2008 Amateur Draft Rumors
Let's kick things off with a link roundup.
- River Ave. Blues wonders about Derek Jeter's future with the Yankees. The Yanks don't have to deal with it until after the 2010 season.
- Reliever Al Reyes is now a free agent. The 38 year-old still has a bit left in the tank.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis lists the draft's best coups.
- Curt Schilling is leaning toward retirement. If he does come back, here is a reminder of the 12 teams he was willing to play for last year aside from the Red Sox: Indians, Tigers, Angels, Mets, Phillies, Braves, Dodgers, Padres, D'Backs, Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers.
- Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says the Rockies need to keep Todd Helton.
- Ken Rosenthal says the Dodgers' failure to block the D'Backs' waiver claim on Adam Dunn was a mistake.
- Sam Mellinger explains that Eric Hosmer was smart to hold out for $6MM.
Taking a look back at this week's happenings here on MLBTR...
- The biggest move of the month was the Diamondbacks' acquisition of slugger Adam Dunn for Dallas Buck, Micah Owings, and Wilkin Castillo. I can't remember any August trades of this magnitude.
- Bronson Arroyo told the media Dunn would be seeking over $100MM this offseason; Dunn denied the report wholeheartedly. I'd be surprised to see him get $100MM, but I also certainly don't think it would be the worst signing we've seen in the past few offseasons.
- The Red Sox acquired Paul Byrd from the Indians. Boston will pay the remaining portion of Byrd's salary. Byrd has been very good lately, and you can never have too much pitching depth. Not a bad move for Boston, in my opinion.
- The Twins were very active in discussions this week, though nothing surfaced as of yet. Minnesota claimed Jarrod Washburn off waivers from Seattle, but a deal wasn't worked out. Boof Bonser and salary relief was originally thought to be the offer, but that report was later denied. Passing a chance to unload Washburn's salary makes no sense to me. The Twins also claimed Alan Embree from Oakland, but he was pulled back.
- Freddy Garcia signed a minor-league contact with the Tigers. They must have liked what they saw at his audition. If he can return to be as effective as he was in his Chicago days, that would be a great signing. Nice low-risk move for Detroit.
- We've seen a lot of teams signing their young talent to long-term deals, but it looks like San Francisco ace Tim Lincecum will not be one of them. He'd prefer to go year-to-year.
- Minor moves happening around baseball: The Reds DFA'd David Ross, the Blue Jays released Shannon Stewart, and the Twins signed Bobby Kielty to a minor-league deal. The Giants DFA'd Jose Castillo, and Richie Sexson's time in New York was cut short when he was released after just 35 plate appearances. The Rockies added another arm, signing Oscar Villareal.
- And now, for the draft-pick signings! Here are all the signings and not-signings teams made with their top picks this week: The White Sox signed Gordon Beckham, the Orioles signed Brian Matusz, the Padres signed Allan Dykstra, the Rangers signed Justin Smoak, the Giants signed Buster Posey, the Pirates signed Pedro Alvarez, the Royals signed Eric Hosmer, and the Reds not only signed Yonder Alonso, but Venezuelan outfielder Yorman Rodriguez as well. The Nationals failed to sign Aaron Crow, and the Yankees failed to sign Gerrit Cole.
- And to cap things off, since we just covered a bunch of guys who probably weren't even alive when Jamie Moyer first started pitching in the Majors... he didn't deny the possibility of pitching until he's 50. He's 45 right now with 11 wins and an ERA of 3.64, who knows?
ESPN's Keith Law has an article up in which he takes a look at the difference between signing a draft pick to a major-league deal rather than a minor-league deal. With all of the talk of draft picks and contract signings following Friday's deadline, Law's article is a good way of clearing up any questions readers may have on contract statuses.
Law uses the Orioles and their first-round pick, Brian Matusz, as an example as he explains the difference between signing players to a major-league contract and a minor-league contract.
Law also points out that even players who sign major-league contracts can still see time at the minor-league level, and that signing a major-league contract immediately places the player on that club's 40-man roster, despite which level they are headed to.
We live-blogged the '08 amateur draft last Thursday, and it was a lot of fun. Over 4,000 people came along for the ride. You can read the transcript here.
Immediately after each of the first 30 picks, I polled readers on whether the team "made the right choice." We can keep the results for posterity and determine whether it's fair to rag on a team for picking the wrong guy. If most people liked the pick at the time it was made, it wouldn't be right to criticize it in hindsight. Here are the poll responses to the question, "Did Team X make the right choice by drafting Player Y?
- Tim Beckham, Rays - 80% said yes.
- Pedro Alvarez, Pirates - 89%.
- Eric Hosmer, Royals - 63%.
- Brian Matusz, Orioles - 80%.
- Buster Posey, Giants - 68%.
- Kyle Skipworth, Marlins - 54%.
- Yonder Alonso, Reds - 33%.
- Gordon Beckham, White Sox - 79%.
