Dave Dombrowski works Phillies magic again with unthinkable Rule 5 pick

Noah Song at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo on November 17, 2019. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP)
Noah Song at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo on November 17, 2019. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP) /

The Phillies select RHP Noah Song from the Red Sox in the MLB Rule 5 Draft.

After a stellar week of helping the Philadelphia Phillies sign shortstop Trea Turner, starting pitcher Taijuan Walker and reliever Matt Strahm, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski has made another remarkable move.

With the 20th pick in Wednesday evening’s 2022 Major League Baseball Rule 5 Draft, Dombrowski made a selection that no one saw coming.

The Phillies opted to pluck Naval Academy alumnus Noah Song from the Boston Red Sox — a right-handed pitcher who has not thrown professionally since 2019 because of his active service commitment to the United States Navy. Then-Red Sox executive Dombrowski originally drafted the California native in the fourth round of the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft out of the United States Naval Academy.

Song is a highly touted prospect whom Red Sox fans were eager to see back on the baseball mound. Now, he could work his way to becoming one of the more popular Rule 5 Draft selections in Phillies history. Of course, who could forget the Draft for helping the organization land eventual 2008 World Series champion outfielder Shane Victorino?

Clubs without a full 40-man roster can select certain non-40-man roster players from other teams. Essentially, any selected player must remain on the big-league roster the entire season or be offered back to his original organization.

For Song, his case is unique, as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Scott Lauber notes. Since he is doing active service, he will not count against the Phillies’ 40-man roster or be subject to Rule 5 rules. Lauber adds that once Song finishes his military service — or the Navy grants his petition to serve in the reserves while pitching — he would have to stay on Phillies’ roster for an entire season.

For now, the 25-year-old heads to the military list.


Song’s lone professional outings for the Red Sox organization came in 2019 — when in seven starts for the Short-Season A Lowell Spinners, he recorded a 1.06 ERA, 0.882 WHIP and 19-5 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 17 innings.

It will be interesting to see how the Phillies handle Song and keep him on the Major League roster once he is ready to return to professional baseball. Albeit a small sample size, his statistics from three years ago are surely promising.

In the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 Draft, the Phillies selected seven players — including shortstop Pedro Martinez from the Tampa Bay Rays. While having the same name as another former Red Sox, this Martinez is not the Hall of Famer who appeared in the 2009 World Series for the Phillies.

The Rule 5 Draft marks the end of the Winter Meetings in San Diego. Considering the slew of moves the team made in recent days, the meetings undoubtedly were a huge success for Dombrowski and company.

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