Anthony Rendon Rumors

Quick Hits: Rendon, Astros, Royals

On this date last year, Adam Wainwright underwent Tommy John surgery, but it didn't stop the Cardinals from winning the 2011 World Series. Earlier today Tyler Kepner of the New York Times looked back at the moment Wainwright struck Carlos Beltran out to end the 2006 NLCS and the present-day relationship between the new teammates. Here are more of today's links…

  • Third base prospect Anthony Rendon is impressing Nationals scouts and front office personnel this spring, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Rendon, a first round pick in 2011, doesn't appear to be far removed from the Major Leagues. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman just signed a long-term deal, but Rendon says he is comfortable at second base.
  • In a chat with fans at MLB.com, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said the club still needs to "add to [their] depth" and land an impact prospect with the first overall pick in June's draft.
  • The Royals' Opening Day payroll figures to be in the $57MM range, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star tweets. Dutton has the full breakdown here.

Nationals Notes: Zimmerman, Rendon, Strasburg, Harper

It's time for some Nationals notes, courtesy of Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

  • "I think I want to play third base until someone is better than me at it," Ryan Zimmerman explained to Kilgore.  The topic comes up because last year's first-round draft pick Anthony Rendon is a third baseman by trade, and if Zimmerman were to be extended, someone would have to change positions if Rendon proceeds to the Majors and is not traded.  On Rendon specifically, Zimmerman said, "If he comes up and plays third and plays second or whatever, then I’m going to be his best friend there. In the end, he’s going to help us win games. That’s the most important thing."
  • Rendon is in big league camp because of his draft contract, but Kilgore thinks he may begin his pro career at Class A Potomac.  The Nationals intend to play Rendon at third base, second base, and shortstop, at least during spring training, but manager Davey Johnson downplayed the extra infield positions, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com.  Rendon was deferential to Zimmerman in his comments.
  • The Nationals intend to use Stephen Strasburg until he hits his innings limit and then shut him down, GM Mike Rizzo told reporters.  There's an expectation of a 160-inning cap, and Rizzo doesn't seem to be considering a six-man rotation or skipping Strasburg's starts.  I imagine skipping Strasburg starts while he's in good health could upset some fans who buy tickets specifically to watch him pitch.
  • Super prospect Bryce Harper says he intends to "keep my mouth shut and play," but certainly aims to make the team out of spring training.  Kilgore mentions Super Two considerations for the team, and it's worth noting that the new collective barganing agreement will result in more players getting that designation than in years past.
  • A potential Mike Cameron replacement will come internally, said Rizzo.  Mark DeRosa could play right field if Jayson Werth is in center, while Jason Michaels and Brett Carroll are in camp in minor league deals.  Roger Bernadina may have a leg up as an out of options player, in my opinion.  Here's MLBTR's full list of players who are out of minor league options.

Nationals Sign Anthony Rendon

The Nationals have signed sixth overall pick Anthony Rendon, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (on Twitter). Rendon obtained a four-year Major League deal that includes a $6MM bonus and a $7.2MM guarantee. Tim Dierkes explained Major League deals for draft picks earlier today. The Boras Corporation represents the third baseman.

Earlier in the year, I spoke to Rendon about his health and the team he rooted for growing up. Here's the transcript.

You can keep track of which top picks have signed with MLBTR's list.



Olney On Nationals, Mariners, Brewers, A’s

Rival executives have wondered whether the Nationals will eventually shift top pick Anthony Rendon to second base, so ESPN.com’s Buster Olney constructs an impressive-looking 2013 Nationals lineup with Rendon at second and prospective free agent Prince Fielder at first base. Here are the rest of Olney’s rumors:

  • The Mariners wondered whether Safeco Field would limit Rendon’s offense, but they’re confident that their second overall selection, left-hander Danny Hultzen, will be a good fit in their home ballpark.
  • Brewers GM Doug Melvin confirmed to Olney that it’s possible (though not likely) that top pick Taylor Jungmann could help them this year.
  • Some executives tell Olney that top Orioles pick Dylan Bundy is the greatest pure talent in the draft. He's certainly looking to get paid like an elite talent.
  • Olney wonders if Grant Balfour could be dealt to the Rangers, who could use relief help.
  • Teams like the Braves and Phillies are looking for offense, so Josh Willingham could become a target if the 27-34 Athletics do become sellers.

