2009 Amateur Draft Rumors
Jayson Stark at ESPN argues that the draft "will never be the same" in the wake of the Stephen Strasburg signing. He quotes club officials who tell him that the draft is "broken" and that the system "needs to be blown up."
Among potential changes that should be discussed, Stark lists a formal slotting system, the ability to trade draft picks, a worldwide draft, and a hockey-style system wherein draft picks would be controlled through their college years.
What do you think? Are bonuses for top picks out of control? Should teams be able to trade picks? Should the way international players are signed change? Is everything just fine the way it is? Let's figure it all out in the comments section.
Links for Thursday...
- RotoAuthority looks at the worst closers in baseball.
- Indians first-round draft pick Alex White is "seeking top five money," according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Hoynes says the Indians are optimistic about signing him before Monday's deadline.
- As you might expect, Chico Harlan of the Washington Post says the Stephen Strasburg talks between the Nationals and Scott Boras will go down to the wire. MLBTR will be covering the signing deadline intensely, as we did last year.
- Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer has a source saying the Phillies' bullpen demotion of Jamie Moyer was "not in any way influenced by money." The team's timing of the move was impeccable, regardless.
- Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times talked to Cubs GM Jim Hendry, who isn't anticipating any waiver moves for his team.
- ESPN's Buster Olney (Insider link) speculates on a handful of teams that could use recently-designated third baseman Bill Hall.
- Reliever Justin Speier was gracious about his release from the Angels, according to Kevin Baxter of the L.A. Times.
A few more links for your evening...
- Jon Weisman of the LA Times reports that the movie based on "Moneyball" has once again been green-lighted with Aaron Sorkin signed on to finish the script.
- The Mariners have signed their supplemental first round pick, Steven Baron, for $980K.
- Keith Law reports that negotiations between the Brewers and one of their supplemental picks, #39 overall Kentrail Davis, have "gotten ugly" after the Brewers agreed to his demands and then he turned it down.
- Joel Sherman reports that if Roy Halladay is traded to the NL before the All-Star game, he will not be permitted to pitch in the mid-summer classic for the AL, but could be allowed to pitch for the NL representing his new team.
- Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News says the Roy Halladay situation is unlike two other situations in which big-name pitchers were traded within the AL East, including David Cone and Roger Clemens.
Here's a list of all the first round picks that shows which first-round picks have signed and for how much:
- Washington Nationals - Stephen Strasburg - Agreed to a Major League deal worth $15.1MM guaranteed.
- Seattle Mariners - Dustin Ackley - Agreed to a Major League deal worth $7.5MM guaranteed.
- San Diego Padres - Donavan Tate - Agreed to a $6.25MM bonus.
- Pittsburgh Pirates - Tony Sanchez - Agreed on a bonus of about $2.5MM.
- Baltimore Orioles - Matt Hobgood - Agreed to sign for about $2.4MM.
- San Francisco Giants - Zack Wheeler - Agreed to a $3.3MM bonus.
- Atlanta Braves - Mike Minor - Agreed to terms on a $2.42MM bonus.
- Cincinnati Reds - Mike Leake - Signed to a bonus of $2.27MM.
- Detroit Tigers - Jacob Turner - Agreed to Major League deal with $5.5MM guaranteed.
- Washington Nationals - Drew Storen - Agreed on a bonus of about $1.6MM.
- Colorado Rockies - Tyler Matzek - Agreed to a $3.9MM bonus.
- Kansas City Royals - Aaron Crow - Agreed to sign.
- Oakland A's - Grant Green - Agreed to a $2.75MM bonus.
- Texas Rangers - Matt Purke - Did not sign.
- Cleveland Indians - Alex White - Agreed to a $2.25MM bonus.
- Arizona Diamondbacks - Bobby Borchering - Signed for $1.8MM.
- Arizona Diamondbacks - A.J. Pollock - Signed, bonus believed to be $1.4MM.
- Florida Marlins - Chad James - Agreed to terms on a $1.7MM bonus.
- St. Louis Cardinals - Shelby Miller - Agreed to terms on a $2.9MM bonus.
- Toronto Blue Jays - Chad Jenkins - Agreed to sign for a bonus of $1.36MM.
- Houston Astros - Jiovanni Mier - Agreed to sign for a bonus of $1.358MM.
- Minnesota Twins - Kyle Gibson - Agreed to a $1.8MM bonus.
- Chicago White Sox - Jared Mitchell - Signed. The bonus is $1.2MM.
- Los Angeles Angels - Randal Grichuk - Signed for a bonus of $1.225MM.
- Los Angeles Angels - Mike Trout - Agreed to sign. The bonus is $1.2MM.
- Milwaukee Brewers - Eric Arnett - Signed, bonus believed to be about $1.2MM.
- Seattle Mariners - Nick Franklin - Signed for a bonus of $1.28MM.
- Boston Red Sox - Reymond Fuentes - Signed for a bonus of about $1.13MM.