- Aaron Crow, Nationals - 82%.
- Jason Castro, Astros - 14%.
- Justin Smoak, Rangers - 90%.
- Jemile Weeks, A's - 41%.
- Brett Wallace, Cardinals - 65%.
- Aaron Hicks, Twins - 79%.
- Ethan Martin, Dodgers - 62%.
- Brett Lawrie, Brewers - 62%.
- David Cooper, Blue Jays - 26%.
- Ike Davis, Mets - 55%.
- Andrew Cashner, Cubs - 57%.
- Josh Fields, Mariners - 65%.
- Ryan Perry, Tigers - 53%.
- Reese Havens, Mets - 33%.
- Allan Dykstra, Padres - 28%.
- Anthony Hewitt, Phillies - 32%.
- Christian Friedrich, Rockies - 89%.
- Daniel Schlereth, D'Backs - 65%.
- Carlos Gutierrez, Twins - 21%.
- Gerrit Cole, Yankees - 82%.
- Lonnie Chisenhall, Indians - 17%.
- Casey Kelly, Red Sox - 74%.
There you have it. Readers agreed least with the Astros' selection of Castro and most with the Rangers' pick of Smoak.
Let's take a look and see what is being said about the first round selections from day one of the Rule 4 Draft...
- Keith Law calls this year's first round "unusual in a number of ways," noting that more than half of the picks were college relief pitchers, corner infielders and catchers, three areas that usually get little attention in the first round. Law also gives us his choice for the team that made the best pick (Rockies), the worst picks (Seattle, Minnesota) and the teams that picked players that could reach the big leagues quickly (Seattle, Detroit, Arizona, Chicago, Baltimore).
- Baseball America has their first round recap with a look at each of the draftees.
- Minor League Ball gives us their thoughts on a few sleepers from the 4th and 5th round of the draft.
- The D-Backs top pick seems to be the most vocal draftee in terms of wanting to be in the big leagues this season.
- Buster Olney provides a complete collection of local media reactions to each of the first round draft picks (will need an ESPN Insider password).
The draft is just four hours away. We'll be live-blogging it here at MLBTR. Here are today's draft links.
- Baseball America's brand new top 30 projections.
- According to Keith Law, Mariners doctors gave the thumbs up on Tanner Scheppers and the team could take him at #20.
- Law says the Nationals seem to be debating between Kyle Skipworth and Aaron Crow at #9.
- Law adds that first baseman Yonder Alonso has an $8MM rumored asking price, which could cause him to drop. Alonso is roughly the 11th-best player in the draft, combining various expert rankings.
- Speaking of huge demands, Buster Posey's people are floating $12MM. Perhaps for that reason, the Rays will go with Tim Beckham.
- The Pirates seem a near-lock to take Pedro Alvarez at #2.
- Jonathan Mayo is "fairly certain" the Reds will take Gordon Beckham at #7.
- Nick Piecoro tosses out some possibilities for the D'Backs at #26.
- Tom Haudricourt has three names for the Brewers at #16.
Tomorrow is draft day! ESPN's coverage begins at 1pm CST. We'll live-blog it here at MLBTR, just for the fun of it. Here are today's draft-related links.
- Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein projects the top 30. Plenty of inside info here.
- Jonathan Mayo has another set of top 30 projections. He's also got a host of rumors; I'll let you click over to read them.
- Roto Professor chatted with Baseball America's Jim Callis.
- Dejan Kovacevic dismisses the idea of the Pirates picking Pedro Alvarez as a P.R./fan-pleasing move. If they pick him, it'll be for baseball reasons.
- The Reds have their #7 pick narrowed down to four players.
- Baseball America's John Manuel has all kinds of rumors, and the article is free to read.
Today's draft links.
- Rany Jazayerli looks at possibilities for the Royals at #3. He hopes they don't take Eric Hosmer.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has new projections for the top 30. He's switched the Orioles from Brian Matusz to Aaron Crow at #4, among other changes.
- Keith Law has tons of good stuff...the Giants are eyeing Gordon Beckham, the Reds are considering Brett Lawrie, Jason Castro could go to the White Sox, the Dodgers like Zach Collier, and much more.
- Ken Davidoff is hearing that the Padres are in on Brett Wallace and the Twins like Christian Friedrich.
- Pedro Alvarez would be honored to be picked by the Pirates. Dejan Kovacevic continues to say they're leaning that way.
- I am considering live-blogging Thursday's draft, posting each pick here as soon as it's announced (you would not have to refresh). Would that be helpful?
More draft action for you today.
- ESPN's Keith Law has an excellent draft overview, and it's not behind the subscriber wall. I wonder what kind of traffic ESPN would get if they freed up all their content. Law also has his top 30 projections, if you're a subscriber.
- Is Rick Porcello a problem? Matthew Futterman implies that teams like the Brewers couldn't possibly afford him. But the Crew spent $42MM on Jeff Suppan.