Cincinnati Reds Rumors
Here are today's most notable signings from Day 2 and Day 3 of the draft (slot information courtesy of Baseball America)...
- The Royals signed fourth round draft pick Zane Evans, Baseball America's Jim Callis tweets. Evans signed for $400K, below the $450.4K assigned slot value for the 114th overall pick. Evans was both a catcher and a right-handed relief pitcher at Georgia Tech and Callis believes Kansas City will use him as a catcher.
- The Reds have signed third-rounder Mark Armstrong, Callis reports (via Twitter). Armstrong, a high school right-hander who had committed to Pitt, signed for exactly his assigned slot value of $496K.
- The Mariners have signed St. John's left-hander Ryan Horstman, Callis reports (via Twitter). Horstman, one of the few college freshmen eligible for the draft, was taken in the fourth round by the M's and signed for $550K, a significant bump up from his slotted price of $437.6K.
- Junior college right-hander Kenyan Middleton tweeted that he has officially signed with the Angels earlier today. Middleton, the No. 95 overall pick, is advised by Tripper Johnson of Sosnick & Cobbe. His slot carries an assigned pick value of $541K.
- The Cardinals signed third-rounder Mike Mayers for a little more than a $500K bonus -- about $58K below his assigned pick value -- according to Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Mayers is a right-hander out of Ole Miss.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis tweets that the Phillies signed fourth-rounder Jake Sweaney for $400K. Sweaney's deal is $21K below slot. The high school catcher was committed to Oregon and has a plus arm with power potential in his bat.
- The Twins signed third-rounder Stuart Turner for a $550K bonus that is well below the No. 78 pick's assigned value of $703K, Callis tweets. The Mississipi backstop was regarded as the best catch-and-throw college catcher in this year's draft, and Callis notes that he had a strong year at the plate too.
- Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports that the Cardinals have agreed to an over-slot deal with 10th-rounder Malik Collymore. The Canadian high school second baseman will receive a $275K signing bonus, which is significantly larger than the recommended $135K.
- Eleventh-round selection Spencer Navin also received a significantly over-slot deal, tweets Callis. The Dodgers gave the Vanderbilt backstop $300K -- three times the $100K maximum for draft picks after the 10th round. Players drafted after the 10th round don't count toward a team's bonus pool as long as they sign for $100K or less. In other words, the $200K excess to sign Navin will count against the Dodgers' draft pool.
- The Astros have signed fourth-round pick Conrad Gregor for a bonus of $482K, tweets Callis. The Vanderbilt first baseman has good patience and athleticism but has yet to tap into his power, Callis adds. Gregor signed for full slot value.
The Reds have signed Zach Duke to a minor league deal, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. According to the Triple-A International League transactions page, Duke was assigned to Triple-A Louisville, and catcher Konrad Schmidt was released to clear roster space.
The Nationals re-signed Duke to a Major League deal this past December, but the former Rookie of the Year candidate was ultimately designated for assignment and released after allowing 20 runs in 20 2/3 innings. Despite his left-handedness, the 30-year-old Duke has actually allowed a .386/.413/.477 line to opposing left-handers from 2012-13. He's walked just two of the 46 lefties he's faced though and hasn't allowed a home run.
The 28-year-old Schmidt spent his entire professional career with the D-backs prior to this season. He reached the Majors on two separate occasions but only saw 17 plate appearances. He has a career .271/.323/.409 batting line in 218 games at the Triple-A level.
Here are Thursday's notable signings from Day 2 and Day 3 of the draft (all slot info courtesy of Baseball America) ...
- The Orioles have agreed to terms with Scottsdale Community College lefty Stephen Tarpley, the team's third-round choice, according to Baseball America's Jim Callis (via Twitter). Tarpley, who reportedly touches 95 with his fastball, was signed for just $500 under the recommended $525,500 bonus for the 98th overall choice.
- Third-round draft choice Brandon Dixon has signed with the Dodgers for the slot recommendation of $566,500, tweets Callis. The University of Arizona third baseman could become a corner outfielder, according to Callis, and is noted for his power potential.
- The Dodgers have signed fourth-round choice Cody Bellinger, a high-school first baseman, for $700k, tweets Callis. Los Angeles pried Bellinger away from the University of Oregon with the largest over-slot signing to date (by percentage), nearly doubling the recommended $409k bonus. Bellinger is being advised by the Beverly Hills Sports Council.
