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It would be foolhardy for the Marlins to fire manager Mike Redmond this early in the season, opines FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal in his latest notes column. Redmond is well-respected among the industry, Rosenthal notes, and he cannot be blamed for the fact that Henderson Alvarez is injured and Mat Latos has struggled so greatly. (Latos’ diminished velocity is likely a significant culprit in that regard.) Rosenthal writes that owner Jeffrey Loria needs to realize that the unstable culture he creates by cycling through managers so willingly is part of the problem in Miami.
A few more notes from Rosenthal’s latest column…
- In the video atop his column, Rosenthal notes that Cubs top prospect Addison Russell has begun playing some second base and may eventually get a look there in the Majors. However, because he is their best defensive shortstop, Russell may eventually push Starlin Castro to third base and Kris Bryant to the outfield, or his arrival may lead to a trade of Castro.
- Rosenthal writes about former Mets GM Omar Minaya’s decision to draft Matt Harvey with the seventh pick in the 2010 draft. The team had been deciding between Harvey and Chris Sale, but the Mets, like many other clubs, had some reservations about whether or not Sale would last as a starter. Minaya became convinced of Harvey after watching him in an April start at the University of Miami, though as Rosenthal notes, others in the front office/scouting department, including Marlin McPhail, Rudy Terrasas and Bryan Lambe all played large roles as well. Interestingly, Rosenthal adds that the White Sox were thrilled to get Chris Sale at No. 13, as they feared the Royals would select him fifth overall. Kansas City instead selected Cal State Fulelrton infielder Christian Colon.
- Delmon Young told the Orioles that he wanted to regain some of his lost athleticism, and so the team had him work extensively with outfielder-turned-executive Brady Anderson in Spring Training. Young was the first to the clubhouse every day during Spring Training and is now has the fastest 10-yard dash time on the Orioles, per manager Buck Showalter. Rosenthal also notes that Everth Cabrera told the O’s that he knew advanced metrics pegged him as a below-average defender, and he expressed an interest in improving in that area. Baltimore is working with Cabrera to correct a tendency to retreat with his hands and “baby” the ball, as Rosenthal put it.
- The White Sox weren’t as successful in upgrading their catching position as they’d have liked, but for the time being, they’re content with Tyler Flowers and Geovany Soto. Rosenthal notes that while Welington Castillo is widely believed to be available, the Sox and Cubs rarely make trades.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Addison Russell | Baltimore Orioles | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Chris Sale | Christian Colon | Delmon Young | Everth Cabrera | Geovany Soto | Kansas City Royals | Lance Lynn | Matt Harvey | Miami Marlins | Mike Redmond | New York Mets | Starlin Castro | Tyler Flowers | Welington Castillo
Ryan Vogelsong seemed to be on the verge of signing with the Astros before he eventually rejoined the Giants, and the righty hinted that there was something unusual about how negotiations broke down with Houston. According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the issue was that after agreeing to sign Vogelsong to a one-year, $4MM deal, the Astros wanted to pay Vogelsong less after viewing the results of his physical. Both Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and Vogelsong’s agent Dave Meier declined to comment to Heyman about the situation.
Here’s some more from around the baseball world…
- The Royals are focused on winning now, which could change their handling of prospects Brandon Finnegan and Christian Colon, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan writes. There is “a pretty healthy discussion going on within the Royals’ organization” about Finnegan, who could be a key left-handed bullpen weapon for K.C. this season, though such usage could also hurt his development as a future starter. A similar argument could be made about Colon and whether he’d be better served playing every day at Triple-A or coming off the Royals’ bench as a utilityman.
- Though he has a 2016 option that vests if he pitches 200 innings, Cliff Lee is entering his last guaranteed year under contract. The Phillies southpaw told reporters (including David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News) that he’s hasn’t thought about what lies beyond the coming season. “We’ll see what it brings,” Lee said. “I definitely do not want to go out the way things happened last year, I don’t want that to be the way I finish my career, but at the same time I’m not going to sit there and try to fight that to get it done. I want to go out there and have fun and feel good and make it be a positive thing instead of it be a battle physically.”
- Erasmo Ramirez is facing a roster crunch, as the out-of-options righty doesn’t appear to have a clear path to either a rotation or bullpen role with the Mariners, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune writes. The M’s don’t want to lose Ramirez but Dutton hears from multiple rival officials that Seattle stands little chance of sneaking Ramirez through waivers and down to the minors. The Mariners also don’t stand to get much of a return in a possible trade, as one rival exec rhetorically asks, “How much are you going to give up for a guy who is likely to be on waivers in a few weeks?”
