My gut feeling is Song won't work out; Dombrowski's smart, but I can't imagine not one of the 10 or 15 teams picking ahead of the Phillies didn't know about him or think about this, and they reckon he can't stick as a Rule 5 if he gets the waiver, or just don't figure he'll get the waiver. But Dombrowski knows the kid, so he figured it was worth it. As he said, it's a long shot. And if you read his quotes it explains why it could be exciting (if you think Dave Dombrowski - as well as that Red Sox front office at the time - is a good judge of baseball talent, which I reckon people do!)
The Phillies took Noah Song, the Red Sox’s fourth-round pick out of the Naval Academy in 2019, even though the right-hander has just 17 pro innings on his resume, and none since 2019. Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was with the Red Sox when they drafted Song, so he was well aware of his upside.
Boston had hoped Song would be able to get out of his Naval commitment, but that has not come to pass, and he’s been on the military reserve list as he served. The Phillies can keep him on that list, so he won’t take up a spot on the 40-man roster, making it as low risk as possible.
“We made sure to double-check that he was available to be drafted, which he was,” Dombrowski said. “I knew him at the time (of the 2019 Draft). We loved him. We thought he was a No. 1 Draft choice; we thought he might be the best starting pitcher in the country. We took a gamble at that point because we thought maybe he wouldn’t have to serve, but he ended up having to do that.
“Being available like this, we really had nothing to lose. We like his talent a lot. We get to put him on the military list right off the bat, so he’s not on our 40-man roster. We figured we’d take a chance and just see what ends up happening. This is a long shot by all means, but it’s worth taking a shot, we thought. I don’t know if anybody knows exactly when he’ll be released from his service. But for the cost of the Draft, we thought it was worth taking him.”
Once Song is reinstated from the military reserve list, he is subject to the usual Rule 5 requirements, meaning he must be placed on the active Major League roster and remain there for the full season.