LAS VEGAS -- The Toronto Blue Jays picked up right-handed pitcher Elvis Luciano from the Kansas City Royals on Thursday in the Rule 5 draft while losing Canadian right-hander Jordan Romano in the selection process.
Luciano, an 18-year-old from the Dominican Republic, is 9-6 with a 3.37 earned-run average through two seasons in rookie league affiliates with Arizona and Kansas City.
He signed with the Diamondbacks as a 16-year-old international free agent on Oct. 1, 2016.
Toronto will need to keep Luciano on its 25-man major-league roster for the entire 2019 season or offer him back to the Royals for US$50,000, half the price the Blue Jays paid to draft him.
The Rule 5 draft is a means of preventing teams from hoarding major-league ready talent in the minor leagues.
The Blue Jays lost Romano, a 25-year-old from Markham, Ont., to the White Sox with the third overall selection Thursday. Chicago then traded him to the Texas Rangers in exchange for cash considerations.
Toronto also lost lefty Travis Bergen, who went to San Francisco with the ninth pick.
Romano was 11-8 with a 4.13 ERA over 25 starts at double-A New Hampshire last season. He also made one start at triple-A Buffalo, allowing two runs over five innings to pick up the win.
Romano won nine straight decisions from April 4 to May 27 before struggling with consistency over the remainder of the season.
One of Toronto's most recent Rule 5 success stories was right-hander Joe Biagini, who they plucked from the Giants in 2015.
Biagini went on to pitch to a 3.06 ERA in 2016, striking out 62 batters and walking 19 over 67 2/3 innings out of the bullpen.
Toronto also selected right-hander David Garner from the Chicago Cubs Thursday in the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 draft.
Garner was suspended for 100 games last season following a third "drug of abuse" violation of baseball's minor league drug program.
The Rule 5 draft concludes the annual winter meetings.