- The Giants will certainly monitor the market for right-handed hitting outfield bats in the wake of Hunter Pence‘s injury, FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi writes, though the club won’t jump to make a move.
- Using 2014 attendance figures and Forbes’ evaluations of franchise values, Fangraphs’ Craig Edwards calculates each team’s “expected payroll” to see how clubs spend in relation to their markets. The Tigers outspend their market by the most while the Yankees rank last, though Edwards explains that ranking is slightly misleading since luxury tax payments aren’t factored into the equation.
- Besides division rivals or intra-market rivals, Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron (writing for FOX Sports) looks at other pairs of teams that rarely seem to make trades with each other.
- Injuries to several relievers could result in one or two young arms getting a shot in the Diamondbacks‘ Opening Day bullpen, Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic writes.
Milwaukee's trade of Norichika Aoki to the Royals makes sense for the Brewers and for Aoki himself, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy writes. Khris Davis' emergence late last season means there won't be room for Aoki as a full-time player now that Ryan Braun's suspension is over, as the Brewers will go with an outfield of Davis, Carlos Gomez and Braun. Aoki's path to playing time will be clearer in Kansas City. "Everybody was on board with it," says Aoki's agent, Nez Balelo. "[Kansas City] was the best viable option. He’s going to love it there because he will get an opportunity to lead off and play every day." Here are more notes from the Central divisions.
- Royals infielder Christian Colon has switched agents from Scott Boras to Excel Sports, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
- The Royals and Angels might make good trade partners, with the Angels sending second baseman Howie Kendrick to Kansas City in return for young pitching, the Los Angeles Times' Mike DiGiovanna tweets.
- Phil Hughes was surprised to receive a three-year, $24MM deal from the Twins, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports. "Obviously the season I had was a disaster," says Hughes. "Coming into this thing, I was kind of expecting to just rebuild my value with a good year next year somewhere." The Mariners and Angels were among the other teams who bid for Hughes, but the Twins' offer of three guaranteed years won out.
- Now that the White Sox have signed Jose Dariel Abreu and re-signed Paul Konerko, there's less playing time available for Adam Dunn, writes CSNChicago.com's Dan Hayes. It appears Konerko and Dunn will platoon, with Konerko starting at designated hitter against lefties. Dunn hit .226/.327/.459 against righties last year, compared to .197/.296/.385 against lefties.
The Royals have designated left-hander Noel Arguelles and second baseman Irving Falu for assignment in order to clear space for additions to their 40-man roster, the team announced via press release. In addition to the pair of DFAs, right-hander Felipe Paulino has elected free agency after being outrighted. The Royals will add Lane Adams, Christian Colon, Cheslor Cuthbert and Michael Mariot to the 40-man roster.
The Royals signed Arguelles, a Cuban defector, to a five-year, $7MM contract back in 2009, but the southpaw never lived up to his lofty prospect status. Arguelles, 23, underwent shoulder surgery in 2010 and was hampered by groin problems in 2013. He has a career 5.12 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 300 1/3 minor league innings, none coming above the Double-A level.
Falu, 30, has outstanding Major League numbers, but they come in a tiny sample of just 95 plate appearances. Still, the switch-hitter owns a .337/.366/.427 slash line with the Royals — the only team for whom he's played at the big league level. Falu is a career .283/.342/.365 hitter in Triple-A.
Paulino, also 30, pitched to a 3.55 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 162 1/3 innings with the Royals from 2011-12 but had his 2012 campaign cut short by Tommy John surgery. His strong career strikeout rate (8.4 K/9) and respectable ground-ball rate (44 percent) make him an intriguing buy-low candidate.
Cory Luebke will undergo reconstructive elbow surgery on Wednesday, Dan Hayes of the North County Times tweets. The Padres left-hander hasn’t pitched in the Major Leagues since April 27th and had been undecided as to his next step. Here are the rest of today’s links…
- Jim Callis of Baseball America says Royals infield prospect Christian Colon will eventually move from shortstop to second base, where he can be a solid regular.
- Blue Jays right-hander Jesse Litsch says he has a "career threatening" infection in his shoulder, Barry Davis of Sportsnet.ca tweets. Litsch, 27, has spent the entire season on Toronto's disabled list. He posted a 4.44 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 75 innings last year.
- Former MLB outfielder Bobby Kielty told MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes that he signed with the York Revolution of the independent Atlantic League. The 35-year-old has a career .296/.379/.503 batting line against left-handed pitching, but hasn't played in the Major Leagues since 2007.