- New York Yankees - Slade Heathcott - Signed for a $2.2MM bonus.
- Tampa Bay Rays - Levon Washington - Did not sign.
- Chicago Cubs - Brett Jackson - Agreed to terms. Jackson gets $972k.
- Colorado Rockies - Tim Wheeler - Agreed to sign. The bonus is $900k, according to BP.
KTAR.com's Craig Grialou reports that the Diamondbacks have agreed to terms with California high school third baseman Matt Davidson, the 35th overall pick in last week's draft. Davidson was Arizona's third selection, one of five players they drafted before the end of the supplemental first round. Bob McManaman of The Arizona Republic says Davidson was given a tour of Chase Field and took batting practice with the big league club after signing.
Financial terms of the deal are unknown, but MLB's recommended slot bonus for the 35th overall pick is expected to be right around $1MM.
How do you guys feel about interleague play? I understand the problems in creates in terms of the unbalanced schedule, but the fan in me still loves it. Anyway, here's some evening links as rivalry weekend kicks off...
- Wilson Betemit has been outrighted to Triple-A according to Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune. Betemit had been designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Gordon Beckham last week.
- Khalil Greene has returned to St. Louis not to play, but to "have his status re-evaluated" according to Derrick Goold. The Cards have been looking for middle infield help, and most recently have been connected to Miguel Tejada.
- Tyler Kepner notes that prospect Miguel Angel Sano will work out for the Yankees at their Dominican academy next Thursday. Here's the money quote from Sano's agent Rob Plummer: "I would say he has a Hanley Ramirez body and the possible upside of an Albert Pujols-type bat." Oh, is that all?
- Maury Brown notes that this week's amateur draft shattered MLB.com's traffic records.
- MLB.com's Todd Willis reports that the Rangers have signed six draft picks including Ruben Sierra Jr.
- The Blue Jays inked a nostalgic draft pick of their own, agreeing to terms with Tony Fernandez's son Jonathan according to Erika Gilbert.
Some draft-themed links...
- Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that the Phillies signed their top draft pick, centerfielder Kelly Dugan.
- Being drafted by the Red Sox was only the start of an amazing day for Chris Costantino, according to John Gillooly of the Providence Journal.
- Adam McCalvy of MLB.com writes about the unusual good luck charm the Brewers used during the draft.
- John Branch of the New York Times profiles Alibay Barkley, the last player chosen in this year's draft.
- The number of draftees coming out of MLB's Urban Youth Academy rose again this year, according to Lisa Winston of MLB.com.
Some links for Thursday evening...
- Josh Fields told MLB.com's Scott Merkin that he had a "blunt and straightforward" meeting with Ken Williams about his place on the White Sox.
- Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports the White Sox drafted their GM's son, Tyler Williams, and Harold Baines Jr..
- Jason Grilli was recently dealt to the Rangers and now he's working on a deal of his own. According to his Twitter, Grilli plans to exchange "cash or an item to be named later" for number 49.
- Gavin McCourt, the son of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, was drafted by the Red Sox. The 39th round pick says Scott Boras wouldn't fit into his "family dynamics," so his dad will represent him, according to the LA Times .
- Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune believes it's time for the Diamondbacks to sell, beginning with Felipe Lopez and Doug Davis.
- And I'll be talking baseball on 590 KFNS in St. Louis tonight at 11pm CST, so tune in if you're in the area. If not, you can always listen online.
More links for the afternoon...
- The Indians drafted two players named Kyle Smith, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- Mark Shapiro still says he's hoping for a resurgence from the Indians, according to Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today.
- Dean Jones Jr. of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles selected Mike Flacco, the brother of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe.
- The family connections don't stop there. As Chad Finn of the Boston Globe reports, the Red Sox chose Michael Yastrzemski, Carl's grandson.
- Charlie Nobles of MLB.com writes that Brendan Ryan is playing well, maybe well enough to become the Cardinals' regular shortstop.
- Within this ESPN Insider chat with Keith Law, he says the Red Sox have had the best draft.
- Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has been hitting better this month, as Alex Speier of WEEI.com notes. This takes pressure off the Red Sox to acquire another bat.
- Gwen Knapp of CBS Sports says baseball's insistence on developing a higher profile for the draft is part of the reason Stephen Strasburg can command so much money.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders if any free agent-to-be has seen his stock drop more than John Lackey's this season. He could have a point, as Matt Holliday's hitting better, but Lackey has pitched well two of his last four starts. How much will he sign for this offseason?
Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette asked GM Neal Huntington if Tony Sanchez had more upside and talent than the other players available when the Pirates picked fourth. Here are a couple of points Huntington made in his reply to Kovacevic:
- "We did not take the player we felt had the highest upside on the board with the Sanchez selection, but we did select the player who was at the top of our board at the time."
- Huntington says upside isn't everything, pointing out that it's risky to draft high school pitchers.
- "If Stephen Strasburg or Dustin Ackley had slipped, we would have likely altered our approach to the draft and committed greater resources to either of them."