Draft Links: Rendon, Bauer, Cole, Mock Drafts

We've already learned that right-hander Gerrit Cole will be the Pirates' choice with the first overall pick in today's amateur draft, and it seems that the next two picks are also starting to crystalize.  "Barring huge late surprises," tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, the top three look to be Cole, Anthony Rendon (to the Mariners) and Trevor Bauer (to the Diamondbacks).  Here's the latest as we're just hours away from the 2011 draft…

  • Cole, Rendon and Bauer are the first three picks for Baseball America's Jim Callis in his final mock draft.  This represents a reversal for Callis, who said on Friday that "[Danny] Hultzen to Arizona was the biggest lock in the first six picks."  Instead, Callis has Hultzen falling to the Nationals at No. 6.
  • Francisco Lindor had a great workout with the Mariners and there were rumors Seattle could take the high school shortstop with the No. 2 pick, reports Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus.  Still, Goldstein predicts Seattle to draft Rendon in his latest mock since Jack Zduriencik didn't see much of Lindor in game action and, if the M's did branch out to take a high school player, they might prefer Bubba Starling.
  • Marc Hulet of Fangraphs and MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo also have Cole, Rendon and Bauer as the first three picks in their last mock drafts. 
  • Also from Mayo, he names the ten best draft picks in history according to their placement in the draft order.  For instance, Alex Rodriguez is the best first overall pick ever, Reggie Jackson is the best second overall pick ever, etc.
  • Now that it appears Cole will be Pittsburgh's pick at No. 1, the second-guessing has already begun.  "I think history suggests that the Pirates may be making a mistake here," writes Dave Cameron of Fangraphs, who cites the surprisingly weak crop of pitchers taken with the first overall pick.  (The jury is still out, of course, on David Price and Stephen Strasburg.)
  • Meanwhile, Tom Krasovic of West Coast Bias asks five scouts and an executive who they would rather draft between Cole and Bauer.  Cole won the informal poll, but only by a 4-2 margin.
  • Nationals owner Mark Lerner says his team won't hesitate to spend to get the draft picks they want, reports James Wagner of the Washington Post (via the Post's Adam Kilgore).  "Last year we had great luck in going after kids with signability issues like A.J. Cole and Robbie Ray, and hopefully we’ll have the same opportunity again this year if the opportunity presents itself," Lerner said.
  • The Rockies are looking at Hawaii second baseman Kolten Wong or UNC shortstop Levi Michael with the 20th overall pick in the first round, tweets ESPN's Keith Law.  Colorado apparently won't be selecting Utah first baseman C.J. Cron.
  • The Tigers have had success finding Major League players in the late rounds of recent drafts, reports MLive.com's Matt Sussman.  Detroit won't have a pick until the 76th overall selection after losing its first round pick to Boston as compensation for signing Victor Martinez.
  • MLBTR's Dan Mennella already posted a set of draft links earlier today, so click here for even more draft news on this busy day in baseball.

Draft Links: Royals, Pirates, Phillies

Here's the latest as we close in on Monday's First-Year Player Draft …

  • The Royals will be tempted to take prep outfielder Bubba Starling from Kansas with the No. 5 overall pick, writes Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. The Royals are thought to covet a polished pitcher so that he can help the big league team sooner than later, according to Dodd, but they've smarted over missing out on local products Albert Pujols and Logan Morrison in the recent past, and GM Dayton Moore has discussed the importance of snatching up local talent.
  • The Pirates' indecision about which pricey college player to take select at No. 1 overall — Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon are represented by Scott Boras, while Danny Hultzen is reportedly seeking $13MM — has some baseball people wondering whether they'll take a prep player like Starling or Dylan Bundy in order to preserve their draft budget and overpay for tough-to-sign players at later picks, writes Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune. Also within that piece, Rogers examines some of the crucial selections of the past 10 drafts.
  • The Phillies are charged with restocking their farm despite making their first pick at No. 39, writes Bob Brookover of Philly.com. The fact that many of the Phils' core players are homegrown and others were acquired with prospects is a testament to the scouting and development departments, according to Brookover.
  • The Royals could also select UConn right-hander Matt Barnes with the fifth overall pick, writes Stephen Goff of the Houston Examiner. Within that piece, Goff explains Barners' unforeseen ascent to likely top-10 selection.
  • The Astros were once interested in Texas A&M righty John Stilson at No. 11, according to Goff, but the hurler has generally slipped out of first-round consideration due to a shoulder injury. As a result, Stilson is now a deep sleeper, writes Goff.
  • Jonathan May of MLB.com published his latest mock draft today, with Cole, Rendon and Hultzen going at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 to the Pirates, Mariners and D'Backs, respectively.
  • Four of six industry experts polled said they prefer Cole to Trevor Bauer of the two UCLA Bruins, but it's closer than you think, writes Tom Krasovic.

