Atlanta Braves Select Armando Rivero in Rule 5 Draft

MESA, AZ - MARCH 2: Armando Rivero #81 of the Chicago Cubs poses for a portrait during Photo Day on March 2, 2015 at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Rich Pilling/Getty Images)

This season’s Winter Meetings are now over, and on the final day the MLB Rule 5 Draft was held. With the fifth pick, the Atlanta Braves selected RHP Armando Rivero from the Chicago Cubs. The 28-year-old Cuban native signed a contract with the Cubs in March of 2013, though he never made it above Triple-A Iowa.

Atlanta Braves Select Armando Rivero

Why Rivero?

Rivero is a strike out machine. According to Fangraphs.com, Rivero tallied 105 strikeouts in just 67.2 IP in 2016. Rivero is more than just a power arm. His arsenal also includes a slider and a changeup that grade out well above average. To go along with his arm talent, Rivero does a fantastic job leaving runners on base and keeping the ball in the ball park. Rivero has an impressive line over his eight professional seasons, with a career record of 21-15 and a 3.27 ERA in 393.1 innings.

Atlanta has had a tie to Rivero for quite some time now. A member of team Venezuela, Rivero has pitched under the watch of Braves first base coach Eddie Perez in winter ball.

Dave O’Brien also tweeted that Perez highly recommended the hard throwing righty.

How Long will Atlanta Have Him?

Due to the Rule 5 draft rules, Rivero must stay on the Braves 25-man roster for the season. If the Braves decide to cut ties with him at some point during this season, then he must clear waivers and be offered back to the Cubs for half of the $100,000 Atlanta paid to claim him. It would seem Rivero has a good shot of staying with the club all season long. If he can replicate last season’s Triple-A performance, he can solidify himself in a late inning role in a talented Braves bullpen.

Corresponding Move

To make room for Rivero, the Braves released RHP Williams Perez. The 25-year-old Venezuelan was plagued by injuries throughout his time in Atlanta. Over 31 games started, Perez has a record of 9-9 with a 5.18 ERA.

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I have been a Braves fan since before I could walk. I am thankful LWOS has given me the opportunity to cover all things Braves baseball. Beyond writing, I am a radio personality on 97.9 WSBM Fox Sports Shoals, located out of Florence, AL. During the season, two colleagues and I host a baseball show called Ahead in the Count, covering all baseball from our local high schools to the MLB. I also make regular appearances as the resident baseball guru on Matt in the Morning. Friend me on Facebook. I go live with baseball and other sports news often. I'm also a rapper... but I'm better at talking baseball.

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