2012 Amateur Draft Rumors
Conventional wisdom held that the Astros would select Stanford pitcher Mark Appel with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 Amateur Draft. The Astros nearly took him and were prepared to offer a bonus of around $6MM, Jim Callis of Baseball America reports (subscription-only). They ended up taking Carlos Correa instead, and Appel fell all the way to the Pirates at No. 8. Since the Pirates (who had a smaller draft bonus pool than the Astros) were unwilling to forfeit their top pick in 2013 to sign Appel, they couldn't meet his bonus demands, and he turned them down. That decision appears likely to work out well for Appel, who will probably be the first or second overall pick this year.
Two-time first-rounders have a mixed track record, Callis notes. J.D. Drew more than doubled his payday when, as the No. 2 overall pick in the 1997 Draft, he turned down $2.6MM from the Phillies, then signed with the Cardinals for $6.7MM the following year. He had a strong big-league career, too, as did fellow two-time first-rounders Jason Varitek and Charles Johnson. And Gerrit Cole, who turned down the Yankees in 2008 and became the first overall pick in the 2011 Draft, has a promising future. But the list of two-time first-round picks also includes Danny Goodwin (who actually was the first overall pick in both the 1971 and 1975 Drafts, but didn't make an impact in the big leagues) and several others whose careers didn't turn out so well. Here are more notes on the upcoming draft.
- The six top candidates for the Astros are Appel, Oklahoma pitcher Jonathan Gray, Indiana State lefty Sean Manaea, San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant, and Georgia high school outfielders Clint Frazier and Austin Meadows, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo reports. North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran is "more of a dark-horse candidate," Mayo says.
- Of those six, Appel and Gray stand out, but the others aren't separating themselves from the field, Mayo says. That could lead to some twists and turns in the draft after Appel and Gray are selected. "The late risers in this Draft could make some big jumps, because we're a little uncertain about what we've seen so far," says one scouting director.
- Kiley McDaniel's mock draft at Scout.com makes that point clear. Appel (Astros), Gray (Cubs), Bryant (Rockies), Frazier (Twins) and Moran (Indians) are the first five picks, but the draft quickly becomes unpredictable after that, with Meadows at No. 10 (Blue Jays) and Manaea all the way down at No. 18 (Dodgers).
Stephen Strasburg made his final home start of the season tonight, allowing five runs in three innings to the Marlins. The Nationals will infamously shut down their star right-hander following his next start on the road against the Mets. Here's the latest from around the league as Friday turns into Saturday...
- MLB and the player's union are investigating the Levinson brothers and their ACES baseball agency about whether they facilitated PED use by their clients, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. As our Agency Tracker shows, ACES represents the recently-suspended Melky Cabrera as well as players like Heath Bell, David Wright, Jonathan Papelbon, and Dustin Pedroia.
- Joel Sherman of The New York Post wrote about the Yankees and the oldest roster in baseball, which has contributed to their second-half slide and has them just a game up in the AL East.
- Matt Eddy of Baseball America recapped a week's worth of minor league transactions. The Pirates signed 21st round draft pick Jordan Steranka, who was free to sign after the deadline as a college senior.
The Diamondbacks agreed to sign high school right-hander Felipe Perez for a reported bonus of $400K, Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times reports. Perez, who was about to start his college career at UCLA, went undrafted this year, so he became eligible to sign as a professional on the first day of school.
The Diamondbacks could have spent over $404K without losing a 2013 first round pick, Jim Callis of Baseball America reports (Twitter links). Perez was the top undrafted player from Baseball America’s pre-draft list of the 500 best prospects available, Callis notes. The publication ranked him 129th, noting his projectable three-pitch mix and 88-91 mph fastball. ESPN.com’s Keith Law suggests Perez went undrafted because of signability questions (Twitter link).
First round draft picks Max Fried and Lucas Giolito were also headed to UCLA until they signed professional contracts.
Yesterday afternoon (4pm CT, specifically) was the deadline for teams to sign this year's draft picks. Every first round and supplemental first round pick signed except for Stanford right-hander Mark Appel, who turned down the Pirates as the eighth overall pick. Here's a round-up of some post-draft links...
- Jim Callis of Baseball America lists the four compensation picks for next year's draft. The Pirates will get the ninth overall pick for Appel while the Mets (76th overall), Phillies (96th), and Athletics (supplemental third round) will also receive picks for failing to sign players before yesterday's deadline.
- The deadline does not apply to college seniors with college eligibility remaining, so Preston Tucker (seventh round, Astros), Jarret Leverett (15th, Twins), and Tyler Olson (17th, Athletics) are still eligible to sign at any time according to Callis (on Twitter).
- The Mariners offered 30th round pick Mike Yastrzemski a $300k bonus according to MLB.com's Peter Gammons (on Twitter), but he decided to return to Vanderbilt to finish his degree. Mike is the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski.
- Fifteen picks in the top ten rounds remained unsigned as of 15 minutes prior to the deadline, and Callis explains what happened with each of them.
Earlier this evening, Braves General Manager Frank Wren confirmed that he is on the lookout for a shortstop. "We’re moving along. Hopefully in the next day or so we’ll get to the end of it," said the GM, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter). Here's more from around baseball..
- The Blue Jays are more focused on improving their starting rotation than their bullpen right now but are interested in upgrading both, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Toronto is said to be among the clubs interested in Cubs starter Matt Garza.
- Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter) speculates that Alfonso Soriano would be an interesting get for the Rays if the Cubs were willing to absorb about 90 percent of the money owed to him.
- Angels pitcher Jered Weaver has no regrets about staying with the Halos for less money than he could have gotten elsewhere on the open market this offseason, writes Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
- Phillies assistant GM Marti Wolever isn't “overly disappointed” about not signing second-round pick Alec Rash, writes Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. “We’ll get an extra second-rounder next year,” he said of the right-hander. “We liked [Rash], but he didn’t pitch well this summer. We made a fair offer. He’s going to school."
The Pirates inability to sign right-hander Mark Appel is a sign of a larger problem with the new draft system, opines Keith Law of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd). The previous system with no real penalties for exceeding slot would have allowed Pittsburgh to sign the Stanford standout and in turn allow them to feel more comfortable in parting with Gerrit Cole or Jameson Taillon in a trade. Even though the Bucs will have the ninth pick in next year's draft as compensation, Law writes that the 2013 crop appears to be weaker than this year's. Here's the latest draft news..
- The Pirates offered Appel $3.8MM, the most they could give without losing a first-round pick, a source tells Jim Callis of Baseball America (via Twitter).
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said that the club was "dangerously close" to the 4pm CDT deadline before signing Lucas Giolito. The 16th overall pick received a $2.925MM bonus from Washington.
- Andre Martinez signed with the Twins for $80K after originally agreeing to a $260K, bonus, tweets Callis. A physical exam raised questions about the left-hander's shoulder, leading to a renegotiation.
4:22pm: The sides agreed to a $4.32MM bonus, ESPN.com's Keith Law tweets. The Orioles have announced their agreement with Gausman.
4:10pm: The Orioles have agreed to sign first round selection Kevin Gausman, the pitcher reports (on Twitter). MLB recommended a bonus of $4.2MM for the fourth overall pick and Gausman's bonus is expected to fall in that range, Jon Paul Morosi reported today.
Gausman has two premium pitches including a fastball that sits 94-96 mph and a plus change-up, according to Baseball America. The Louisiana State right-hander also throws a curve and a slider.
4:14pm: Pirates GM Neal Huntington explained in a statement that the team offered as much as it could without losing future picks.
“Our final offer exceeded the available bonus pool money and was essentially up to the last dollar we could offer prior to falling into the second tier penalty which would have resulted in the loss of a first round draft selection," Huntington said. "While, as we have shown in past years, we are willing to be aggressive with our financial offer, we simply did not feel it was in the best interest of the organization to forfeit our first round selection in the 2013 amateur draft."
The Pirates will select ninth overall next year, ESPN.com's Buster Olney tweets.
4:05pm: The Pirates did not reach a deal with first round pick Mark Appel, Jim Callis of Baseball America reports (on Twitter). The right-hander established himself as one of the country's top amateurs as a member of Stanford's starting rotation. He was considered a candidate for the first overall pick, but fell to the Pirates at eighth overall.
Appel stands 6'5" and his repertoire includes a fastball that has touched 98 mph plus a "nasty" slider, according to Baseball America. MLB recommended a bonus of $2.9MM for the eighth overall selection. Scott Boras is Appel's advisor.
The Nationals have agreed to sign first round selection Lucas Giolito, ESPN.com's Keith Law reports (on Twitter). MLB recommends a $2.1MM bonus for the 16th overall selection, but Giolito obtained a $2.925MM bonus, according to Law.
The high school right-hander entered the year as one of the most talented draft eligible players, but suffered an elbow injury in March. “I’m confident that this issue is behind me,” he said the day after the Nationals selected him.“I’m looking forward to getting on the mound soon.” Giolito's fastball can reach 99 mph and he sits at 94-96 mph, according to Baseball America. He also throw s a plus-plus curveball and a plus change-up.
Teams have until 4pm CDT to sign their picks from this year's Rule 4 draft, so teams and advisors are in for a busy afternoon. We'll track the draft-related news here:
- Third round selection Avery Romero signed with the Marlins for $700K, Conor Glassey of Baseball America tweets.
- The Pirates signed 17th rounder Hayden Hurst for $400K, Callis tweets. Hurst appears to have obtained the second-biggest deal for players selected after the tenth round.
- The Athletics signed second round selection Nolan Sanburn for $710K, Jim Callis of Baseball America tweets.
- Top Orioles pick Kevin Gausman is in Baltimore and a press conference will be held at 5pm CDT if the sides agree by today's 4pm CDT deadline, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets.
- The Cubs announced that they signed second round selection Duane Underwood. The high school right-hander doesn't turn 18 until next week. The Cubs reportedly agreed to a $1.05MM deal with Underwood.
- The Indians signed eighth round selection Caleb Hamrick, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports (on Twitter). The high school right-hander obtained a $180K bonus.
- You can track every unsigned selection at Baseball America. The list includes the four remaining unsigned first rounders: fourth overall selection Gausman (likely to sign with Orioles), eighth overall selection Mark Appel (Pirates), 16th overall selection Lucas Giolito (Nationals) and 25th overall selection Richie Shaffer (nearing deal with Rays).
- The Orioles' expected agreement with Gausman will be worth "around" $4.2MM, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports.
- It's unlikely the Pirates will sign Appel, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. Heyman suggests there's a possibility of intervention from MLB officials.
- The Marlins agreed to sign first round selection Andrew Heaney, in case you missed it.