Draft Notes: Hultzen, Lindor, Bush, Pirates

Alex Rodriguez, the first overall pick 18 years ago, has an .845 OPS after a two-hit game in Oakland today. Here's the latest on this year's draft, as we await another first overall pick…

  • Teams are hearing that the asking price for Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen is $13MM, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (on Twitter).
  • High school shortstop Francisco Lindor will hold a private workout for the Diamondbacks tomorrow, according to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert (on Twitter). Arizona selects third and seventh overall in this year's draft.
  • Lindor, a high school shortstop, is being strongly considered by teams with top five picks, including the Mariners (who pick second overall) according to Jason A. Churchill of ESPN.com. Lindor could end up as a speedy switch-hitter with some power and an elite glove.
  • What do Matt Bush, Wade Townsend and Colt Griffin have in common? They're among the worst ten single-digit draft picks of the decade, according to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus
  • In this week's edition of Ask BA, Jim Callis of Baseball America says the Pirates will likely select Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon, UCLA righty Gerrit Cole or Hultzen. At this point, it's a matter of "reading the tea leaves," since Pittsburgh's intention remains unclear.

Heyman On Dodgers, Mets, Rendon, Red Sox

The Dodgers have had unofficial conversations with Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier about long-term deals, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. GM Ned Colletti would like to lock both outfielders up instead of letting them hit free agency after the 2012 season. Here are the rest of Heyman’s rumors: 

  • Though it’s hard to imagine Dodgers owner Frank McCourt signing either player long-term given his current financial issues, MLB seems hopeful that they can find a new owner for the team if and when it's necessary.
  • Proposed Mets limited partner David Einhorn will have the chance to increase his share of the team from 33% to 60% after five years, according to Heyman. Majority owner Fred Wilpon could then block Einhorn and repay him his $200MM while allowing him to keep 16.5% of the team. Heyman hears that the Wilpons won’t allow Einhorn to become majority owner. Various reports about the value of the deal circulated over the weekend.
  • Anthony Rendon’s draft stock is again rising, according to Heyman. The Mariners, who select second, could choose the Rice third baseman if the Pirates pick UCLA righty Gerrit Cole first overall. If the Pirates take Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen with the top pick, Rendon and Cole figure to be Seattle’s top choices.
  • The Red Sox could look to acquire an outfielder if J.D. Drew’s nagging injuries persist.
  • The Nationals are suggesting that they will have a high asking price for Ivan Rodriguez.

Draft Notes: Guerrieri, Pirates, Bauer

Here's the latest on the MLB draft, which is less than a week away…

  • No prospect has seen his draft stock rise more than high school right-hander Taylor Guerrieri, according to Nathan Rode of Baseball America. Guerrieri is the best high school arm an American League scout has ever seen and the odds that he goes to college seem slimmer than ever.
  • Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus points out that this year's draft is hard to predict from the first overall selection on. Goldstein has the sense that the Pirates will select Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen, but he can see them taking UCLA righty Gerrit Cole or Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon.
  • Check out our Draft Prospect Q&A series for conversations with all three players and others.
  • You may have heard about Trevor Bauer's unorthodox workout program, but the UCLA right-hander would prefer to be known for his fastball, according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. Mayo offers a must-read take on Bauer, who led the country with 189 strikeouts this season.
  • Hultzen, Rendon and Bauer are all finalists for 2011 USA Golden Spikes Award, Cash Kruth writes at MLB.com.

Draft Notes: Cole, Hultzen, Bradley, Springer

The draft takes place one week from today; here’s the latest as teams prepare their draft boards for next Monday… 

  • ESPN.com’s Keith Law projects the Pirates to select UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole with the first overall pick, though he says they’re still seriously in on Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen and high school outfielder Bubba Starling. It’s too early to rule out Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon either. 
  • The D’Backs could take Hultzen, UCLA right-hander Trevor Bauer or high schooler Dylan Bundy third overall, according to Law.
  • It looks like the Orioles will take an arm fourth overall; they have Bundy, high schooler Archie Bradley and Cole in their sights.
  • If Bauer falls to the Indians, they’ll take him, according to Law.
  • The Cubs “sent a small army” to watch outfielder George Springer at the Big East tournament.
  • The Padres are interested in UConn right-hander Matt Barnes and Vanderbilt right-hander Sonny Gray
  • The top three players on one team’s draft board are advised by agent Scott Boras, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan.
  • Rendon's stock is down a bit because of a dip in production and injury concerns, writes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, but Rendon's coach at Rice, Wayne Graham, expects the third baseman to go within the top two picks.
  • The Giants shouldn't (and won't) alter their draft strategy in response to Buster Posey's season-ending injury, writes Jim Callis of Baseball America in a mailbag.