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1997 Major League Baseball expansion draft

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1997 Major League Baseball expansion draft
1997 MLB expansion draft logo.png
The logo for the 1997 MLB expansion draft
General information
Date(s)November 18, 1997
LocationPhoenix Civic Center
70 total selections
First selectionTony Saunders (Tampa Bay Devil Rays)
← 1992

On November 18, 1997, Major League Baseball (MLB) held an expansion draft to allow two expansion teams, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, to build their rosters prior to debuting in the National League West and American League East divisions, respectively, in the 1998 MLB season. The draft took place in the Phoenix Civic Center in Phoenix, Arizona.[1]


Following the success of the 1993 expansion, which added the Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins, MLB in 1994 set up an expansion committee to add two expansion teams.[2] Tampa Bay and Phoenix were chosen for the two expansion franchises.[3]


Similar to the 1992 expansion draft, both expansion teams selected 35 players.[4] The draft was divided into three rounds. Each team would select 14 players in round 1, 14 players in round 2, and 7 players in round 3. Tampa Bay general manager Chuck LaMar and Arizona general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. oversaw their teams' selections.

The Devil Rays and Diamondbacks could pick any player not on the protected lists of the 28 other teams, although no team could lose more than one player in a given round. The protected list for each team consisted of:

  • For the first round, 15 players from the rosters of their entire organization—both their 40-man roster, plus all minor league affiliates.[4]
  • Each team could add three more players to its protected list after each round.[4]
  • All players in an organization were eligible to be drafted, except those with no prior major league experience who had less than three years service if signed at age 19 or older, or had less than four years of service if signed at age 18 or younger.[5]
  • Players who were free agents after the end of the 1997 season need not be protected.

As with the 1992 expansion draft, the order was determined by a coin toss. The winner of the toss could choose either: (a) The first overall pick in the expansion draft or (b) allow the other team to pick first and receive both the second and third overall expansion draft picks and the right to pick first in the subsequent rounds of the expansion draft. Arizona won the toss and chose to select second.


The Devil Rays reportedly considered trading the player they were to select first.[6] They chose Tony Saunders from the Florida Marlins.[7]


Note, each noted All-Star player achieved that status in later season(s).

