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Marlins protect four players from Rule 5 Draft

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Photo: MiLB.com

The Miami Marlins purchased the contracts of four Minor Leaguers on Friday: right-handers Luis Castillo and Drew Steckenrider, along with infielders Austin Nola and J.T. Riddle. Miami will be protecting these four players from the Rule 5 Draft next month. Friday was the deadline for teams to add players to their 40-man rosters who were eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, which is scheduled to take place on December 8.

According to MLBPipeline.com, Castillo is the Marlins fifth-best prospect. Riddle is ranked as the 11th best prospect in the Marlins farm system. Castillo and Steckenrider will most likely start at Triple-A New Orleans next season, but both have the capability to make it to the major leagues by next season.

Castillo is coming off a season where he was named Florida State League Pitcher of the Year. Castillo, 23, started in Class A Advanced Jupiter before finishing the season in Double-A Jacksonville. In 131 2/3 innings, Castillo combined for an 8-6 record with a 2.26 ERA. Castillo was part of a seven-player trade with the San Diego Padres in July, but he was sent back to the Marlins after Colin Rea injured his elbow in his only start with the Marlins.

Steckenrider is a reliever who struck out 15 batters in 13 innings in the Arizona Fall League. Riddle has the potential to be a utility player. He combined to bat .276 with 53 RBI’s in Double and Triple-A last year. Nola, the brother of Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola, has played in 566 Minor League games, and he’s spent parts of the last two seasons in New Orleans.

Miami’s 40-man roster is at 36 after they claimed Elvis Araujo from Philadelphia on Friday. Miami risks losing three prospects ranked in the organization’s Top 30, as sixth-ranked outfielder Austin Dean, 28th-ranked Raudel Lazo, and 29th-ranked Jose Adames could all be intriguing picks for other clubs.