1997 Major League Baseball expansion draft

1997 MLB expansion draft

The logo for the 1997 MLB expansion draft
General information
Date(s) November 18, 1997
Location Phoenix Civic Center
First selections
Overall selections 70

The 1997 Major League Baseball expansion draft was conducted by Major League Baseball (MLB) on November 18, 1997, in the Phoenix Civic Center[1] to stock the major league rosters of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks, new major league expansion franchises that were set to start play in the 1998 season. Tampa Bay was to join the American League East division, displacing the Detroit Tigers (who moved to the American League Central division, thus displacing the Milwaukee Brewers, who moved to the National League Central division), and Arizona joined the National League West division.


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 new 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:

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. Tampa Bay won the toss and chose to select first.


The Devil Rays reportedly considered trading the player they were to select first.[5] They chose Tony Saunders from the Florida Marlins.[6]

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).
Dmitri Young was selected by the Devil Rays from the Reds, and then traded back to the Reds.
Round Pick Player Position From To
11 Saunders, TonyTony Saunders Left-handed pitcherFlorida MarlinsTampa Bay Devil Rays
12 Anderson, BrianBrian Anderson Left-handed pitcherCleveland IndiansArizona Diamondbacks
13 Suppan, JeffJeff Suppan Right-handed pitcherBoston Red SoxArizona Diamondbacks
14 McCracken, QuintonQuinton McCracken OutfielderColorado RockiesTampa Bay Devil Rays
15 Alvarez, GabeGabe Alvarez Third basemanSan Diego PadresArizona Diamondbacks
16 Abreu, BobbyBobby Abreudouble-dagger OutfielderHouston AstrosTampa Bay Devil Rays
17 Fábregas, JorgeJorge Fábregas CatcherChicago White SoxArizona Diamondbacks
18 Cairo, MiguelMiguel Cairo Second basemanChicago CubsTampa Bay Devil Rays
19 García, KarimKarim García OutfielderLos Angeles DodgersArizona Diamondbacks
110 Butler, RichRich Butler OutfielderToronto Blue JaysTampa Bay Devil Rays
111 Díaz, EdwinEdwin Díaz InfielderTexas RangersArizona Diamondbacks
112 Smith, BobBob Smith Third basemanAtlanta BravesTampa Bay Devil Rays
113 Lidle, CoryCory Lidle Right-handed pitcherNew York MetsArizona Diamondbacks
114 Johnson, JasonJason Johnson Right-handed pitcherPittsburgh PiratesTampa Bay Devil Rays
115 Adamson, JoelJoel Adamson Left-handed pitcherMilwaukee BrewersArizona Diamondbacks
116 Young, DmitriDmitri Youngdouble-dagger First basemanCincinnati RedsTampa Bay Devil Rays
117 Ford, BenBen Ford Right-handed pitcherNew York YankeesArizona Diamondbacks
118 Yan, EstebanEsteban Yan Right-handed pitcherBaltimore OriolesTampa Bay Devil Rays
119 Benitez, YamilYamil Benitez OutfielderKansas City RoyalsArizona Diamondbacks
120 DiFelice, MikeMike DiFelice CatcherSt. Louis CardinalsTampa Bay Devil Rays
121 Weber, NeilNeil Weber Left-handed pitcherMontreal ExposArizona Diamondbacks
122 Trammell, BubbaBubba Trammell OutfielderDetroit TigersTampa Bay Devil Rays
123 Boyd, JasonJason Boyd Right-handed pitcherPhiladelphia PhilliesArizona Diamondbacks
124 Sheets, AndyAndy Sheets InfielderSeattle MarinersTampa Bay Devil Rays
125 Brede, BrentBrent Brede OutfielderMinnesota TwinsArizona Diamondbacks
126 Springer, DennisDennis Springer Right-handed pitcherAnaheim AngelsTampa Bay Devil Rays
127 Batista, TonyTony Batistadouble-dagger InfielderOakland AthleticsArizona Diamondbacks
128 Carlson, DanDan Carlson Right-handed pitcherSan Francisco GiantsTampa Bay Devil Rays
229 Martin, TomTom Martin Left-handed pitcherHouston AstrosArizona Diamondbacks
230 Boehringer, BrianBrian Boehringer Right-handed pitcherNew York YankeesTampa Bay Devil Rays
231 Daal, OmarOmar Daal Left-handed pitcherToronto Blue JaysArizona Diamondbacks
232 Duvall, MikeMike Duvall Left-handed pitcherFlorida MarlinsTampa Bay Devil Rays
233 Winchester, ScottScott Winchester Right-handed pitcherCincinnati RedsArizona Diamondbacks
234 LeRoy, JohnJohn LeRoy Right-handed pitcherAtlanta BravesTampa Bay Devil Rays
235 Sodowsky, ClintClint Sodowsky Right-handed pitcherPittsburgh PiratesArizona Diamondbacks
236 Mecir, JimJim Mecir Right-handed pitcherBoston Red SoxTampa Bay Devil Rays
237 Klassen, DannyDanny Klassen InfielderMilwaukee BrewersArizona Diamondbacks
238 Rekar, BryanBryan Rekar Right-handed pitcherColorado RockiesTampa Bay Devil Rays
239 Drews, MattMatt Drews Right-handed pitcherDetroit TigersArizona Diamondbacks
240 Gorecki, RickRick Gorecki Right-handed pitcherLos Angeles DodgersTampa Bay Devil Rays
241 Erdos, ToddTodd Erdos Right-handed pitcherSan Diego PadresArizona Diamondbacks
242 Tatís, RamónRamón Tatís Left-handed pitcherChicago CubsTampa Bay Devil Rays
243 Clemons, ChrisChris Clemons Right-handed pitcherChicago White SoxArizona Diamondbacks
244 Robinson, KerryKerry Robinson OutfielderSt. Louis CardinalsTampa Bay Devil Rays
245 Dellucci, DavidDavid Dellucci OutfielderBaltimore OriolesArizona Diamondbacks
246 Cox, SteveSteve Cox First basemanOakland AthleticsTampa Bay Devil Rays
247 Miller, DamianDamian Millerdouble-dagger CatcherMinnesota TwinsArizona Diamondbacks
248 Lopez, AlbieAlbie Lopez Right-handed pitcherCleveland IndiansTampa Bay Devil Rays
249 Carrasco, HéctorHéctor Carrasco Right-handed pitcherKansas City RoyalsArizona Diamondbacks
250 Paniagua, JoséJosé Paniagua Right-handed pitcherMontreal ExposTampa Bay Devil Rays
251 Frias, HanleyHanley Frias ShortstopTexas RangersArizona Diamondbacks
252 Mendoza, CarlosCarlos Mendoza OutfielderNew York MetsTampa Bay Devil Rays
253 Wolcott, BobBob Wolcott Right-handed pitcherSeattle MarinersArizona Diamondbacks
254 Sefcik, KevinKevin Sefcik OutfielderPhiladelphia PhilliesTampa Bay Devil Rays
255 Bell, MikeMike Bell Third basemanAnaheim AngelsArizona Diamondbacks
256 Hernández, SantosSantos Hernández Right-handed pitcherSan Francisco GiantsTampa Bay Devil Rays
357 Randa, JoeJoe Randa Third basemanPittsburgh PiratesArizona Diamondbacks
358 Winn, RandyRandy Winndouble-dagger OutfielderFlorida MarlinsTampa Bay Devil Rays
359 Jesús Martínez Left-handed pitcherLos Angeles DodgersArizona Diamondbacks
360 Wade, TerrellTerrell Wade Left-handed pitcherAtlanta BravesTampa Bay Devil Rays
361 Springer, RussRuss Springer Right-handed pitcherHouston AstrosArizona Diamondbacks
362 Ledesma, AaronAaron Ledesma InfielderBaltimore OriolesTampa Bay Devil Rays
363 Corey, BryanBryan Corey Right-handed pitcherDetroit TigersArizona Diamondbacks
364 Kieschnick, BrooksBrooks Kieschnick OutfielderChicago CubsTampa Bay Devil Rays
365 Stinnett, KellyKelly Stinnett CatcherMilwaukee BrewersArizona Diamondbacks
366 Luke Wilcox OutfielderNew York YankeesTampa Bay Devil Rays
367 McElroy, ChuckChuck McElroy Left-handed pitcherChicago White SoxArizona Diamondbacks
368 Perry, HerbertHerbert Perry InfielderCleveland IndiansTampa Bay Devil Rays
369 Janzen, MartyMarty Janzen Right-handed pitcherToronto Blue JaysArizona Diamondbacks
370 Eshelman, VaughnVaughn Eshelman Left-handed pitcherOakland AthleticsTampa Bay Devil Rays