The Rays traded Bobby Abreu prior to the season for Kevin Stocker.
The Rays traded Bobby Abreu prior to the season for Kevin Stocker.
Miguel Cairo has played for 10 different Major League teams at 7 different positions (counting DH).
Miguel Cairo has played for 10 different Major League teams at 7 different positions (counting DH).
Dmitri Young was selected by the Devil Rays from the Reds, and then traded back to the Reds.
Dmitri Young was selected by the Devil Rays from the Reds, and then traded back to the Reds.
Round Pick Player Position From To
1 1 Tony Saunders Left-handed pitcher Florida Marlins Tampa Bay Devil Rays
1 2 Brian Anderson Left-handed pitcher Cleveland Indians Arizona Diamondbacks
1 3 Jeff Suppan Right-handed pitcher Boston Red Sox Arizona Diamondbacks
1 4 Quinton McCracken Outfielder Colorado Rockies Tampa Bay Devil Rays
1 5 Gabe Alvarez Third baseman San Diego Padres Arizona Diamondbacks
1 6 Bobby Abreudouble-dagger Outfielder Houston Astros Tampa Bay Devil Rays
1 7 Jorge Fábregas Catcher Chicago White Sox Arizona Diamondbacks
1 8 Miguel Cairo Second baseman Chicago Cubs Tampa Bay Devil Rays
1 9 Karim García Outfielder Los Angeles Dodgers Arizona Diamondbacks
1 10 Rich Butler Outfielder Toronto Blue Jays Tampa Bay Devil Rays
1 11 Edwin Díaz Infielder Texas Rangers Arizona Diamondbacks
1 12 Bob Smith Third baseman Atlanta Braves Tampa Bay Devil Rays
1 13 Cory Lidle Right-handed pitcher New York Mets Arizona Diamondbacks
1 14 Jason Johnson Right-handed pitcher Pittsburgh Pirates Tampa Bay Devil Rays
1 15 Joel Adamson Left-handed pitcher Milwaukee Brewers Arizona Diamondbacks
1 16 Dmitri Youngdouble-dagger First baseman Cincinnati Reds Tampa Bay Devil Rays
1 17 Ben Ford Right-handed pitcher New York Yankees Arizona Diamondbacks
1 18 Esteban Yan Right-handed pitcher Baltimore Orioles Tampa Bay Devil Rays
1 19 Yamil Benitez Outfielder Kansas City Royals Arizona Diamondbacks
1 20 Mike DiFelice Catcher St. Louis Cardinals Tampa Bay Devil Rays
1 21 Neil Weber Left-handed pitcher Montreal Expos Arizona Diamondbacks
1 22 Bubba Trammell Outfielder Detroit Tigers Tampa Bay Devil Rays
1 23 Jason Boyd Right-handed pitcher Philadelphia Phillies Arizona Diamondbacks
1 24 Andy Sheets Infielder Seattle Mariners Tampa Bay Devil Rays
1 25 Brent Brede Outfielder Minnesota Twins Arizona Diamondbacks
1 26 Dennis Springer Right-handed pitcher Anaheim Angels Tampa Bay Devil Rays
1 27 Tony Batistadouble-dagger Infielder Oakland Athletics Arizona Diamondbacks
1 28 Dan Carlson Right-handed pitcher San Francisco Giants Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2 29 Tom Martin Left-handed pitcher Houston Astros Arizona Diamondbacks
2 30 Brian Boehringer Right-handed pitcher New York Yankees Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2 31 Omar Daal Left-handed pitcher Toronto Blue Jays Arizona Diamondbacks
2 32 Mike Duvall Left-handed pitcher Florida Marlins Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2 33 Scott Winchester Right-handed pitcher Cincinnati Reds Arizona Diamondbacks
2 34 John LeRoy Right-handed pitcher Atlanta Braves Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2 35 Clint Sodowsky Right-handed pitcher Pittsburgh Pirates Arizona Diamondbacks
2 36 Jim Mecir Right-handed pitcher Boston Red Sox Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2 37 Danny Klassen Infielder Milwaukee Brewers Arizona Diamondbacks
2 38 Bryan Rekar Right-handed pitcher Colorado Rockies Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2 39 Matt Drews Right-handed pitcher Detroit Tigers Arizona Diamondbacks
2 40 Rick Gorecki Right-handed pitcher Los Angeles Dodgers Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2 41 Todd Erdos Right-handed pitcher San Diego Padres Arizona Diamondbacks
2 42 Ramón Tatís Left-handed pitcher Chicago Cubs Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2 43 Chris Clemons Right-handed pitcher Chicago White Sox Arizona Diamondbacks
2 44 Kerry Robinson Outfielder St. Louis Cardinals Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2 45 David Dellucci Outfielder Baltimore Orioles Arizona Diamondbacks
2 46 Steve Cox First baseman Oakland Athletics Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2 47 Damian Millerdouble-dagger Catcher Minnesota Twins Arizona Diamondbacks
2 48 Albie Lopez Right-handed pitcher Cleveland Indians Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2 49 Héctor Carrasco Right-handed pitcher Kansas City Royals Arizona Diamondbacks
2 50 José Paniagua Right-handed pitcher Montreal Expos Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2 51 Hanley Frias Shortstop Texas Rangers Arizona Diamondbacks
2 52 Carlos Mendoza Outfielder New York Mets Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2 53 Bob Wolcott Right-handed pitcher Seattle Mariners Arizona Diamondbacks
2 54 Ryan Karp Left-handed pitcher Philadelphia Phillies Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2 55 Mike Bell Third baseman Anaheim Angels Arizona Diamondbacks
2 56 Santos Hernández Right-handed pitcher San Francisco Giants Tampa Bay Devil Rays
3 57 Joe Randa Third baseman Pittsburgh Pirates Arizona Diamondbacks
3 58 Randy Winndouble-dagger Outfielder Florida Marlins Tampa Bay Devil Rays
3 59 Jesús Martínez Left-handed pitcher Los Angeles Dodgers Arizona Diamondbacks
3 60 Terrell Wade Left-handed pitcher Atlanta Braves Tampa Bay Devil Rays
3 61 Russ Springer Right-handed pitcher Houston Astros Arizona Diamondbacks
3 62 Aaron Ledesma Infielder Baltimore Orioles Tampa Bay Devil Rays
3 63 Bryan Corey Right-handed pitcher Detroit Tigers Arizona Diamondbacks
3 64 Brooks Kieschnick Outfielder Chicago Cubs Tampa Bay Devil Rays
3 65 Kelly Stinnett Catcher Milwaukee Brewers Arizona Diamondbacks
3 66 Luke Wilcox Outfielder New York Yankees Tampa Bay Devil Rays
3 67 Chuck McElroy Left-handed pitcher Chicago White Sox Arizona Diamondbacks
3 68 Herbert Perry Infielder Cleveland Indians Tampa Bay Devil Rays
3 69 Marty Janzen Right-handed pitcher Toronto Blue Jays Arizona Diamondbacks
3 70 Vaughn Eshelman Left-handed pitcher Oakland Athletics Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Post-draft trades