- The Blue Jays have agreed to terms with their fourth round pick, left-handed high-schooler Evan Smith, according to Callis (on Twitter). Smith, who stands at 6'5", has reportedly touched 93 with his fastball. $96.1k
- Cody Dickson, a "projectable" left-hander out of Sam Houston State, will sign with the Pirates for $375k, Callis says on Twitter. The fourth-round pick's bonus falls $54,200 under the slot recommendation.
- The Reds have signed fourth-rounder Ben Lively for $350k, Callis tweets. The righty mixes four pitches, including a 90-93 MPH heater. His signing bonus comes in at a modest $17.9k under slot.
- The Rockies inked fifth-rounder Blake Shouse for $353,900, his exact slot allocation, according to a Callis tweet. Per Callis, the two-way player sits in the low-to-mid 90's with his fastball and also features a hard curve.
- Third round pick Patrick Murphy signed with the Blue Jays for $500K, Callis tweets. The Arizona high school right-hander missed the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery. In the past, he has displayed a 93 mph fastball and solid curveball. Murphy is advised by Jonathan Pridie of Sosnick Cobbe.
- The Yankees signed third-rounder Michael O'Neill for $501K, according to Callis (via Twitter). The Michigan outfielder is quick and could wind up in center field.
- Rangers fourth-round pick Isaiah Kiner-Falefa signed for $202K, per Callis (on Twitter). The Hawaiian high school shortstop is a solid defender with a contact-oriented approach. He signed for nearly $184K under slot.
- Catcher/right-hander Tanner Murphy, a fourth-round pick of the Braves, agreed to a $250K bonus to forego his commitment to Southern Illinois, Callis tweets. Murphy has power in his bat and a strong throwing arm behind the dish, and he's also been clocked at 92 mph on the mound. He signed for a healthy $125K below slot.
- The Angels have signed third-round pick Kenyan Middleton for a bonus of $450K, tweets Callis. Middleton is a two-sport athlete out of junior college in Oregon who touches 95 mph with his fastball and features a tight slider as well. He signed $91K under slot.
- The Rays have signed fifth-round selection Johnny Field for a bonus of $250K, Callis reports (on Twitter). Field, an outfielder out of the University of Arizona, will convert to second base and provides most of his value with his bat. He signed for nearly $45K under slot.
Here's today's rundown of notable Day 2 and Day 3 draft picks to sign (all slot info courtesy of Baseball America's list of assigned pick values)...
- The Indians announced, via Twitter, that they have signed four draft picks, including right-hander Trevor Frank, who served as the closer for the UC Riverside this season.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis tweets that the Padres fourth-rounder Mason Smith received a $415K bonus. Smith signed slightly under the assigned pick value of $433K. The high school outfielder from Idaho was committed to Utah and projects to have a plus bat with average power. MLB.com's Corey Brock first reported the Smith signing, as noted below.
- Pirates ninth-rounder Chad Kuhl signed for the full slot value of $145K, tweets Callis, who adds that the Delaware right-hander generates a lot of ground-balls with his sinker.
- The Yankees have signed fourth-rounder Tyler Wade to a deal worth $371K, according to Callis (on Twitter). The high school shortstop's bonus matches the assigned value of his pick. Callis writes that Wade boasts plus speed and a plus arm with a line-drive bat.
- Callis tweets that the Mariners signed third-round pick Tyler O'Neill to an above-slot $650K bonus (assigned value was $631K). O'Neill, a prep catcher from Canada, has drawn comparisons to Brett Lawrie because of his bat and power. He's likely to end up in the outfield.
- The Diamondbacks have signed third-round pick and first baseman/outfielder Daniel Palka for $550K, Callis tweets. Arizona secured the Georgia Tech product under slot, as the assigned pick value for the No. 88 slot was $603K. Palka has big power and a strong arm that could profile in right field, Callis adds.
- The Reds went over slot to sign their fifth-round pick, according to Callis (Twitter link), inking prep shortstop Cory Thompson for $367K (slot was $275K). Callis adds that Thompson is a solid runner with a good glove and some pop in his bat, but he also has a fastball in the low 90s.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock tweets that the Padres have signed 20 draft picks, including Hofstra right-hander Bryan Verbitsky (No. 86 overall), high school center fielder Mason Smith (No. 118) San Francisco right-hander Adam Cimber (No. 268) and UNC right-hander Justin Livengood (No. 298). The slot values for those picks are $621K, $433K, $146K and $134K, respectively.