- There's still no resolution in the Jairo Beras-Rangers case, Ben Badler of Baseball America writes. Texas agreed to sign the prospect for $4.5MM, but MLB's questions about his age remain unanswered. International sources tell Badler MLB can't sign off on the deal if it wants to seem serious about rule enforcement in Latin America.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com wonders if the Rangers could be a fit for Roy Oswalt now that starter Neftali Feliz is on the disabled list (Twitter link). Click here for the latest Oswalt rumors.
Royals GM Dayton Moore told John Sickels of Minor League Ball that it takes time to develop prospects and turn them into major leaguers. Moore says he understands fans' concerns about the Royals' recent history of losing and shares their excitement about the players currently in the Royals' highly touted system. Here are the details:
- Moore says players can take a few years to develop, pointing to Billy Butler. The Royals extended Butler earlier in the year because he has improved every year and they "think he's about to take that to another level."
- Hitters take time to develop, since it's hard for them "to develop beyond their level of competition." In other words they need to face good pitching to learn to hit it.
- The Royals are "very optimistic" about Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer, partly because the two top prospects have experienced failure.
- Moustakas "can stick at third base, no question," according to Moore, who likes the infielder's arm and body control.
- Hosmer and Moustakas could push Kila Ka'aihue into a reserve role, but the Royals say he's capable of more. "We think he can hit .240-.260, hit 20-25 homers, .370 OBP," Moore said. "It will be a nice problem fitting all these guys in the lineup."
- Christian Colon, the team's top pick in 2010, "can be an Orlando Cabrera type at short, or a Placido Polanco if he moves to second," Moore said.
- Moore says the Royals need more speed and athleticism. The GM says his ideal team would have a center fielder like Adam Jones or Torii Hunter - someone with speed, defense and power.
The Royals officially signed fourth overall pick Christian Colon today and assigned the shortstop to their Carolina League affiliate. Colon receives a $2.75MM bonus, but no major league deal, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter). Keith Law reported the deal Wednesday on ESPN.com's draft Twitter feed.
The 21-year-old shortstop becomes the highest of this year's draft picks to reach an agreement so far. MLB.com's scouting report praises the Cal State Fullerton product's "outstanding makeup and leadership ability," along with his ability to play "above his tools."
Rival executives told ESPN.com's Buster Olney that Colon's skills could bring him to the major leagues by next year. After the draft, Colon told reporters that he is confident in his ability to play in the majors before long. The Scott Boras client said he's open to playing second base or short, depending on the Royals' preference.
Fourth overall pick Christian Colon says his game is polished enough to take him to the majors before long and he's not the only one who thinks so. Rival executives told ESPN.com's Buster Olney that the Cal State Fullerton shortstop could reach the majors by next year. The Royals have to sign Colon for that to happen, and the 21-year-old says he hasn't thought about the terms of or timeline for a deal.
"I haven't talked to anybody about it," he said. "[The Royals] know that I'm ready to go. They know that I want to play."
ESPN.com's Keith Law suspects that the Royals have the framework of a deal in place with Colon and his agent, Scott Boras. Colon isn't concerning himself with the negotiations, but the Royals have already earned points for style.
"I think the Kansas City hat looks really good on me," Colon said.
The shortstop likes watching Elvis Andrus and Derek Jeter, but some project him as a second baseman. Colon grew up watching Roberto Alomar and now likes watching Martin Prado, so he says he's open to a positional change.
"I see myself as a shortstop," he said. "But if the Kansas City Royals see me as a second baseman, then I'm all for it."
Colon, who says he has become stronger since the Padres drafted him in 2007, repeatedly referred to himself as a "born leader" during this afternoon's media conference call. He could soon join recent first rounders Billy Butler (2004), Alex Gordon (2005), Luke Hochevar (2006), Mike Moustakas (2007), Eric Hosmer (2008) and Aaron Crow (2009) in the Kansas City organization.
College shortstop Christian Colon was always the Royals' top choice at #4, writes Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. The Royals told Dutton that links to Yasmani Grandal and Chris Sale were a smokescreen.
The Royals' assistant GM of scouting and player development, J.J. Picollo, told Dutton the team feels Colon's price is within reason. Colon is a Scott Boras client, but he may sign quickly and head to A ball. ESPN's Keith Law says, "I believe the Royals' selection of Colon at #4 indicates that they've already worked out the parameters of an agreement." Rival executives tell Law's colleague Buster Olney Colon could be in the Majors as early as next year.
Baseball America writes that Colon profiles as a "future big league regular, best suited as an offensive second baseman." Picollo, however, explained that reports of Colon having limited range and speed stemmed from a broken leg last year.
Picollo will be on the clock again shortly, as the Royals pick fourth in the second round today.