Apr 15, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; A cap rests on the dug out wall with the number 42 on the hat in honor of Major League Baseball’s Jackie Robinson Day. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since 2015, the St. Louis Cardinals made a selection in the major league phase of the Rule 5 Draft on Wednesday afternoon. It's safe to say he doesn't fit the usual profile of a Rule 5 pick.

The Cardinals picked right-handed reliever Wilking Rodriguez, who will turn 33 years old in March. He hasn't pitched in affiliated ball since 2015 and is a veteran of two major league games, both with the Kansas City Royals in 2014. But Rodriguez, who signed a minor league deal with the Yankees in late August, obviously was intriguing enough to the Cardinals that they were willing to take an exceptional measure to get him in their system.

Rodriguez, who must remain on the Cardinals' 26-man major league roster for the entire 2023 season or be offered back to the Yankees, has spent the last two seasons in the Mexican League. He impressed with Dos Laredos in 2022, posting a 2.01 ERA in 46 appearances while striking out 73 and walking 13 in 44.2 innings.

The Cardinals were also active in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft, selecting catcher Jose Alvarez from the Astros and right-handers Brandon Komar (Padres), Jose Martinez (Dodgers) and Ryan Shreve (Twins).

They lost infielder Evan Mendoza, a 2017 11th-round pick who spent the last two seasons with Triple-A Memphis.