A few notes before I call it a night (I’ll be back on tomorrow night right up until the deadline):
On the first round front:
- There were reports the O’s were about to sign No. 4 overall pick Brian Matusz to a deal worth $3.1 million (plus a big-league deal). While I’ve learned it’s close, nothing is done and the figures being reported are not what’s being discussed currently.
- Who knows what’s going on with Josh Fields and the Mariners — it’s amazing to consider (despite my earlier reported theory) that the college senior hasn’t signed. I’ve learned that the Mariners have offered something in the vicinity of a $1.5 million, which would slot in nicely at that spot.
- There have been a lot of reports on the double-trouble of the Boras factor and an injury with Allan Dykstra, the No. 23 pick. At one point in time, the Padres have offered a $1.4 million bonus, though I’m not sure that’s still on the table.
One last later-round note. Tim Melville was expected to be a first-rounder heading into this past season, but some early subpar efforts and a college commitment led him to slide to the Royals in the fourth round. There’s nothing official to report here yet, but don’t be surprised to see Melville become a Royal tomorrow at some point.
A couple of things I’m hearing…
The San Jose-Mercury News was reporting that No. 5 pick Buster Posey was on the cusp of signing a deal worth a reported $7.5 million. No confirmation as of yet — Giants are being tight-lipped — but if I find anything out to confirm this, I’ll pass it along.
Things are looking dicey with No. 7 pick Yonder Alonso and the Cincinnati Reds. The Cincy Enquirer talked to Alonso, and he said he’s not budging on his initial contract demainds — $7 million and a big-league contract. I’ve learned the Reds aren’t budging right now either from their “final” offer. Not sure exactly what that is, but one guess was that it was about $500,000 above slot for that position. No. 6 pick Kyle Skipworth got $2.3 million and No. 8 pick Gordon Beckham signed yesterday at $2.6 million. I’m no mathmetician, but that can’t be much more than $3 mil or so — not even close to Alonso’s asking price.
No. 9 pick Aaron Crow has signed with the indy-league Fort Worth Cats. The two sides seem far apart on this one.
The Mariners don’t have the same pressure to sign No. 20 pick Josh Fields that other teams do. Frankly, I didn’t realize this until recently, but because Fields is a senior, the Mariners actually have until next spring (before the next draft) to sign him. He can’t go back to school. One interesting theory is that Fields’ advisor Scott Boras is trying to drive up the price for Fields to make more money for his unsigned juniors (Alvarez and Dykstra now, others in the future). The idea is that if he can get more money for Fields, a senior, then using the threat of sending his junior clients back to school for their senior year has more credibility. Just a theory, but makes some sense, no?
More later on…
Told you, I’d be back soon. Just wanted to pass along some information, rather than just links to news stories. Frankly, there’s not a whole lot going on right now and I think there’s going to be some chain reaction stuff going on, particularly with the college hitters. There are 11 first-round picks still unsigned. Five of them — Pedro Alvarez, Eric Hosmer, Josh Fields, Allan Dykstra and Gerrit Cole — are represented by Scott Boras. No one said this was going to be boring. Here’s what’s out there as of now:
2. Pirates — Pedro Alvarez: The Pirates are being tight-lipped, other than to say that negotiations are on-going. This was one I figured would come down to the wire, anyway, but I did hear from a sort-of second-hand source that the two sides aren’t all that far apart.
3. Royals — Eric Hosmer: Really nothing new to report. Hosmer is playing in a tournament over the weekend and things will get cooking next week. The Royals went down this road with Moustakas last year and got it done.
4. Orioles — Brian Matusz: Both sides want to get something done, though it was characterized as not being close, but not that far apart, either. (As an aside, 8th round pick Bobby Bundy was in Baltimore for a physical today and was expected to sign pending the results — he did have a torn ACL last winter).
5. Giants — Buster Posey: This one will go down to the 11th hour. Rumors, if you recall, were that Posey was looking for some serious cashola bonus-wise.
7. Reds — Yonder Alonso: It hasn’t been going great, but the Reds are still fairly confident they’ll get it done. Look for it to be above-slot. An odd side note: The agent representing Alonso also reps Jim Morris, the University of Miami baseball coach. Yep, Alonso went to Miami…just adds some drama.
8. White Sox — Gordon Beckham: The organization feels pretty good he’ll sign, though nothing concrete has materialized as of yet.
9. Nationals — Aaron Crow: There have been all sorts of reports that talks aren’t “going well,” but who knows how much of that is posturing. Word was Crow was looking for a big-league deal at one point in time.
11. Rangers — Justin Smoak: I haven’t been hearing much on this front. I can see this one being tied to what Alonso signs for at No. 7.
