Some links to start the morning off…
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wonders if the Red Sox would pull back John Smoltz and Mike Lowell if either veteran was claimed on waivers.
- Hideki Irabu is closing in on a deal with an independent Japanese team, according to CBS Sports.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo points out that there are usually a lot of unsigned draft picks this time of year. He also has a league-wide update on those who have yet to sign this season.
- If you heard that someone determined the return on investment of top draft picks, you'd probably think it was someone in a front office. But, as Mayo reports, Pirates pitcher Ross Ohlendorf did just that as a student at Princeton.
- Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that the O's haven't made progress with second rounder Mychal Givens.
- New acquisition Jarrod Washburn told David Mayo of MLive.com that he "felt like a rookie" in his Tigers debut last night. Washburn lost to Brian Matusz, a real-life rookie who won his MLB debut.
- Like the early 90s Braves, the Padres are building around young arms, according to Chris Jenkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune.