Anthony Rendon Rumors

Draft Notes: Orioles, Pirates, Rendon, Cole

Baseball's amateur draft takes place in exactly one month. Here are the latest updates on a pair of teams with high first round picks…

  • Orioles amateur scouting director Joe Jordan told Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun that he has good sense of which players his club will be choosing from when it selects third overall in June. It’s too early to know precisely which players will be available so Jordan is still considering about ten prospects with Baltimore’s top pick.
  • Manny Machado, last year’s third overall pick, has a left knee injury and as Zrebiec points out, an extended absence would be quite a blow to the Orioles. It's unclear how much time the 18-year-old will miss. He has a .333/.450/.611 line in Class A.
  • The Pirates are focusing heavily on UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole and Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon as they prepare to make the first overall pick, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. However, there’s internal concern about Rendon’s stature and health and there’s concern about Cole “simply because he is a pitcher,” so the Pirates haven’t ruled out other options.
  • Check out River Ave. Blues for a detailed draft order.

Draft Prospect Q&A: Anthony Rendon

As the 2011 Draft draws closer, MLBTR will be introducing you to a handful of the top eligible prospects with a series of Q&As. The series includes four of the top college pitchers in the nation and a top college position player. Here's another position player to watch.

Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon is considered the top college position player in the 2011 draft and he remains a candidate to be the first overall pick this June. Both Baseball America and ESPN.com have reported within the week that it appears Rendon will either go first overall (to the Pirates) or second (to the Mariners) with UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole going to the other team.

Rendon entered the season as the top prospect in the draft after being named Baseball America's Player of the Year in 2010 and the publication's Freshman of the Year in 2009. Ankle and shoulder injuries have slowed Rendon down this year and limited his time at third base, where he is considered an excellent defender. The 20-year-old Houston native shines at the plate as well and has a .350/.552/.552 line with 62 walks so far this season.

I spoke to Rendon earlier today about his injuries, the team he rooted for growing up and the hype surrounding the draft. Here's a transcript of our conversation:

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Draft Notes: Bradley, Bauer, Wong, Springer

We're 41 days away from the amateur draft! The Pirates, Mariners, Diamondbacks, Orioles, and Royals will lead off with the first five picks. Click here to see the entire draft order. Several of the links below require subscriptions, which we heartily recommend purchasing. Today's notes:

  • ESPN's Keith Law hears that South Carolina outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. has a torn ligament in his wrist and could miss the rest of the spring (Twitter link). Bradley was expected to be a first round pick before the injury.
  • Baseball America's John Manuel, Jim Callis, and Conor Glassey make picks for the first round – not projections, but their own preferences.
  • UCLA righty Trevor Bauer is a top five candidate, writes Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, but there are concerns over his workload. Talking to ESPN's Jason A. Churchill, one assistant GM admitted he's worried about Bauer's pitch counts. He's averaged 124.5 pitches per start, according to Churchill.
  • In a draft heavy on pitching, Goldstein says second baseman Kolten Wong out of Hawaii "is now getting late first round consideration."
  • Connecticut outfielder George Springer has bounced back lately, perhaps enough to put him within the first ten picks, says Churchill. For more on Springer, check out Ben Nicholson-Smith's interview. Ben's other prospective draft pick interviews include Sonny Gray, Matt Purke, Danny Hultzen, and the elusive Gerrit Cole.
  • Current buzz from Churchill still has Rice's Anthony Rendon going to the Mariners at #2 overall.


Draft Notes: Cole, Rendon, Hultzen, Gray

It's far too early in the spring for teams to have their draft boards finalized, as Keith Law pointed out at ESPN.com this week. With nearly two months remaining between now and the draft, a lot can change, but that doesn't stop Law from passing along the latest on the early intentions of some teams with high picks:

  • Law hears that the Mariners will take either Gerrit Cole or Anthony Rendon with the second pick in the draft, depending on which player is available after the Pirates select first overall.
  • The D'Backs, who pick third, covet Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen, according to Law. 
  • The Orioles are 'extremely likely' to take a college pitcher with the fourth overall pick. They could take Hultzen or Georgia Tech left-hander Jed Bradley.
  • The Royals (5th pick) are also likely to take a college arn and they're interested in UConn right-hander Matt Barnes, Hultzen and Bradley.
  • The D'Backs (7th pick) and Cubs (9th pick) have Vanderbilt right-hander Sonny Gray high on their internal rankings, according to Law.