20. Mariners — Josh Fields: Even though he’s a Boras guy, I’m surprised at this one. The college seniors, even those represented by Boras, usually sign more quickly than this. Some feel Boras is trying to up the price on seniors, so his juniors will get even more money in the future. This guy needs to sign — he could be getting big-league time by now.
23. Padres — Allan Dykstra: He’s a Boras guy and he’s got some health concerns (hip). One probably makes the other more complicated. This one was reported as done a while back, but that was a bit premature.
28. Yankees — Gerrit Cole: It’s expected to happen, though don’t be surprised if it goes down to the deadline. (Another aside: they’ll likely sign supplemental first-round pick Jeremy Bleich, but not second-rounder Scott Bittle)
More as I hear about it…
Now that the trade deadline has passed (you can see my various blog posts on that craziness over at my Minors blog, B3), it’s time to focus on the next big deadline: the draft signing deadline. That’s coming at 12 p.m. ET on Aug. 15. To get ourselves ready (I’ll also be doing some blogging on Geeking about showcases — the East Coast Showcase begins today), let’s take a look at some of the latest on the unsigned first-rounders, starting with the unsigned in the to 10.
2. Pirates (Pedro Alvarez): Coonelly ‘frustrated by Alvarez negotiations
3. Royals (Eric Hosmer): Royals now focused on signing picks
4. Orioles (Brian Matusz): Is no news good news? There’s been nothing written lately.
5. Giants (Buster Posey): Nothing new to report here.
7. Reds (Yonder Alonso): Feet dragging on signing picks?
8. White Sox (Gordon Beckham): No news of late.
9. Nationals (Aaron Crow): Slow negotiations with Crow
I’ll be working the phones and the emails in the next couple of weeks trying to get the scoop on what’s going on, so stay tuned…
See what happens when I stay away from here for a little while? A few guys actually sign, though still relatively nothing to report from the Top 10 front…
No. 12 overall Jemile Weeks signed with the A’s. He was in Oakland on Tuesday, but got overshadowed by the big Rich Harden trade. Rickie’s younger brother will go to full-season Kane County in the Midwest League to begin his career. Reported bonus: $1.9 million.
The 19th pick in the draft, Andrew Cashner, has reportedly come to terms with the Cubs. He may workout with the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Thursday. Reported bonus: $1.54 million.
No. 21 Ryan Perry has reportedly signed with the Tigers. He should start out in Class A Advanced Lakeland and could see Detroit’s bullpen in September. Reported bonus: $1.48 million.
Missed this one last week, but the Twins did sign No. 27 pick Carlos Gutierrez. The University of Miami closer will head to Class A Advanced Fort Myers. Reported bonus: $1.25 million.
A couple of big ones going down today:
No. 13 overall pick Brett Wallace was in St. Louis today with the announcement he had officially come to terms with the Cardinals. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch report, the bonus was $1.84 million. He got to take BP at Busch Stadium this afternoon and it’s his bat that should carry him quickly to the big leagues. Interestingly, the Cards evidently think he’ll continue to improve at third base and will be able to stay at that position, an opinion that would be a minority one if you were to poll most scouting directors, I’m sure. Wallace will head to Quad Cities in the Midwest League to begin his pro career.
Anthony Hewitt, one of the fastest risers as the draft came around, ended up going No. 24 overall to the Phillies. There was some question about what it would take to sign him away from his Vanderbilt commitment. Evidently, it was $1.38 million. He’ll get to take the obligatory batting practice in the big-league park before heading down to Clearwater to get some Gulf Coast League time in. A shortstop in high school that no one really felt would play short, it seems like the Phils will let Hewitt play third (many felt center field might be the best place for him). But he does have some pretty impressive raw power and could eventually develop the kind of pop you like from a corner infielder if he can show he has the glove to stay at the hot corner.
More as they come in…
I thought I’d take this opportunity to scan through the latest headlines and find out what’s being written about the top picks from the draft. Consider it a first-round link dump — here’s what I dug up — all things draft or MLB-related:
1. Tim Beckham: Princeton’s newest Ray ready for diamond
3. Eric Hosmer: Drawn-out negotiations not what Royals want
5. Buster Posey: Giants willing to let their pick ‘catch’ his breath
6. Kyle Skipworth: Marlins sign first pick
9. Aaron Crow: Bowden disappointed in negotiations
12. Jemile Weeks: A’s top pick should be in fold soon
13. Brett Wallace: Cards hope to ink Wallace; Quad Cities likely start
18. Ike Davis: Mets sign Ike
22. Reese Havens: Strained elbow keeps Havens out of lineup
25. Christian Friedrich: Dust Devils get Rox first pick
26. Daniel Schlereth: Top D-Backs pick says he’s healthy, near signing
30. Casey Kelly: Draftees looking for big payday