- Two of those 20 picks that Brock mentions are Memphis lefty Erik Schoenrock (11th round) and junior college lefty Payton Baskette, tweets Callis. Each pick signed for an even $100K.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
The Reds have signed first-round pick Phillip Ervin for the exact slot recommendation of $1,812,400 according to Baseball America's Jim Callis (on Twitter). Ervin is advised by Moye Sports Associates.
Cincinnati selected Ervin, an outfielder from Samford Universtiy, with the No. 27 overall pick in the 2013 draft. Callis notes that Ervin has the potential to stick in center field and was one of his favorite prospects in the entire draft class.
Ervin ranked 23rd on Baseball America's list of Top 500 draft prospects, 21st on Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com's Top 100 list and 54th on Keith Law of ESPN's Top 100 list (ESPN Insider required). With this agreement, Ervin becomes the highest draft pick to sign thus far and the first player from the 2013 first round to sign as well.
Ervin is the first college bat selected by the Reds in the first round since Yasmani Grandal back in 2010 and their first college outfielder since they selected Drew Stubbs eighth overall out of Texas in 2006. Cincinnati did select Cal outfielder Jeff Gelalich in the supplemental round of last year's draft as compensation for losing Francisco Cordero.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Right-hander Greg Reynolds can opt out of his minor league contract with the Reds on Saturday, MLBTR has learned.
Reynolds, 27, has pitched to a 2.51 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 86 innings (12 starts) for the Triple-A Louisville Bats. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 draft is doing the best Triple-A work of his career, and the Reds do have an open spot in the rotation with Johnny Cueto on the disabled list. However, manager Dusty Baker recently noted that top prospect Tony Cingrani, who is already on the 40-man roster and pitched for the team earlier this season, is the likely candidate to replace Cueto (MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reporting). The team could, of course, elect to use Reynolds in a bullpen that needs some help. Cincinnati's relief corps has a 4.11 ERA on the season, which ranks 22nd in the Majors.
Reynolds, a Stanford product much like recent No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel, has a 7.47 ERA with just 40 strikeouts against 36 walks in 94 Major League innings -- all coming with the Rockies in 2008 and 2011.
Today's minor moves...
- The Reds released reliever Mike MacDougal from their Triple-A club, according to the International League transactions page. MacDougal, who signed a minor league deal in April, posted a 5.49 ERA, 9.2 K/9, 5.0 BB/9, and 0.92 HR/9 in 19 2/3 innings this year. The 36-year-old made seven relief appearances for the Dodgers in April last year. MacDougal has 71 career saves, mostly for the Royals and Nationals, and is well ahead of Rocky Biddle for the highest total among native Nevadans. MacDougal was drafted by the Royals in the first round in 1999, a pick received from the Red Sox as part of the compensation for the loss of Jose Offerman.
- Seven players currently reside in DFA limbo: Evan Crawford and Henry Blanco of the Blue Jays, Nate Adcock of the Royals, Zach Duke and Henry Rodriguez of the Nationals, Vinnie Catricala of the Mariners, and Jon Garland of the Rockies.
Astros owner Jim Crane is confident that his team can reach an agreement with the top overall pick in this weekend's draft, Stanford pitcher Mark Appel, reports Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle. "They had something worked out that they felt comfortable," says Crane. Appel did not sign after being selected by the Pirates with the No. 8 overall pick last year, but the Astros will be able to offer him more money this year -- the bonus pool allotment for the No. 1 pick in 2013 is about $7.8MM. Here are more notes from the draft.
- The Braves took Georgia Tech center fielder Kyle Wren in the eighth round on Friday, and his father, Braves GM Frank Wren, found that a bit awkward, Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. "Selfishly we’re getting a player with talent, so I feel good about that," says Frank Wren. "But I think it’s going to be a little tougher on him than probably anyone else. That’s the (hard) part that as a dad, just knowing going in that he’s going to have endure some of that." Indeed, Kyle Wren looks like a credible pick from a talent perspective -- Baseball America ranked him the No. 215 prospect in the draft, and the Braves picked him at No. 253. Rogers notes that, in 2002, the Braves also drafted former GM John Schuerholz's son Jonathan.
