Double-A shortstop Richie Martin entered the offseason as the Athletics’ No. 12 overall prospect.
The 23-year-old Detroit native became part of the A’s system as Oakland’s first-round selection (No. 20 overall) in the 2015 amateur draft. He is now gone, the very first pick in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft, taken by the Orioles.
What that means is, Baltimore must keep Martin on its 25-man roster throughout the season and off the disabled list for at least 90 or offer him back to the A’s.
Martin is a career .257 hitter in four minor league seasons but is coming off his most successful season in which he slashed .300/.368/.439 with six home runs, 42 RBIs and 68 runs scored.
Joseph, who spent 11 seasons bouncing around the minor league systems of the Yankees, Orioles and Nationals before returning to Baltimore last season finally making his way to the big leagues.
The 30-year-old infielder is a career .285 hitter in the minors, posting a career-best .312 average last season with Double-A Bowie before getting a 14-game call-up to the Orioles when he 4-for-18 .222 with a double and three RBIs. Joseph has big league experience at first and second base.
Payton, 27, has spent five seasons since being selected in the seventh round of the 2014 draft in the Yankees system.
He has more than 90 minor league games of experience at all three outfield positions, the majority of which (171) in left field. Offensively, he is a .274 career hitter. For the first time in his professional career, Payton spent the entirety of the 2018 season at the Triple-A level, slashing .259/.368/.401 with six homers, 25 RBIs and 29 runs.
Miller, 24, has never played at a level higher than High-A.
The first baseman and 18th-round selection of Cleveland in the 2015 draft spent the last two seasons with High-A Lynchburg, batting .255 with 11 homers and 58 RBIs in 135 games. At 6-foot-4, 240 pounds Miller has never shown an abundance of power, swatting 25 long balls in 283 games — a 150-game average of 13.25.
All players not part of their team’s 40-man roster are made available in the Rule 5 Draft. Martin, who stole 25 bases, a career high, in 2018, was not among the list of minor leaguers protected by the A’s — a list that included pitchers Grant Holmes and James Kaprielian, and outfielders Skye Bolt and Luis Barrera, each of whom will enter Spring Training competing for one of the few remaining open active roster spots.