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- Cubs Designate Russell, Soriano; Select Contracts Of Cahill, Berry; Recall Baez
- Braves Promote Hector Olivera
- Royals Acquire Jonny Gomes
- Giants Acquire Alejandro De Aza
- Dodgers To Acquire Justin Ruggiano
- Cubs Acquire Austin Jackson
- Giants Still Discussing De Aza, Looking At Infielders
- Blue Jays To Name Mark Shapiro As Team President
- Mets Acquire Addison Reed From Diamondbacks
- Mets Claim Marc Rzepczynski On Revocable Waivers, In Talks With Padres
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- Extension Candidate: Justin Turner
- Poll: Best August 31st Outfield Addition
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- Central Notes: Arrieta, Berrios, Kirby
- Nationals’ Aaron Barrett To Undergo Elbow Surgery
- Reds Designate Dylan Axelrod For Assignment
- Angels Designate Alfredo Marte, Drew Rucinski
- Giants Designate Justin Maxwell For Assignment
- Rangers Designate Roman Mendez For Assignment
- Mets Outright Vic Black
- Cubs Designate Russell, Soriano; Select Contracts Of Cahill, Berry; Recall Baez
- Rays Designate Hak-Ju Lee For Assignment
- Twins Outright Jason Wheeler
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Anthony Rendon Rumors
There is still a lot that can and will change between now and the amateur draft in three weeks, but that didn't stop ESPN's Keith Law from posting his first mock draft today. It's an Insider-only piece, but here are the important points…
- The Pirates are considering Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, and have "done their due diligence" on Dylan Bundy. Law notes that "under Neal Huntington the Pirates have long considered value relative to cost in their drafts, sometimes preferring to spend less in the first round when they see opportunities to spend their savings on other appealing prospects in later rounds." He has them taking Danny Hultzen first overall.
- Everyone Law has spoken to says the Mariners will take Rendon as long as the medicals check out, and he hears from the very good source that there is nothing structural wrong with the Rice third baseman's shoulder.
- The Diamondbacks will take Hultzen third overall if he's available, and they're hoping for Bundy or Trevor Bauer with the seventh overall pick. That pick is compensation for failing to sign Barret Loux last year.
- The Orioles have interest in Bundy, Bauer, and Jed Bradley with the fourth pick. Law emphasizes that everyone has told him the Royals want a college pitcher with the fifth pick. The Indians have their eyes on Bauer for eighth overall.
- High school outfielder Brandon Nimmo is looking for $2MM, and Law has him going to the Rays with the 32nd pick.
Paul Maholm (2003), Neil Walker (2004), Andrew McCutchen (2005) and Pedro Alvarez (2008) were all first round selections by the Pirates. The last time they had the first overall pick, however, they selected Bryan Bullington (2002), who has yet to make a significant impact in the Major Leagues. The Pirates select first overall this June; here’s the latest on what they’ll do with the top pick:
- The Pirates appear to be looking primarily at UCLA righty Gerrit Cole, Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon and Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen with the first overall selection, according to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com. Nine of 14 scouts predicted that the Pirates will take Cole, with three predicting Rendon and two predicting Hultzen.
- For interviews with all three players, check out our Draft Prospect Q&A series.
- All signs point to the Pirates taking a college player rather than, say, high school standout Bubba Starling, according to Mayo.
- The Pirates released Double-A right-hander Tom Boleska, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (on Twitter). Boleska, a 24-year-old right-hander, has a 2.73 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in five minor league seasons, but has struggled in 12 appearances at Double-A this year.
- You can follow the Pirates on MLBTR with Facebook, Twitter and RSS.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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:
- Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch argues that the Cardinals should've done with Pujols what the Phillies did with Ryan Howard, and worked out an extension long before it became a potential distraction. Easier said than done, I'd imagine.
- The Cardinals had interest in Miguel Batista for a few years before signing him this offseason, as Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch writes. Batista, who is on a minor league contract, is the favorite to land the team's final bullpen opening.
- While Pirates president Frank Coonelly said he expects GM Neal Huntington to be with the team "for a long time," Huntington's contract will expire at the end of the 2011 season. According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the club will continue to evaluate Huntington's performance this year before making any long-term decisions.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette takes a look at Anthony Rendon, who is the current favorite to be drafted first overall by the Pirates this summer. Rendon is being advised by Scott Boras.
- Astros owner Drayton McLane Jr. was surprised the team lost its arbitration hearing with Hunter Pence, says Stephen Goff of the Houston Examiner.