intrigue, it’s easy to see what Texas was thinking, especially in stealing him from a division rival. If Tobin’s back to form, Texas keeps him and steals him from the Angels; if he isn’t, they can give him back with the inside knowledge he’s unlikely to help LA.