Here are today's notable draft notes and Day 2/Day 3 signings (all slot info courtesy of Baseball America)...
- The Padres have agreed to terms with eighth-rounder Adrian De Horta on a well over-slot deal, MLBTR has learned. De Horta, who is advised by Terry Jones of Reynolds Sports Management, agreed to a $425K signing bonus, which is about $269K over slot value for the No. 238 overall selection. The deal is pending a physical. MLB.com doesn't have a full scouting report on De Horta, though they do offer a scouting video for Padres fans to check out.
The Red Sox are in the final stages of negotiations with No. 7 overall pick Trey Ball, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com, and the deal is expected to be completed today. Ball has passed his physical, and his signing bonus is expected to be slightly below the assigned pick value of $3.246MM. Ball is advised by Frontline Athlete Management.
A high school left-handed pitcher/outfielder out of Indiana, Ball was a consensus Top 10 talent among ESPN's Keith Law (No. 8), MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo (No. 8) and Baseball America (No. 9). Law wrote that Ball could be a first-round talent whether drafted as a pitcher or an outfielder but was currently better suited for pitching: "On the mound, his talent is easier to spot -- a 6-foot-6 left-hander with a loose arm, a fastball up to 94, and feel for a breaking ball already." Mayo adds that Ball's changeup is his best secondary offering, but he struggles to repeat his delivery at times.
The Red Sox view Ball as a pitcher, with director of player personnel Dave Finley telling Speier, “Trey’s velocity was pretty remarkable throughout the year. Being in a cold-weather state and having that velocity was pretty promising." Finley likens Ball to 2011 supplemental-rounder Henry Owens as well as a young Jon Lester. All three lefties were selected out of high school by the Red Sox.
It is believed, according to Speier, that the savings on second-rounder Teddy Stankiewicz's signing bonus and Ball's signing bonus will be enough to offset the over-slot deal given to third-round catcher Jon Denney.
Here's tonight's look around baseball as Tuesday turns into Wednesday..
- Bud Norris knows that he's a prime trade candidate, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Norris tells Morosi that he feels it's critical to stay informed: “I don’t think you want to be blindsided by it: One day, you come to the park and, boom, you’re gone. I don’t pay too much attention to it, but I’m definitely in the loop." Norris goes on to say that being traded to the Giants, his favorite team as a child, would be a dream come true, but he would be excited to stay with the Astros and keep helping them as well.
- Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com wonders if an Andre Ethier trade is inevitable for the Dodgers. As it stands now, the only other alternatives are Yasiel Puig getting sent down, someone other than Ethier getting traded, or Ethier becoming the club's fourth outfielder once they're back to full strength. Puig is obviously going to stay in the Majors, and trades involving Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford are unlikely, making Ethier the most likely man to go.
- Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet looks at the Blue Jays' options for making room on the roster when Jose Reyes returns to action. Their roster shuffling could lead them to expose someone to waivers and Emilio Bonifacio is a candidate.
- Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch weighs the pros and cons of the Cardinals going after Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee. Ultimately, Miklasz concludes that Cards GM John Mozeliak won't take on Lee’s full salary commitment or surrender his best pitching prospects, even if there is a surplus.
Young Jr. was designated for assignment last week in order to make room for the activation of right-hander Chris Volstad. The outfielder posted a .316/.377/.448 slash line in 196 plate appearances last year but has hit just .242/.290/.352 with one homer in 180 PAs this year. The 28-year-old has experience at all three outfield positions as well as 49 games at second base.
McHugh has 11 big league games under his belt but has spent the 2013 season with the Mets' Triple-A affiliate. In nine starts for Las Vegas, McHugh has a 2.87 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9. Despite his success there, he'll report to the Rockies' Double-A affiliate, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
Cowgill, 27, has a .173/.189/.327 slash line in 53 plate appearances this year. In parts of three seasons at the Triple-A the outfielder has hit .307/.381/.476.
After being designated for assignment by the Pirates on Saturday, Mike Zagurski cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A today, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned. The left-hander will decide whether to elect free agency tomorrow.
The 30-year-old made six appearances for Pittsburgh this year, allowing ten runs with eight walks and five strikeouts. Zagurski was signed to a minor-league deal by the Pirates in the offseason after posting a 5.54 ERA in 37 and 1/3 innings for the Diamondbacks in 2012.
Back in late May, the Yankees called the Bucs to inquire on Zagurski's availability but were turned down.
Baseball America's Jim Callis tweeted updates on previous draft signings Bryan Verbitsky and Carlos Salazar today. Verbitsky, a third-round pick by the Padres will receive $400K, while Salazar, the Braves' third-rounder, will receive $625K (Twitter links). The Padres landed Verbitsky $221K under slot, while the Braves went over-slot by nearly $120K. Here are more signings out of the second and third rounds (all slot info courtesy of Baseball America)...