- In the ninth round of the draft, the Reds picked Chad Jones -- the same Chad Jones who was selected as a safety by the New York Giants in the third round of the NFL Draft in 2010. Jim Kleinpeter of the New Orleans Times-Picayune notes that Jones is taking a very unusual path back into professional sports. The former two-sport LSU standout almost lost his leg in a car accident soon after the Giants picked him, and now, years later and after lots of rehabilitation for his leg injuries, he's emerged as a left-handed pitching prospect. Jones played for LSU's 2007 national champion football team, as well as its 2009 College World Series-winning baseball team.
The Pirates' record sits at 33-20, and while Fangraphs' Dave Cameron doesn't think the Bucs will keep playing .623 ball for the rest of the season, the team's expected regression shouldn't be enough to keep them from playoff contention, or at the very least their first winning record since 1992. Of course, last year's Pirates also looked good before completely falling apart after the All-Star break, so Pittsburgh fans shouldn't count their chickens until their club actually posts that 82nd victory.
Here's the latest from the NL Central...
- Cubs right-hander Scott Feldman could be a major trade chip this summer, ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine writes. An AL scout tells Levine that Feldman is "one of those pitchers that you don't get that excited about unless you watch him over a period of starts. He has really commanded his pitches this season and you see the confidence and consistent outings from him." Feldman signed a one-year, $6MM contract with Chicago last winter and has rebuilt his value by posting a 2.82 ERA, 7.57 K/9, 2.68 K/BB and 50.6% ground ball rate through 10 starts. (The advanced metrics indicate a bit of luck, as Feldman also has a 3.92 FIP, 3.78 xFIP and a .254 BABIP.) The Cubs "may be reluctant" to move Feldman, Levine notes, though they would likely make a trade in exchange for a quality prospect.
- The Cardinals' trade for Edward Mujica last July has turned into a steal, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. The Cards added Mujica as bullpen depth last year and he has surprisingly blossomed into an elite closer after the club's other end-game options all had injury or performance issues. Zack Cox, a 2010 first-round draft pick, was sent to the Marlins for Mujica and is hitting .298/.398/.381 at Double-A Jacksonville. MLBTR's Steve Adams recently looked at how Mujica's performance has greatly enhanced his free agent stock for the coming offseason.
- John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link) doesn't see the Reds making a play for Juan Francisco now that the third baseman has been designated for assignment by the Braves. Francisco was originally signed by the Reds and played three seasons in Cincinnati before being dealt to Atlanta for J.J. Hoover in April 2012. The left-handed hitting Francisco makes sense on paper as a complement to Todd Frazier, though I'd suspect the Reds would prefer to keep Frazier playing every day.
Here are your minor moves for Wednesday...
- Salt Lake Bees radio broadcaster Steve Klauke reports (on Twitter) that the Angels have released veteran Kip Wells to make room on the roster for the recently outrighted Billy Buckner. Wells, 36, had a 10.36 ERA, 3.3 K/9 and 8.1 BB/9 in 24 1/3 innings at Triple-A.
- Reds assistant director of media relations Jamie Ramsey reports that the team has purchased the contract of 21-year-old outfielder Sebastian Elizalde from the Mexican League. In 147 career games in that league, Elizalde is a .301/.353/.450 hitter. He will report to extended Spring Training (Twitter links).
- Dallas McPherson has signed a contract with the York Revolution of the Atlantic League, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (on Twitter). McPherson has a pair of 40-homer minor league campaigns under his belt and was once one of the best power prospects in baseball. He's hit just .241/.292/.446 as a Major Leaguer, however.
- The Dodgers have signed catcher J.R. Towles to a minor league contract, tweets Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. The former top prospect is now 29 years old and has a .265/.361/.423 batting line in 223 career games at Triple-A. At the Major League level, he's just a .187/.267/.315 hitter in 484 plate appearances -- all coming with the Astros. He last saw the bigs in 2011.
- The Blue Jays have selected the contract of Triple-A Buffalo closer Neil Wagner, tweets MLBTR's Tim Dierkes. The Jays already had an open spot on their 40-man roster. The 29-year-old NDSU product has a 0.89 ERA with 32 strikeouts and eight walks in 20 1/3 frames at Buffalo this season.