Post-draft trades

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.[6]


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.[7] Two weeks following the draft, the Diamondbacks traded Fryman and Martin for Matt Williams.[8]

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 sluggers Jose Canseco, Vinny Castilla, and Greg Vaughn while the Diamondbacks added Randy Johnson, Todd Stottlemyre, Steve Finley, Armando Reynoso, Greg Swindell and Greg Colbrunn.[9] While the Devil Rays consistently finished last in the AL East, the Diamondbacks won the 2001 World Series.[9]


  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. 1 2 3 Topkin, Marc (November 16, 1996). "Expansion team feels another draft coming Series: DEVIL RAYS REPORT; COUNTDOWN to OPENING DAY: 505 days". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
  5. Beaton, Rod (November 18, 1997). "Devil Rays weighing offers for first choice in the draft". USA Today. p. 2C. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
  6. 1 2 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.
  7. Chass, Murray (November 18, 1997). "BASEBALL EXPANSION DRAFT; Arizona Gives Bell $34 Million For 5 Years". The New York Times.
  8. Kepner, Tyler (October 29, 2001). "World Series; Williams Ends Boos With Just One Swing". The New York Times. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  9. 1 2 Chass, Murray (October 26, 2001). "WORLD SERIES PREVIEW; Arizona, Tampa Bay: One Is Up, The Other...". The New York Times. Retrieved October 27, 2011.

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