Aaron Crow Rumors
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.
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.
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.
Some links for Wednesday morning...
- Brad Hawpe would void his 2011 option and become a free agent after next season if he's traded, according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star explains why yesterday was a good day to be a Royals fan even though the team lost its 22nd game in its last 28 tries. They drafted Aaron Crow and Wil Myers, the best players available to them.
- Mellinger points out that "any immediate reaction to baseball's draft is an overreaction" and these players won't necessarily be stars, but he likes the Royals' approach.
- Bryan Smith of Baseball Prospectus has some names to watch in today's portion of the draft.
- Baseball America's John Manuel reports that the's A's selected catcher Max Stassi, who BA ranked higher than any other player remaining.
- We have a Stephen Strasburg discussion underway on the MLBTR Facebook page. Follow MLBTR on Twitter and on your mobile phone.
With tomorrow's draft approaching fast let's take a look at some recent rumors and analysis...
- MLB.com's Lisa Winston reports that former super prospect Ben McDonald is impressed by Stephen Strasburg's stuff and poise.
- David Price told Danny Knobler of CBS Sports that Strasburg's stuff is better than his. Like Joe Maddon, Price believes the minors can be helpful and doesn't advocate rushing Strasburg into a big league rotation.
- Chico Harlan of the Washington Post interviewed acting GM Mike Rizzo about the draft and heard that signability won't be a factor for the Nats with their 10th pick, even though they get nothing if they fail to sign the player they choose. After saying for weeks that Strasburg is his choice with the first pick in the draft, Rizzo doesn't confirm it this time.
- Pete McElroy of MASN.com hears that the Nats will take Chad Jenkins, a big college righty, with their 10th pick if he's available.
- Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates could use the $1.3MM they saved by trading Nate McLouth to sign the player they draft fourth overall. Aaron Crow, who's looking for $4MM, could be an option for Pittsburgh.
- Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Crow's looking forward to tomorrow's draft after waiting a year.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan says prospects can be over-hyped to the point that we encounter "an uncomfortable reality" when they struggle.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo reports that Kyle Gibson and Tanner Scheppers could fall lower than originally expected because of injury concerns. Other players, like Jacob Turner, could fall because they're expected to demand large bonuses.
- Follow the draft on Twitter as it unfolds: @mlbtraderumors and @MLBDraft.
Ed Price of MLB FanHouse has a new article up, with notes on the draft and around the Majors.
- Price writes, "'The bottom line is there is a consensus,' said an industry source who monitors the draft closely, 'and that consensus is: There's no consensus after [Stephen] Strasburg.' The source said he has counted 63 players who could be taken in the 32 choices of the first round."
- Price also gives us an industry insiders "educated guess on the top five: Strasburg to Washington, [North Carolina's Dustin] Ackley to Seattle, Vanderbilt lefty Mike Minor to San Diego, former Missouri right-hander Aaron Crow to Pittsburgh and Georgia high-school right-hander Zack Wheeler to Baltimore."
- Due to free-agent compensation picks and "the rule that gives a team that fails to sign a high choice a corresponding pick the next year", the White Sox have 3 of the first 61 picks. Arizona has 7 of the first 64. Colorado has 3 of the first 34. The Angels have 5 of the first 48.
- The Mets first pick is 72nd overall. The Phillies first is 75th.
- The first three rounds of the draft are this Tuesday, with the first round on MLB Network.
- The Astros are not in "dump mode," says Price. Quoting a person familiar with Drayton McLane, "'His track record is when everybody says you should dismantle [he doesn't]," the person said. 'He's been so lucky.'"
- With Jed Lowrie returning and the ballclub winning, the Red Sox are not looking to add a bat and instead can wait to see if David Ortiz improves.
- The Giants want a bat, but they won't give up premium young pitching.