DALLAS -- As the biggest news of the baseball winter engulfed the Hilton Anatole on Thursday morning, the Cardinals did have some other business to tend to. St. Louis selected outfielder Erik Komatsu from the Washington organization in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft.
Komatsu, who turned 24 after the 2011 season, split the year between the Brewers' and Nationals' Double-A affiliates. He was Milwaukee's Minor League Player of the Year in 2010, and was traded for Jerry Hairston Jr. at the non-waiver Trade Deadline in July 2011.
A left-handed hitter out of Cal State-Fullerton, Komatsu was an eighth-round Draft pick by the Brewers in 2008. He batted a combined .277 with a .367 on-base percentage and .382 slugging percentage in 2011, with seven homers, 48 RBIs, 60 runs scored and 21 steals in 30 attempts.
The Cardinals will pay $50,000 to Washington for Komatsu's services, and must keep him on their 25-man roster (or Major League disabled list) for all of the 2012 season. Otherwise they would be required to offer him back to the Nationals for $25,000.
In the Minor League portion of the Rule 5 Draft, the Cardinals selected two players. They took left-handed pitcher Barret Browning from the Angels' organization and right-hander Shooter Hunt from the Twins' system. They lost righty Javier Avendano and catcher Charlie Cutler in the Minor League phase.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.