Quick Hits: Feliciano, Twins, Rendon, Oswalt

 Links for Wednesday, after a walk-off win for Brandon Inge and the Tigers

  • Yankees manager Joe Girardi says Pedro Feliciano has a "damaged shoulder" according to Ben Shpigel of the New York Times (on Twitter). It sounds like surgery is a possibility for the Yankees' $8MM investment.
  • Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s leg injury weakened the Twins' middle infield, which means they may look for infield help, rather than relievers in potential deals, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Trade candidate Kevin Slowey hasn’t pitched in a game since April 4th because of bursitis in his right shoulder, but he could become available again this season.
  • Anthony Rendon nudged out Gerrit Cole for top spot on Baseball America’s updated list of top draft eligible players.
  • The Yankees were frustrated that the Astros never made them fully aware that Roy Oswalt was available last summer, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Credit Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. for acquiring Oswalt quietly and later denying the Yankees their primary offseason target, Cliff Lee.

Quick Hits: Buchholz, Duaner Sanchez, Royals

Links for Monday, as Angels number two prospect Tyler Chatwood prepares for his big league debut against the first place Indians…

  • The Red Sox were non-negotiable on getting two club options on Clay Buchholz's contract, reports Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.  Buchholz explained, "If it was me and I didn’t have a wife and a kid that I had to take care of, it might have been a decision that we would have thought about a little bit more."
  • Teams are locking up their best players earlier and placing increased emphasis on club options, writes Dave Cameron of FanGraphs, and the result may be that "the best players in the game are going to be significantly underpaid during their primes," while the free agent market could become even more inflated.
  • Reliever Duaner Sanchez signed with the Long Island Ducks, the team announced.  Sanchez hasn't pitched in the Majors since May of '09, his career derailed by a July '06 taxi cab accident.  His Ducks teammates include Ruddy Lugo, J.R. House, Lew Ford, and John Rodriguez.
  • Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star writes about how Royals owner David Glass changed his tightfisted ways upon hiring Dayton Moore as GM about five years ago.  Glass won't rule out keeping his talented wave of top prospects together on long-term deals "regardless of who their agent is."
  • Baseball America links: Conor Glassey chatted with potential top draft pick Anthony Rendon, while J.J. Cooper lists the youngest players in every league.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has details on the iPads Carl Crawford's agent Brian Peters distributed as a promotional tool early in the outfielder's free agency.  Though GM Theo Epstein said the iPad didn't change his evaluation of Crawford, he was compelled to return the favor with some Red Sox Beats By Dre headphones.  First Dr. Dre mention in MLBTR history?

Quick Hits: Abreu, Uribe, Rendon, Sanches

This day in baseball history saw the birth of the Blue Jays in 1943…the Philadelphia Blue Jays, that is.  The Phillies adopted the 'Blue Jays' nickname in what new team president Bob Carpenter saw as a break from the club's largely mediocre history.  The nickname didn't stick, however, and it wasn't until the Toronto expansion franchise came into being that the Blue Jays name returned to Major League Baseball.

