Colin Moran Rumors
The Marlins and No. 6 overall draft pick Colin Moran have agreed to terms for the full slot bonus of $3,516,500, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. MLB.com's Joe Frisaro adds that completion of a physical is the only step remaining in the signing process (Twitter link). Moran is advised by Excel Sports Management.
The 20-year-old Moran was one of the most highly touted prospects heading into this season's draft when he ranked sixth among draft prospects according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo, seventh according to Baseball America and ninth according to ESPN's Keith Law.
Aside from No. 2 overall selection Kris Bryant, Moran was thought to be the best college bat in the class. Mayo wrote that Moran is a polished hitter who should be able to stay at third base long-term and grow into some more power. Law praised his discipline, noting his "absurd" strikeout-to-walk ratio (he finished with 55 walks and just 20 strikeouts in 60 games), but raised some questions about his unorthodox swing.
Moran is the first college bat that the Marlins have taken with their top pick since they selected Mark Kotsay out of Cal State Fullerton in 1996 (they did select Chris Coghlan out of Ole Miss in the supplemental first round in 2006). Moran is just the eighth college player the Marlins have selected in the first round in franchise history, dating back to 1992.
Now that Moran has agreed to terms with the Marlins, the only question mark for tomorrow's 4pm central time signing deadline is Blue Jays pick Phil Bickford.
MLB.com's Joe Frisaro first reported that a deal was close and could be completed Thursday.
Steve Adams contributed to this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Ricky Nolasco shared some emotional goodbyes with his Marlins teammates on Sunday morning, the right-hander told Andre C. Fernandez of the Miami Herald, but he is excited about going home to southern California and pitching for the Dodgers. The Marlins figure to have more moves up their sleeves before the trade deadline so here's the latest out of the Sunshine State...
- The Marlins are confident they will be able to sign first round draft pick Colin Moran, though they're not sure about third-rounder Ben Deluzio, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. The Marlins have offered both players contracts that match the assigned slot prices of the sixth (approximately $3.516MM) and 80th ($681.7K) overall picks. While Moran is coming out of UNC, Deluzio is a high schooler who "is reportedly leaning toward attending Florida State."
- Also from Spencer, he thinks pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs and relievers Chad Qualls and Ryan Webb could all be dealt before the trade deadline. The two right-handers have already drawn interest from reliever-needy teams.
- We heard earlier today that the Yankees, Rangers and other teams had checked in on Justin Ruggiano but the Marlins aren't particularly interested in dealing the outfielder, Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Moving Ruggiano could create a depth problem in the outfield given Chris Coghlan's injury status, Christian Yelich's relative under-performance in Double-A and the team's desire to keep Jake Marisnick off the 40-man roster this season.
- The Nolasco trade seemed to be primarily about dumping salary in 2013 rather than building for the future for the Marlins, Fangraphs' David Cameron opines. Cameron wonders if situations like this could lead the MLB Players Association to seek some type of "salary floor" in the next collective bargaining agreement.
The 2013 amateur draft begins Thursday evening with the first 73 picks, continues Friday with rounds 3-10, and concludes Saturday with rounds 11-40. The Astros have the first selection in the draft and nearly half of MLBTR readers believe Oklahoma's Jonathan Gray will be the one to hear his name called. Earlier today, we learned Gray, Stanford's Mark Appel, San Diego's Kris Bryant, and North Carolina's Colin Moran are the Astros' top possibilities, with high school outfielder Clint Frazier a distant fifth. Let's take a look at today's other draft notes:
- The Cubs have spent most of their recent draft prep discussing their second and third round selections (41st and 75th overall) rather than who to take with the second overall choice, reports MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. "We’ve probably discussed No. 2 for about two hours of the four days we’ve been here," said Jason McLeod, the Cubs' senior vice president for scouting and player development. "We’ll get into those guys more this week."
- Those guys are Gray, Appel, Bryant, and Moran, according to Muskat in that same piece.
- McLeod doesn't want the Cubs to pigeonhole themselves into using the second overall pick on need (starting pitching); but, instead are looking for a player "to provide significant impact and hopefully get us to where we want to go on a consistent basis," writes Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald.
- The Brewers are confident they will land a big league talent even though their first pick won't come until the second round at number 54, reports Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I enjoy the challenge," Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid told Haudricout. "You might miss the chance for a so-called impact player in the first round but there will be some (future) big-leaguers in there. We've just got to find them." The Brewers forfeited their first round draft choice (17th overall) when they signed free agent Kyle Lohse.
- Within that same column, Haudricourt blames the Brewers' current woes, as well as a farm system thin on projected impact players, on their failure in the 2008 and 2009 drafts. The Brewers had 11 selections in the first two rounds of those drafts and none of those players have spent a day with the club at the MLB level and the top six picks in the 2008 draft are no longer with the organization.
- Many teams have held pre-Draft workouts to get a better look at the prospects. MLB.com's Adam McCalvy provided an inside look at those workouts from the viewpoint of a former participant, Milwaukee outfielder Logan Schafer, who attended a Brewers' workout in 2008 and was later drafted by the team in the third round that year.
Third baseman Colin Moran is shooting up draft boards and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com hears that he could even go first overall to the Astros. Could the UNC product jump past both Jonathan Gray and Mark Appel to be the top choice in the 2013 draft? Here's today's draft links..
- Senior scouting officials from the Astros met with Gray during the recent Big 12 Tournament, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports.
