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MLB Winter Meetings Day 4: Rule 5 Draft Day (AKA Steal Some Talent Day)

The MLB winter meetings in Orlando, Fla., are winding down which means for most GMs, a trip back to their winter homes in places like Toronto or Cleveland. For Kevin Towers and the Diamondbacks staff, it's a cross-country trip from mid-60's weather back home to mid-70s weather. Arizona might not be able to field a decent baseball team, but the weather sure can't be beat!

In non-weather related baseball news, the Diamondbacks used their number three pick in the MLB Rule 5 Draft to snag a pitcher away from division rival / World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. The Diamondbacks plucked left-handed pitcher Joe Paterson out of that winning organization where he was relegated to the minor leagues thanks to the strength of the Giants pitching staff.

Paterson now comes to the Diamondbacks where according to yet another arcane MLB rule, he will have to stay on the 25-man major league roster all season or he gets offered back to the Giants for half of the $50,000 the Diamondbacks paid to steal him. It's similar to the return policy at Walmart but less complicated.

For more on the Rule 5 Draft rules, visit Wikipedia who's founder has not to the best of our knowledge been arrested for sex-related "crimes".

Paterson, 24, is a legit prospect with a 3.03 ERA (22 ER in 65.1 IP) with 26 walks and 64 strikeouts over 53 games between Single-A San Jose and Triple-A Fresno last season. Over parts of four seasons in the Giants' farm system, he owned a 20-12 record and 2.64 ERA (64 ER in 218.0 IP) in 175 games. He limited the opposition to a .222 batting average (178-for-802) with 80 walks and 232 strikeouts.

In 2009, Paterson finished third in the Eastern League with 55 games played and was named to the EL mid-season All-Star Team. Paterson was selected by the Giants in the 10th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft out of Oregon State University, where he was a member of the Beavers team that won the 2006 College World Series.

The Diamondbacks also selected Jose Rivero, an outfielder from the Seattle organization. Rivero hit .272 with 41 RBI and seven home runs in the Mariners' Rookie and single-A system last year. He mostly played in left field.

The Diamondback made one more move today, giving up Ceasar Valdez to complete the Zach Duke trade with the Pirates. AZ Snakepit isn't all that sad to see him go.

Valdez appeared in nine games for the Diamondbacks last year, but posted an unimpressive 7.65 ERA, allowing 29 hits and 10 walks in twenty innings. He worked just shy of a hundred innings in Reno, with a 5.90 ERA there, and a K:BB ratio of 92:49. He is still fairly young (25), but had spent most of the past two years at Triple-A, without showing much sign of improvement. He feels more like a AAAA player than anything, so I've no problem at this point with his departure.