Some news items to take us into the weekend…

  • Bobby Abreu's $9MM option for 2012 will vest if he makes 433 plate appearances this season.  As Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com points out, the Angels could face a tough playing-time decision since the veteran is coming off his worst full season, yet can still be productive.  MLBTR's Mike Axisa recently profiled Abreu as a make-or-break year player, though given Abreu's durability, his status for 2012 shouldn't be in question as long as the Halos play him.
  • Juan Uribe tells Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that the Dodgers contacted his agent almost every day before finally signing him to a three-year, $21MM contract.
  • Stephen Goff of the Houston Examiner profiles Anthony Rendon, who may be the first overall pick in June's amateur draft.
  • Right-hander Brian Sanches is out of options and is battling for the last spot in the Marlins' bullpen, writes Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.  Sanches has a 2.40 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 120 innings for Florida over the last two seasons, so he'll definitely draw interest if the Marlins put him on waivers or try to trade him.
  • Steve Slowinski of Fangraphs.com looks at the 10 completed and about-to-be-completed $100MM contracts in baseball history.  Of those 10 players, only four played consistently well enough to make those contracts a wise investment — Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez.  (Rangers fans may argue that last one, but Slowinski is strictly looking at player performance.)
  • The Orioles agreed to terms with all of their pre-arbitration players except for right-hander Jason Berken, whose contract was renewed, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.  Berken also had his deal renewed last season.
  • Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com lists the top 10 prospects in the Padres' system.  Mayo puts three pitchers (Casey Kelly, Simon Castro, Cory Luebke) in San Diego's top four, as he notes the emphasis the team puts on developing young arms.   
  • In a chat with fans on ESPNChicago.com, Bruce Levine notes that scouts were in attendance to see Carlos Silva during his six-run first inning and subsequent dugout altercation with Aramis Ramirez on Wednesday.  Levine says that the Cubs would probably be able to trade Silva, not release him, if they wanted to part ways.  There's also the $11.5MM salary Silva is owed for this season that the Cubs would have to swallow if they released the right-hander.

NL Central Links: Fielder, Pujols, Batista, Pirates

The two biggest free agents available next winter could potentially come from the NL Central – Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. The Pujols negotiations have been well documented, and it was Fielder's turn to address the issue today when he arrived at the Brewers' camp. Though he declined to comment on his own contract situation, the Brewers slugger also received a few questions about Pujols. Asked whether, as a baseball fan, he wants to see the three-time MVP remain in St. Louis, Fielder replied that he'd like to see Pujols play "where he's happy," tweets MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Here are the rest of today's NL Central links:


Scott Boras Will Advise Anthony Rendon

Anthony Rendon tells Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Scott Boras is acting as an adviser to the college baseball star (Twitter links).  In the second tweet, Kovacevic notes that since Boras is just an adviser to Rendon, the relationship doesn't affect Rendon's amateur status.  Rendon, a junior at Rice, is eligible to declare for the amateur draft after this season, and is a favorite to be selected with the first overall pick, held by the Pirates. 

As Kovacevic mentions in his initial tweet, the Bucs could once again find themselves negotiating with Boras over a highly-touted amateur third baseman should Boras eventually become Rendon's agent.  Pittsburgh selected Boras client Pedro Alvarez second overall in the 2008 draft, and the two sides became embroiled in a dispute over whether or not Alvarez agreed to a contract before the August 15 deadline.  The situation was eventually resolved, but one wonders if the Bucs might use this incident as motivation to instead take George Springer, Gerrit Cole or another top prospect with the first pick.

Boras has represented the last two #1 picks in the amateur draft (Bryce Harper in 2010, Stephen Strasburg in 2009) and three of the last five overall (Luke Hochevar in 2006).


AL West Notes: Guerrero, Wells, Mariners

Some notes on the AL West with an update on a potential Hall of Famer and another take on the Vernon Wells trade…

  • Rangers president Nolan Ryan told the Dallas Morning News that he hasn't ruled out bringing Vladimir Guerrero back. Ryan likes the idea of adding another powerful bat, but suggests Vlad may seek more playing time elsewhere.
  • Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com examines this prediction of Ryan's: Texas will win 90-95 regular season games in 2011.
  • Dave Cameron of FanGraphs wonders if the Vernon Wells trade is, at least from the Angels' perspective, the most inexplicable deal in recent history.
  • The Mariners, who select second in this June's draft, will consider amateur players including Anthony Rendon, Gerrit Cole, Matt Purke and George Springer, according to MLB.com's Greg Johns.