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Padres return Rule 5 draft selection Blake Smith to White Sox

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres announced that Rule 5 draft pick Blake Smith has cleared waivers and will return whence he came, the White Sox organization. A converted outfielder, Smith split last season - just his third on the mound - between AA and AAA for the Dodgers and White Sox, and failed to impress during his time in camp with the Padres this Spring Training. He posted a 5.87 ERA in 7.1 innings over eight appearances, striking out nine batters and walking two while allowing a dozen hits.

As a Rule 5 pick, Smith would have had to stay on San Diego's 25-man roster for the entirety of the 2016 season. If any team had claimed him off waivers, they would have been held to the same regulations. However, now that he has been returned to the White Sox, his pre-draft organization, they are free to assign him wherever they see fit.