The Rays purchased Tampa native Fred McGriff from the Atlanta Braves after the draft.
The Rays purchased Tampa native Fred McGriff from the Atlanta Braves after the draft.

Once the draft was completed a number of trades were made. Teams had to wait until after the draft or risk losing their newly acquired players because they were not on their protected lists.[7]

  • The Devil Rays traded Bobby Abreu to the Philadelphia Phillies for Kevin Stocker
  • The Devil Rays traded Andy Sheets and Brian Boehringer to the San Diego Padres for John Flaherty
  • The Devil Rays traded Dmitri Young to the Cincinnati Reds for Mike Kelly
  • The Devil Rays purchased Fred McGriff from the Atlanta Braves
  • The Diamondbacks traded Gabe Alvarez, Joe Randa, and Matt Drews to the Detroit Tigers for Travis Fryman
  • The Diamondbacks traded Scott Winchester to the Cincinnati Reds for Félix Rodríguez
  • The Diamondbacks traded Jesus Martinez to the Florida Marlins for Devon White
  • The Diamondbacks traded Chuck McElroy to the Colorado Rockies for Harvey Pulliam


The Diamondbacks intended to spend money. The day prior to the expansion draft, they signed Jay Bell to a $34 million contract across five years.[8] Two weeks following the draft, the Diamondbacks traded Fryman and Martin for Matt Williams.[9]

The Devil Rays and Diamondbacks had differing results in their first years in MLB. Both teams altered their initial plans of developing youth; the Devil Rays acquired future Hall of Famer Wade Boggs and pitcher Wilson Alvarez along with sluggers Jose Canseco, Vinny Castilla, and Greg Vaughn while the Diamondbacks added Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Luis Gonzalez, Todd Stottlemyre, Steve Finley, Armando Reynoso, Greg Swindell, Tony Womack, Mark Grace, Reggie Sanders, Craig Counsell and Greg Colbrunn.[10] While the Devil Rays consistently finished last in the AL East for the next decade, the Diamondbacks won the 2001 World Series.[10]


  1. ^ "Expansion teams draft prospects then get caught up in trade winds". The Washington Times. November 19, 1997. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
  2. ^ Justice, Richard (March 3, 1994). "Baseball eyes addition of its 29th, 30th teams". The Washington Post. p. D1. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
  3. ^ Lipton, Eric; Maske, Mark (March 10, 1995). "Virginia gets no promise - Locals eye existing teams - Tampa, Phoenix get new ones". The Washington Post. p. F1. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Topkin, Marc (November 16, 1996). "Expansion team feels another draft coming Series: DEVIL RAYS REPORT; COUNTDOWN to OPENING DAY: 505 days". Retrieved October 19, 2011.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Beaton, Rod (November 18, 1997). "Devil Rays weighing offers for first choice in the draft". USA Today. p. 2C. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
  7. ^ a b Diaz, George (November 19, 1997). "DEVIL RAYS GRAB MCGRIFF, SAUNDERS TAMPA BAY TRADED FOR ATLANTA'S FRED MCGRIFF AND TOOK FLORIDA'S TONY SAUNDERS WITH ITS TOP PICK". Orlando Sentinel. p. C1. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
  8. ^ Chass, Murray (November 18, 1997). "BASEBALL EXPANSION DRAFT; Arizona Gives Bell $34 Million For 5 Years". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Kepner, Tyler (October 29, 2001). "World Series; Williams Ends Boos With Just One Swing". The New York Times. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  10. ^ a b Chass, Murray (October 26, 2001). "WORLD SERIES PREVIEW; Arizona, Tampa Bay: One Is Up, The Other..." The New York Times. Retrieved October 27, 2011.

External links

This page was last edited on 10 November 2021, at 23:14
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