Christian Friedrich Rumors
As players, coaches, and front office personnel begin to arrive in Florida and Arizona for Spring Training 2013, let's take a look at the news and notes from the National League:
- The Phillies were surprised Ben Revere was available and, in fact, it was the Twins who brought his name up in trade talks after dealing Denard Span to the Nationals, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer's Bob Brookover.
- Within the same article, Brookover writes the struggles of Domonic Brown were one reason the Phillies were forced to alter their offseason blueprint. "We were hopeful that Domonic would lock down one of those corner outfield spots," GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He did not do that. He still may do that...but we can't necessarily count on that to happen. Because of that, then we were kind of filling all three outfield positions."
- MLB.com's Mark Sheldon provided additional contract details for some of the players the Reds have signed within the last month including right-hander Logan Ondrusek, who has more than two dozen different escalators, incentives, and bonuses written into the two-year deal he signed last month.
- Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, Juan Nicasio, and Jeff Francis are near locks for the first four slots in the Rockies' starting rotation leaving Drew Pomeranz, Christian Friedrich, Tyler Chatwood and Chris Volstad jockeying for the fifth spot, according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.
- MLB.com's Thomas Harding tweets the candidates for the Rockies' rotation change daily, but the final two spots could come down to Nicasio, Pomeranz, and Chatwood.
- Larry Beinfest, the Marlins' president of baseball operations, envisions the recently signed Chone Figgins in a Alfredo Amezaga-type role, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel. Amezaga played every position, except pitcher and catcher, during his four-year stint in Miami.
- Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post wants to see Davey Johnson return as the Nationals' skipper in 2012. Earlier this week, GM Mike Rizzo raved about Johnson's ability to connect with his players.
- The Mets haven't yet had internal discussions about picking up the 2013 option for manager Terry Collins, but they'll likely discuss the possibility within the next month, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears from someone connected to baseball management who wonders why MLB players don't insist on slotting. Capping bonuses does have potential benefits, but as Rosenthal explains, it's far from an ideal system.
- The Astros wanted Wilin Rosario or Drew Pomeranz for Wandy Rodriguez, but the Rockies were only offering Jason Hammel, Casey Weathers or Christian Friedrich, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Talks between the two teams reached a standstill yesterday, after the Rockies claimed Rodriguez earlier in the week.
- The Blue Jays announced that they signed non-drafted free agent Luke Willson, a left-handed hitter who also plays tight end for the Rice University Owls.
Here are a few items of note out of the NL West, where only 7.5 games separated the first- and last-place clubs entering Tuesday's action:
- Padres first baseman Anthony Rizzo may be called up as soon as Wednesday, according to a baseball source, writes Corey Brock of MLB.com. Friars GM Jed Hoyer said that Rizzo is "close to ready," tweets Brock.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers is making all the right moves, writes Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic. Chiefly, Towers has improved the Snakes' bullpen and bench, cut down on the lineup's strikeouts, and improved the clubhouse, according to Bordow.
- The Rockies stayed true to tradition by selecting a left-handed pitcher in the first round, writes Jack Etkin of Baseball America (subscription needed). The Rox were thought to be on a position player but instead opted for college southpaw Tyler Anderson out of Oregon. Previously, they took Christian Friedrich and Tyler Matzek in the first rounds of the 2008 and '09 Drafts, respectively.
The Rockies signed their first round pick, Christian Friedrich, for $1.35MM yesterday.
Friedrich, a college lefty, was considered roughly the 13th-ranked talent by experts heading into the draft. The Rockies had to have been surprised to see him available at #25.
Today's draft links.
- Rany Jazayerli looks at possibilities for the Royals at #3. He hopes they don't take Eric Hosmer.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has new projections for the top 30. He's switched the Orioles from Brian Matusz to Aaron Crow at #4, among other changes.
- Keith Law has tons of good stuff...the Giants are eyeing Gordon Beckham, the Reds are considering Brett Lawrie, Jason Castro could go to the White Sox, the Dodgers like Zach Collier, and much more.
- Ken Davidoff is hearing that the Padres are in on Brett Wallace and the Twins like Christian Friedrich.
- Pedro Alvarez would be honored to be picked by the Pirates. Dejan Kovacevic continues to say they're leaning that way.
- I am considering live-blogging Thursday's draft, posting each pick here as soon as it's announced (you would not have to refresh). Would that be helpful?
According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Rangers "would love to take a high upside college pitcher who could shoot through the system" with their 11th overall pick this June. Sullivan suggests Shooter Hunt, Tanner Scheppers, and Christian Friedrich as possibilities. Scheppers may be out of the picture given the stress fracture of his shoulder.
ESPN's Keith Law ranked his top 60 for the draft on May 10th, and he considered the top college pitchers to be Aaron Crow, Brian Matusz, Scheppers, Friedrich, Josh Fields, and Hunt. In their May 16th mock draft, Baseball America picked high school first baseman Eric Hosmer for Texas.
By the way, check out the June Amateur Draft link. This will remain on the sidebar until after the June 5th draft takes place.
As you know, the A's have the 12th overall pick in the June draft. Jim Callis' always-informative Ask BA segment in the latest Baseball America print magazine (issue 0809) discusses some possibilities.
Callis suggests shortstop Gordon Beckham would make sense if available - he's likely to wind up somewhere in the infield long-term. Callis also rattles off a couple of catchers (Kyle Skipworth and Buster Posey), pitcher Christian Friedrich, and outfielder Aaron Hicks. Friedrich may be a consideration for the Giants at #5, however.
The Giants have the fifth overall pick in the June draft. It's a shame teams can't trade picks, because the San Francisco's needs don't really match up with the likely best available talent.
Jim Callis provided interesting speculation in issue 0808 of Baseball America's print magazine. Callis suggested that the Giants may lean toward pitching in June even though the best available talent will be at first base. This is because top prospect Angel Villalona is moving from third to first and the Giants may not want to create a future logjam.