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The 1997 MLB Expansion Draft was held November 18, 1997. This expansion draft was conducted by Major League Baseball 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.



Each expansion franchise paid a fee of $130 million directly to baseball's central fund, broken out as follows: $32 million in July 1995, $25 million in July 1996, $40 million in July 1997 and $33 million in November 1997. In addition, the two expansion teams gave away their rights to $5 million from baseball's central fund for each of the five years following expansion (1998-2002). This brought the total franchise fee to $155 million for each team.

Expansion draft

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. Thus, the Devil Rays and Diamondbacks gained 35 players each. 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:

  • For the first round, 15 players from the rosters of their entire organization—both their 40-man roster, plus all minor league affiliates.
  • Each team could add three more players to its protected list after each round.
  • In addition to the above, players chosen in the 1996 and 1997 amateur drafts were automatically protected, plus players who were 18 or younger when signed in 1995.

Round 1

Pick Player Position From To
1 Tony Saunders LHP Fla TB
2 Brian Anderson LHP Cle Ari
3 Jeff Suppan RHP Bos Ari
4 Quinton McCracken OF Col TB
5 Gabe Alvarez 3B SD Ari
6 Bobby Abreu OF Hou TB
7 Jorge Fábregas C CWS Ari
8 Miguel Cairo 2B CHC TB
9 Karim García OF LA Ari
10 Rich Butler OF Tor TB
11 Edwin Diaz IF Tex Ari
12 Bobby Smith 3B Atl TB
13 Cory Lidle RHP NYM Ari
14 Jason Johnson RHP Pit TB
15 Joel Adamson LHP Mil Ari
16 Dmitri Young 1B Cin TB
17 Ben Ford RHP NYY Ari
18 Esteban Yan RHP Bal TB
19 Yamil Benitez OF KC Ari
20 Mike DiFelice C StL TB
21 Neil Weber LHP Mon Ari
22 Bubba Trammell OF Det TB
23 Jason Boyd RHP Phi Ari
24 Andy Sheets IF Sea TB
25 Brent Brede OF Min Ari
26 Dennis Springer RHP Ana TB
27 Tony Batista IF Oak Ari
28 Dan Carlson RHP SF TB

Round 2

Pick Player Position From To
29 Tom Martin LHP Hou Ari
30 Brian Boehringer RHP NYY TB
31 Omar Daal LHP Tor Ari
32 Mike Duvall LHP Fla TB
33 Scott Winchester RHP Cin Ari
34 John LeRoy RHP Atl TB
35 Clint Sodowsky RHP Pit Ari
36 Jim Mecir RHP Bos TB
37 Danny Klassen IF Mil Ari
38 Bryan Rekar RHP Col TB
39 Matt Drews RHP Det Ari
40 Rick Gorecki RHP LA TB
41 Todd Erdos RHP SD Ari
42 Ramón Tatis LHP CHC TB
43 Chris Clemons RHP CWS Ari
44 Kerry Robinson OF StL TB
45 David Dellucci OF Bal Ari
46 Steve Cox 1B Oak TB
47 Damian Miller C Min Ari
48 Albie Lopez RHP Cle TB
49 Hector Carrasco RHP KC Ari
50 Jose Paniagua RHP Mon TB
51 Hanley Frias SS Tex Ari
52 Carlos Mendoza OF NYM TB
53 Bob Wolcott RHP Sea Ari
54 Kevin Sefcik LF Phi TB
55 Mike Bell 3B Ana Ari
56 Santos Hernandez RHP SF TB

Round 3

Pick Player Position From To
57 Joe Randa 3B Pit Ari
58 Randy Winn OF Fla TB
59 Jesus Martinez LHP LA Ari
60 Terrell Wade LHP Atl TB
61 Russ Springer RHP Hou Ari
62 Aaron Ledesma IF Bal TB
63 Bryan Corey RHP Det Ari
64 Brooks Kieschnick OF CHC TB
65 Kelly Stinnett C Mil Ari
66 Luke Wilcox OF NYY TB
67 Chuck McElroy LHP CWS Ari
68 Herbert Perry IF Cle TB
69 Marty Janzen RHP Tor Ari
70 Vaughn Eshelman LHP Oak TB



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