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Aaron Crow Rumors
2:01pm: MLB.com's Dick Kaegel talked to Royals exec J.J. Picollo, who said:
"Apparently Buster Olney knows something we don't know. There's nothing to report on, there's no confirmed deal or anything. We've picked up the talks with them the last couple of days and that's about it. We're working at it."
Picollo told Kaegel he's pushing to get Crow signed by the end of the week so he can pitch in the Arizona Fall League. Baseball America's John Manuel says Crow is close to signing.
9:43am: The Royals are on the verge of an agreement with first-round pick Aaron Crow, according to ESPN's Buster Olney. Olney says Crow's deal will pay between $3MM and $4.5MM.
The Nationals drafted Crow ninth overall in 2008, but GM Jim Bowden couldn't get a deal done with Crow's agents. The gap was reportedly $900K, with Bowden stopping at $3.5MM and the Hendricks brothers coming down to $4.4MM. Crow then pitched independent ball for the Fort Worth Cats and re-entered the 2009 draft. The Royals picked him 12th overall, and the August 17th signing deadline did not apply. The extra year will probably cost Crow in the long-term; other '08 draft picks such as Brian Matusz, Buster Posey, Gordon Beckham, Ryan Perry, and Daniel Schlereth have already accrued Major League service time.
Royals GM Dayton Moore was not terribly revealing in his MLB.com chat with fans today, but let's take a look anyway. He deserves props for answering a few tough questions, though it would've been nice to have one about Alex Gordon's service time manipulation (Gordon and his agent didn't consider the demotion devious, though).
- There are "no immediate plans" to try Joakim Soria as a starter, though Moore did not dismiss the idea outright.
- Yuniesky Betancourt and Mike Aviles will compete for the shortstop job in 2010.
- Moore wouldn't reveal much regarding his team's catching situation, though he expressed a desire to improve blocking and receiving skills behind the plate.
- He was also vague about the idea of signing a power hitter in the offseason.
- Moore expects to sign Aaron Crow, but has nothing new to report.
- When Moore was asked, "Mr. Moore, why is this team so bad? Plz answer. Thx," he went with injuries as the explanation.
- Another funny exchange – Moore was asked why he gave up Dan Cortes for Betancourt, when Betancourt probably would've been designated for assignment. Moore believes it was "highly doubtful" the shortstop would've been DFA'd.
- Moore spoke in generalities when asked if he'd try to lock up Billy Butler.
- Moore says he's focused on pitching, speed, and defense, much like the Angels.
Links for Wednesday…
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star says the Royals' decision to demote Alex Gordon has more to do with performance than service time.
- Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press says the Tigers had better win, especially since they'll be stuck paying Magglio Ordonez $18MM next year, "barring an influx of common sense."
- Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union-Tribune says Donavan Tate was eager and respectful throughout his first visit to Petco Park.
- Doug Tucker of the Associated Press reports that the Royals hope to start talking contract with top pick Aaron Crow now that they've seen what other first rounders signed for. Monday's deadline did not apply to Crow because he played independent ball this year.
The Royals are nearing deals with two of their top picks, though they haven't finalized anything yet, according to Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star. Baseball America reported yesterday that the Royals agreed to a $1.5MM deal with fourth rounder Chris Dwyer, but the Royals insist that they have reached no such agreement. However, scouting director J.J. Picollo says he's confident the Royals can sign Dwyer and high school catcher Wil Myers.
Negotiations with first rounder Aaron Crow haven't progressed as far, but the Royals don't have to sign him by Monday because he played independent ball this year. We heard the Royals offered Crow $3MM, but Picollo says the sides "aren't on the same page."
ESPN.com's Jayson Stark adds the Astros to the list of teams interested in John Smoltz. Here are the rest of his rumors:
- The Cubs could look for another bat and another starter, but it depends on how healthy Aramis Ramirez, Ted Lilly and Carlos Zambrano are.
- Stark points out that Aaron Harang's 2011 club option becomes a more expensive $14MM mutual option if he's traded. The Reds haven't seemed willing to take on cash in a trade involving Harang or rotation-mate Bronson Arroyo.
- The Yanks don't appear to have interest in either Reds starter, or John Smoltz, for that matter.
- Don't expect any serious negotiating to occur between the Nationals, Scott Boras and Stephen Strasburg before the last minute. Most execs who Stark surveyed expect Strasburg to sign in the end.
- The Braves could re-sign Adam LaRoche after the season, when the first baseman will hit free agency.
- Jim Thome still impresses scouts and should be able to find work as a DH after the season.
- Some teams doubt Vicente Padilla's character because the Rangers are ready to part with him even though they need pitching.
- Some of Alex Rios' former teammates question the outfielder's work ethic and desire.
- Stark hears that Andy Sonnanstine and Jeff Niemann were claimed on waivers and quickly pulled back by the Rays.
- The Braves made a quick run at Victor Martinez before the Red Sox acquired him, but didn't get very far.
