Last offseason, the Pirates took right-handed pitcher Jose Soriano with the first pick in the Rule 5 Draft. Unfortunately for both sides, a set of arm injuries derailed Soriano’s 2021 season, and he was returned to the Angels organization on Sunday. The Pirates had designated the right-hander for assignment last week to make room on the 40-man roster for infield prospect Diego Castillo.
Soriano was already coming off of Tommy John surgery when the Pirates selected him last December. As he worked his way back from the surgery, made two appearances with low-A Bradenton before it was determined that Soriano would require a second Tommy John surgery that would likely keep him out of action through the end of next season.
Since he was a Rule 5 selection who could not fulfill the in-season 26-man roster requirements , Soriano would have had to spend the whole offseason on the Pirates’ 40-man roster. Since he will likely not be seeing game action again until 2023, the burden weighed too heavy for the Pirates, who have to clear room on their 40-man roster by Friday to protect Rule 5-eligible prospects.
Instead, Soriano returns to the organization that signed him as an international free agent, and the Pirates receive $50,000 in return.