- Adam Wainwright Could Be Out For Season
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Aaron Crow Rumors
- Tony Abreu could be an attractive trade chip if the D'Backs shop him for relief help, writes Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic.
- Ken Griffey Jr. should retire gracefully, writes MLB.com's Hal Bodley.
- We shouldn't be surprised to see Drew Storen arrive in the majors before Strasburg. As Ben Goessling of MASN.com explains, the Nationals may choose to reward Storen for signing so soon after they drafted him.
- Yorvit Torrealba has been one of baseball's best free agent bargains, if you ask MLB.com's Corey Brock.
- In a pre-draft notebook, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo explains why pitcher Peter Tago is gaining on some fellow amateurs and the answer is pretty simple.
- Wondering which pitchers have seen their strikeout rate climb or tumble this year? RotoAuthority has the results for the season so far.
- If Mark DeRosa hits the disabled list, the Giants will rely on their own players, mostly John Bowker, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney believes the Nationals would like to debut Stephen Strasburg at home, while his colleague Rob Neyer can see the Nats breaking him in on the road. Last night I suggested we could see Strasburg's first MLB start against the Astros in early June.
- Marc Hulet of FanGraphs says it's too early to worry, but pitching prospect Aaron Crow reminds him a little of another former first rounder in the Royals' system: Luke Hochevar.
A few links to start off your Friday night…
- Royals GM Dayton Moore said Aaron Crow will be a given a chance to win a spot with the big league team next spring, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel.
- Bill Ladson of MLB.com writes that Austin Kearns' time with the Nationals is all but over. The outfielder is out with a thumb contusion, and GM Mike Rizzo said it's unlikely he'll return this year. There's zero chance the team will exercise his $10MM option for 2010, instead paying him a $1MM buyout.
- According to Baseball America's minor league transactions, the Indians cut ties with reliever Ken Ray. You may remember that Ray made a little noise with the Braves back in 2006.
Some more links for the afternoon or, if you're on the East Coast, the early evening…
- ESPN.com's Jorge Arangure Jr. hears that a vision issue could affect the status of the contract Wagner Mateo signed with the Cardinals earlier in the summer. If Mateo has a degenerative eye condition, the Cards may look to reclaim some of the $3.1MM they awarded the 16-year-old. Mateo's agent says it's a non-issue.
- Miguel Angel Sano doesn't appear to be near a deal with any club, but Arangure Jr. hears that the shortstop seeks $3.2MM.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law believes Aaron Crow's long holdout will hurt the pitcher more than it helped him. The Royals completed their deal with Crow just yesterday.
- ESPN.com's Rob Neyer knows it's painful for the A's to see Andre Ethier's 30-homer season in LA, but he reminds his readers that Milton Bradley helped the A's win a division title after Billy Beane traded Ethier to acquire Bradley before the 2006 season.
A few tidbits to start the day…
- Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the key prospect in the Cliff Lee deal, Jason Knapp, had surgery yesterday to remove loose bodies from his throwing shoulder. The Indians do not believe the Phillies "pulled a fast one," but do feel that the Phillies misdiagnosed Knapp's original injury (Knapp was on the DL at the time of the trade).
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star is reporting that Aaron Crow's contract ($3MM guaranteed) could be worth as much as $4.5MM depending on how much time he spends in the big leagues the next three seasons.
- Sam Mellinger also writes in his blog, that the Royals came out the victors in the negotiations based on MLB slot recommendations and what Crow turned down last year.
- MetsBlog take a look at the Mets off-season and how the team may approach free agency.
8:54pm: Now Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star is reporting (via Twitter) that the deal is only for $3MM guaranteed including a $1.5MM signing bonus.
8:30pm: Jim Callis of Baseball America is reporting that Crow will make just under $4.5MM and that the deal will be finalized in time for Crow to attend the Royals' instructional league program beginning Saturday. Callis adds that Crow could debut in the Arizona Fall League.
7:47pm: Via a press release, the Royals have signed their first-round pick Aaron Crow to a three-year Major League contract that will begin in 2010. Crow was the 12th overall pick in this year's draft and was not subject to the August 17th signing deadline.
No further details are available at this time. However, earlier today, Buster Olney reported that the deal would be worth $3-4.5MM. Crow reportedly turned down a $3.5MM offer from the Nationals as the ninth overall selection in 2008.
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.
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