- The Rockies went $535K over slot to sign sixth-rounder Dom Nunez, according to BA's Jim Callis (on Twitter). The California high school third baseman/shortstop/catcher boasts a compact swing, sneaky pop, and a strong arm.
- The Marlins have agreed to a significantly over-slot deal with seventh-round pick Justin Bohn, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned. Bohn, the No. 202 overall selection, signed for $525K, though the assigned pick value for that slot was just $193K. Bohn had been committed to Oregon State.
- The A's have signed third-round pick Ryon Healy for $500K, tweets Callis. The A's saved about $16K on Oregon's first baseman, who shows good power and has a chance to play third base.
- Callis tweets that the Rockies signed third-rounder Sam Moll for $600K, meaning they saved about $113K on the Memphis left-hander. Though he stands just 5'11", Moll throws 93-95 mph as a starter. He's likely a reliever in the pros, though.
- The Royals signed third-round pick Carter Hope for $561K, Callis reports (Twitter link). Hope's bonus is exactly $100K under slot. The prep righty from Texas throws 88-92 mph with an improving curveball. He had been committed to Oklahoma State.
Martinez, 24, has been less-than-stellar in 35 plate appearances for the Astros this season. In his five years for the Astros and Mets, the left-handed hitting outfielder has a .206/.269/.362 slash line. Martinez was once considered to be a promising farmhand in the Mets' system and was ranked as high as No. 22 across the minors by Baseball America prior to the 2007 season.
Basford, 22, has spend the last two seasons with the Yankees' New York-Penn League affiliate. In 19 relief appearances, the right-hander has a 5.13 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9.
The Yankees announced that they have designated right-hander Chris Bootcheck for assignment. That move, coupled with Mark Teixeria being placed on the DL, allowed the Bombers to recall right-hander Adam Warren and outfielder Zoilo Almonte.
Bootcheck saw just one inning in pinstripes this year, allowing two hits and one run against the Angels on Friday. In 91 big league games, the 34-year-old owns a 6.55 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9.
The Yankees promoted Bootcheck in advance of his late-June opt out and while his stay on the varsity squad was short lived, he pitched well for the club's Triple-A affiliate. Bootcheck made 11 starts for Scranton Wilkes-Barre and had a 3.32 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9.
The Padres have signed Ben Francisco to a minor league deal, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com (on Twitter). The outfielder was designated for assignment by the Yankees in late May and released in early June. Francisco will report to Triple-A Tuscon and provide San Diego with some additional minor league depth.
The 31-year-old hit just .114/.220/.182 in 50 plate appearances this season with the Bombers but has a .253/.323/.418 career line across seven seasons. Francisco spent the first six seasons of his career with the Indians and Phillies but has had stints with four big league clubs from 2012-13.
Scott Boras, who represents No.1 pick Mark Appel, touched down in Houston today to talk with Astros GM Jeff Luhnow in an effort to wrap up negotiations. Boras told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com that no agreement has been reached, but his pow-wow with Luhnow likely indicates that a deal is close.
“Jeff and I are going to talk about things tonight and we’ll see,” Boras said. “We’re certainly close enough for me to come here and talk, that’s for sure.”
It was reported late last week that the Astros had reached an agreement in principle with Appel on a deal that would pay him $6.35MM, well below the suggested slot value of $7.79MM for the top selection. Appel was ranked as the top prospect in the draft by ESPN's Keith Law and MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. Baseball America had him pegged as the second-best prospect in his class, behind Oklahoma right-hander Jonathan Gray, who went No. 3 to the Rockies.
Following a vote behind closed doors, the city council of San Jose has elected to file a lawsuit against Major League Baseball in an attempt to move the Athletics from Oakland to San Jose, according to John Shea and Jill Tucker of the San Francisco Chronicle. The lawsuit claims that MLB and commissioner Bud Selig violated state and federal laws regarding unfair business practices and anti-competitive conduct.
Athletics ownership has spent years lobbying for the team to be moved to San Jose, citing a need for a new ballpark. However, the A's are not plaintiffs in the lawsuit and owner Lew Wolff says that he wasn't aware of it being filed until the news broke earlier today. The city of San Jose isn't seeking financial restitution from MLB but alleges, with strong language, that they are being illegally blocked from importing the A's.
"This action arises from the blatant conspiracy by Major League Baseball to prevent the Athletics Baseball Club from moving to San Jose," the suit says. "This action challenges - and seeks to remedy - defendants' violation of state laws and use of the illegal cartel that results from these agreements to eliminate competition in the playing of games in the San Francisco Bay Area."