- Though their negotiations with Aaron Crow could theoretically continue into late spring, the Royals may impose a deadline of their own to sign their top pick.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Aaron Crow | Aaron Harang | Adam LaRoche | Alex Rios | Andy Sonnanstine | Atlanta Braves | Bronson Arroyo | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Cincinnati Reds | Houston Astros | Jeff Niemann | Jim Thome | Kansas City Royals | New York Yankees | Stephen Strasburg | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Vicente Padilla | Victor Martinez | Washington Nationals
ESPN.com's Keith Law hears that the Royals offered top pick Aaron Crow $3MM only to hear that it will take a better offer. The two sides have more time than most to work out a deal, since Crow played independent ball this year and isn't subject to Monday's deadline for signing picks.
Law doesn't see any reason for the Royals to boost their offer, which he calls "more than generous." Last year the Nats drafted Crow and failed to sign him; it`s hard to imagine anyone putting off his pro debut for two years, especially if there`s a $3MM offer available.
Aaron Crow and Tanner Scheppers will have until a week before next year's draft to sign with the teams that selected them, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America. Most draftees must sign by August 17th, but MLB has ruled that the August deadline won't apply to players drafted out of independent leagues. Both Crow and Scheppers played in independent leagues after failing to sign last summer.
The Royals will have more time to sign Crow, but the Rangers may benefit most. Their finances are unstable now, but if they're resolved in the coming months, the team could sign Scheppers instead of shying away from his bonus demands.
A dosage of links to soothe and satisfy between innings:
- Paul Sullivan at the Chicago Tribune got Carlos Zambrano to respond to the poll that 57.2% of Cubs fans think he should be traded: "Fine, trade me to Boston," he joked.
- Joe Posnanski gives an in-depth look at the problems facing the Royals. "The Royals execs are smart people. But the more they do to this offense, the worse this offense gets," he says.
- Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, cricket players from India who won a reality T.V. show called "Million Dollar Arm" and had never picked up a baseball until recently, are now set to play their first game for rookie-level Pirates affiliate Bradenton.
- M.A. Mehta at the Newark Star-Ledger talked to Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who says the deal for Eric Hinske "made some sense…he's a pro."
- Bart Hubbuch at the New York Post tweets that the Mets "inquired repeatedly" on Mark DeRosa but didn't like the price.
- ESPN's Keith Law takes a look at some intriguing pitchers in the Cape League (Insider).
- Kiley McDaniel tweets that Baltimore is a "serious darkhorse" for the services of Miguel Angel Sano, with the Pirates and Twins still favorites.
- According to MLB.com's Rustin Dodd, the Royals have begun discussions with first-round pick Aaron Crow.
More links for the afternoon…
- Aaron Crow, the Royals' first round draft pick, told MLB.com's Rustin Dodd that this year, he's focused on completing a deal and beginning to play. Last year, he was drafted by the Nationals, but didn't sign.
- Mike Hazen, the Red Sox Director of Player Personnel, told CMSB Media that the team has already begun working on the 2010 draft. Click the link to hear the entire interview.
- The most intriguing name in next year's draft class could be Bryce Harper. Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star says Harper should finish high school early if his "dream is to play pro ball, not flirt in homeroom."
- Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press would like to see the Twins try to acquire Robb Quinlan from the Angels.
- Steve Kornacki of MLive.com wonders whether the Tigers would release Dontrelle Willis and eat the remainder of this year's $10MM contract, plus the $12MM he's owed in 2010.
- Brett Perryman of the Dallas Morning News says the Rangers' number one priority should be to prepare players within the organization to carry the Rangers to the playoffs in "2010 and on."
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick says it's hard to imagine Jason Bay signing for less than $60MM over four years or $70MM over five.
- Jeff Gordon includes Reggie Jackson, Orlando Hudson and David Ortiz on his list of the best ever free agent bargains at AskMen.com.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wonders what the Brewers will do with the slumping J.J. Hardy.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports that the Astros have signed 22 of the players they drafted, including their second rounder, Tanner Bushue.
- MLB.com's Mark Sheldon has a corresponding list for the Reds, who also signed their second rounder.
Links for Friday morning…
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Brewers are close to signing first rounder Eric Arnett.
- Ready for next year's draft? MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo is, with ten players to watch in 2010, including Cameron Bedrosian, the son of Steve Bedrosian, who won the 1987 NL Cy Young Award.
- Jamey Newberg walks his readers through the five step plan the Rangers used to set the team up to contend for years.
- Tyler Kepner of the New York Times looks at the big picture and determines that a lot has changed since 2004. More specifically, the Red Sox have a "stranglehold" on the Yankees.
- Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times says Milton Bradley is a "$30MM elephant in the room" because of his hitting struggles.
- Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post believes Felix Hernandez can and will become even better.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post hopes Orlando Hernandez succeeds in Texas. What a great story that would be.
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star reports that Aaron Crow's in line for a $3-4MM bonus before the August 17th signing deadline. The deadline doesn't apply to college seniors, but Crow didn't go back to college for his senior year, so he has to sign by the 17th, like most players.