Brian Matusz Rumors

Odds & Ends: Thames, Manzella, Royals, Marlins

Links for Friday…

Odds & Ends: Beltre, Lyon, Nats, Rangers

Some more links for your Thursday night…

Discussion: What’s Next For Baltimore?

The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly details the questions facing a Baltimore team with some young offensive talent, some terrific young pitching on the way, and a lot of extra cash.

Connolly writes that while the 64-98 record Baltimore had in 2009 was the third-worst in team history, "there is a sense that the future has promise because of the emergence of young starting pitchers Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman and Brad Bergesen, catcher Matt Wieters and outfielders Nolan Reimold and Felix Pie."

Left unsaid, of course, is the emergence of Adam Jones and Nick Markakis continuing to be a tremendous player.

The good news? The Orioles, according to Connolly, went from roughly $77MM owed in payroll at the start of the 2009 season-including $9MM to Jay Gibbons and Ramon Hernandez- to a $30MM commitment for 2010, not including raises through arbitration.

The bad news is that there aren't many marquee free agents (though there is Jason Marquis), and those that do qualify- Jason Bay, Matt Holliday, John Lackey- aren't great fits, particularly Bay and Holliday in an overcrowded outfield.

Connolly captures the problem of desires vs. realistic options perfectly here:

"The preference is to find a right-handed or switch-hitting first baseman in his prime, like the New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira. But there's no one who fits that profile in this year's class. The best free-agent options might be left-handed-hitting first basemen Russell Branyan and Hank Blalock or right-handed do-it-all Mark DeRosa."

So what's an Oriole to do?

Orioles Sign Brian Matusz

FRIDAY: The Orioles reached an agreement with Matusz on a Major League deal worth $3.47MM.

THURSDAY, 12:51pm:’s Spencer Fordin says the O’s and Matusz inched closer to a deal, perhaps for a Major League contract worth $3.1MM.  However, no agreement is confirmed.

11:16am: Roch Kubatko confirms Matusz’s presence in Baltimore for a physical, but stresses that the pitcher has not signed yet.  All signs point to a deal getting done though.

9:43am: According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, Orioles top draft pick Brian Matusz is expected in Baltimore today for a physical and a deal is close.  Zrebiec believes Matusz sought a big league contract for $5MM.

Nationals fans have to hope the Matusz deal is wrapped up early and can be used as a benchmark to sign Aaron Crow.

Draft Pick Signing Update: Posey, Matusz, Alonso

10:51am: Baggarly has the latest on Posey.  He says it’s a "spitting contest" between Scott Boras and Posey’s agency to have the highest-paid draft pick.

7:46am: The latest links involved unsigned first-round draft picks.

Draft Roundup: Crow, Matusz, Alvarez

The deadline to sign ’08 draft picks is 11pm CST on Friday.  Here are the latest rumors.

Odds and Ends: Ibanez, Dunn, Blake, Stewart

Let’s kick off the morning with some random links.

Draft Roundup: Matusz, Alonso, Hosmer

Let’s round up some links concerning the unsigned ’08 draft picks.

  • The Orioles haven’t made much progress with Brian Matusz, but they haven’t gone backward either.  His agent seems cautiously optimistic.
  • Reds top pick Yonder Alonso told the Miami Herald there’s a 50-50 chance he doesn’t sign and goes back to college.  One of Alonso’s "advisors" said the Reds and Alonso were way off on figures.
  • Sam Mellinger says some think Royals top pick Eric Hosmer might be willing to try college.  Hosmer is advised by Scott Boras. Mellinger considers fourth round pick/first round talent Tim Melville the Royals’ backup plan.  Ideally, they’ll sign both high-ceiling talents.
  • How much of this is just posturing?  We’ll know on August 16th.

Draft Update: Crow, Alvarez, Matusz’s Jonathan Mayo reminds us of baseball’s next deadline: this year’s draft picks must be signed by end of day August 15th.  Mayo provides links updating progress on unsigned top ten picks Pedro Alvarez, Eric Hosmer, Yonder Alonso, and Aaron Crow.  No news on Gordon Beckham.

  • Roch Kubatko says both the Orioles and Brian Matusz remain confident a deal will be done.  No hard feelings on either side regarding the delay.
  • Based on this Q&A with Nationals GM Jim Bowden, talks with Crow apparently haven’t gotten too far. 
  • As for Alvarez, the Pirates have a dollar figure they’d prefer not to exceed.

Mayo’s Latest: Alvarez, Orioles, Cashner’s Jonathan Mayo has some draft tidbits tonight.

  • The idea has been floated that the Rays could draft Pedro Alvarez with an eye on moving Evan Longoria to second base down the road.  Alvarez’s position really shouldn’t be a concern – Carlos Pena might be gone by the time he’s ready.  Mayo’s heard buzz that the Rays have narrowed it down to Alvarez or Buster Posey, despite what Tim Beckham‘s dad said.
  • Standard speculation is that the O’s are looking at Brian Matusz and Justin Smoak, but Mayo’s heard there might be a non-Beckham dark horse.
  • The White Sox have Smoak, Yonder Alonso, and perhaps Andrew Cashner on their radar at #8.