Written by Zach Links.
The Diamondbacks have signed first-rounder Braden Shipley for an under-slot $2.25MM signing bonus, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (on Twitter). The assigned pick value to the No. 15 selection was $2,434,500, according to BA, so the D-backs managed to save about $185K despite getting Shipley much later than most expected him to go. Shipley is advised by Adam Karon and Tripper Johnson of Sosnick & Cobbe.
Shipley was a consensus top 10 talent among ESPN's Keith Law (No. 6), Baseball America (No. 8) and MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo (No. 9), so it was surprising that he was on the board for the D-backs with the 15th overall selection. The big right-hander out of Nevada works at 93-95 mph but touches 98 with his heater and has a hard curveball, according to Callis.
Law called Shipley's 83-86 mph changeup his best pitch, but also noted that he's seen Shipley clocked as high as 99 mph with his fastball and added that the Wolf Pack ace features an average curveball.
Shipley becomes the 21st first-round selection from this year's draft to agree to terms or officially sign with his new team. The Diamondbacks have selected a college pitcher with three of their past four first-round picks, also grabbing UCLA's Trevor Bauer and Texas A&M's Barret Loux.
The Phillies have signed first-round pick J.P. Crawford for the full slot value of $2,299,300, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (on Twitter). Chuck Hixson of Philly Baseball Insider was the first to tweet that a deal was in place. Crawford, a high school shortstop out of California, is advised by Len Strelitz of the Wasserman Media Group.
Callis notes that Crawford was "easily the best" shortstop in this year's draft class, as he has a good bat, speed, good defense and a little power as well. Crawford ranked 14th among draft prospects according to ESPN's Keith Law. Baseball America ranked Crawford 15th on their Top 500, and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranked him 19th on his Top 100 list.
Law wrote that Crawford was the only shortstop in the draft who had a better than even chance of sticking at the position. Though he's concerned about Crawford's size, Law called him "a shortstop with a chance to hit and add value on defense, great for a team that doesn't mind taking a player who might not see full-season ball until 2015."
The Phillies hadn't had a true first-round pick since 2011 thanks to their free agent signings of Jonathan Papelbon and Cliff Lee. The also lost their 2009 first-rounder when they signed Raul Ibanez as a free agent. Crawford is the third consecutive high school talent taken with the Phillies' true first-round selections, as they grabbed left-hander Jesse Biddle in 2010 and shortstop Anthony Hewitt in 2008. Crawford is one of 20 first-rounders to agree to terms or sign with his new team thus far.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Orioles announced (via Twitter) that they have selected the contract of Travis Ishikawa and designated infielder Yamaico Navarro for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. A 25-man roster space has been opened by placing Miguel Gonzalez on the paternity list.
Navarro, 25, hit .286/.333/.357 in 31 plate appearances for the O's this year, though he's just a career .206/.258/.267 hitter. Despite his youth, he's seen Major League action with four different clubs -- the Red Sox, Pirates, Royals and O's. He's fared significantly better in 190 games at the Triple-A level, batting .268/.354/.440.
Ishikawa exercised the out clause in his minor league contract, giving the Orioles 48 hours to decide whether or not to add him to the roster. General manager Dan Duquette said earlier this morning they were leaning toward selecting the contract. Ishikawa, who was hitting .316/.413/.525 with seven homers in 208 plate appearances at Triple-A, will start at DH for the Orioles tonight and bat eighth.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters, including Andy McCullough of the Star Ledger, that Kevin Youkilis will undergo back surgery for a herniated disc and miss 10-12 weeks (Twitter link). The best-case scenario for Youkilis, based on that timeline, would be a late August return, though the recovery could easily push into September.
Youkilis, 34, signed a one-year, $12MM deal with the Yankees this offseason. He hit a respectable .267/.347/.422 through April 27 before landing on the disabled list with a sprained back. Since returning on May 31, he's hitting just .146/.239/.220.
A strong rebound campaign with the Bombers could've positioned Youkilis to sign a multi-year free agent deal this coming winter. Now, however, a one-year deal seems likely given the lack of production and significant time on the disabled list. The injury-prone corner infielder hasn't appeared in more than 122 games since 2009.
Youkilis never cracked Tim Dierkes' free agent power rankings (and certainly won't now). He'll part of a first base class that is flooded with veterans this offseason in free agency, as Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse, Corey Hart, Mike Napoli, Paul Konerko, Justin Morneau and Mark Reynolds will all be on the market. If he can position himself as a third baseman, Youk's competition will be more scarce, but that could be a tough sell with the back injuries.