- Appel made the right call in not taking the Pirates' offer in 2012 and re-entering the draft this year, suggest sources of ESPN's Jason Churchill.
- The latest mock draft from Keith Law of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd) has Moran slated to go to the Astros. Law doesn't think Houston will make a formal decision on the pick until Thursday, but the buzz within the industry has them leaning towards Moran. The reasoning is that the third baseman's next-best alternative is to go No. 5 to Cleveland, where his slot value is less than $3.8MM. Because of that, the Astros could offer him about $4MM or so and know he'd accept it. The value of the No. 1 pick is $7.2MM, which would leave the Astros with enough to grab top talents who fall to picks 40 and 74. They could take Gray but they wouldn't pocket much by doing that and they're not on Clint Frazier or Kris Bryant. Appel doesn't seem to be one of their top two options either. Also noteworthy - Law's scenario has Gray falling to the Indians at No. 5.
- Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com's mock draft has Gray going No. 1 followed by Appel and Bryant. At No. 4, Mayo now has right-hander Kohl Stewart going to the Twins. Yesterday, Twins VP Mike Radcliff told Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN that he won't rule out Stewart due to his diabetes.
Yesterday, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told ESPN's Buster Olney that he's less-than-thrilled with the depth in this year's draft. However, you'll be hard pressed to find scouts that aren't high on the talent near the top of the boards. Here's the latest draft news..
- UNC third baseman Colin Moran is moving up draft boards and some say he might even go first overall to the Astros, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. However, Jonathan Gray, Mark Appel, and Kris Bryant are generally viewed as the top three players in the draft.
- Speaking of Appel, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com writes that he has no regrets about his decision to return to Stanford last year rather than sign with the Pirates. "I tried to shield myself from it," Appel said of talk that he only returned to school to land more money this year. "But when you're on Twitter and anyone can say anything behind a keyboard without having to say it to your face, people will show their true colors. I saw a lot of people calling me greedy and things like that. Initially, it affected me, because I don't think anyone likes it when people don't like you. Then I realized that these people don't know me. All they know is I turned down $3.8MM."
- The international draft talk is raising job security concerns amongst scouts, writes Ben Badler of Baseball America. Some area scouts are worried about being moved to part-time status or losing their jobs altogether, particularly in countries that don’t produce a high volume of talent. In the long term, scouts are concerned that if a draft leads to a decrease in the number of players signed in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, then that could hurt scouting jobs in those countries as well. However, most international directors say that they aren't planning on changing much if an international draft is put into place.
Matt Garza made his second start since being activated from the disabled list, but it didn't go as well as his five shutout innings in his season debut last Tuesday versus the Pirates. Garza, number eight on MLBTR's 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings, needed 92 pitches (52 for strikes) to cover four innings against the Reds. The right-hander struck out seven but allowed four runs on four hits with four walks (one intentional), one HBP, and a wild pitch. Garza received a no-decision as the Cubs rallied for a 5-4 victory in 10 innings snapping their six-game losing streak. In other North Side news:
- The present for the Cubs has fallen into the abyss and the future is flush with questions, opines Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. Sullivan points to no hints ownership will increase payroll and a farm system which remains bereft of pitching talent at the upper levels and that would-be stars such as outfielder Brett Jackson and third baseman Josh Vitters have yet to pan out.
- Within the same piece, Sullivan writes there's no chance manager Dale Sveum will be fired, as team President Theo Epstein believes the coaching staff has done a "fine" job.
- The Cubs will have the second overall selection in the June 6 amateur draft, but Epstein warns not to pin the hopes of the franchise on that player. "There are some promising players on the way, but we have a lot of work to do," Epstein told Sullivan. "The No. 2 pick is a great opportunity, but one player by himself cannot make a system."
- The Cubs are eyeing pitchers Jonathan Gray of Oklahoma and Mark Appel of Stanford and third basemen Kris Bryant of San Diego and Colin Moran of North Carolina with that pick, reports MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. Manager Dale Sveum has been watching video of the quartet and provides Muskat with a brief scouting report on each.
- With the Crosstown Classic against the White Sox beginning tomorrow, former South Side manager Ozzie Guillen said recently he would be willing to be a coach for the Cubs. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times tweeted Sveum's response, "I don't have no openings on my staff."
MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo was asked on Twitter where high school outfielder Clint Frazier, whom many expect to go in the Top 10 of the MLB Draft, ranks in comparison to high school talents from previous drafts. Mayo notes that it's hard to ignore hindsight and view players in the same light as he did when they were amateurs, but he ranked Frazier as the eighth-best talent among 36 high school hitters selected in the first round dating back to 2009. Here's more on the draft...
- The Astros have six players on their draft board but Frazier looks to be edging out Austin Meadows, leaving them with Frazier, Mark Appel, Jonathan Gray, Kris Bryant and Colin Moran, according to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle. Bryant and Frazier are seen as dark horses if the team decides Appel and Gray aren't worth the money they're asking. Should Scott Boras and Appel highball the Astros, money will become an issue. Smith notes that it's very close between Appel and Gray, adding that Gray has ties to the Astros and is open to negotiating (All links to Smith's Twitter account).
- Cubs president Theo Epstein, GM Jed Hoyer, top scouting/player development executive Jason McLeod and amateur scouting director Jaron Madison are currently in Oklahoma City to meet with Gray, writes Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. The Cubs are still expected to take either Gray or Appel at No. 2 overall.
- Bill Kiser of MLB.com profiles prep right-hander Hunter Harvey, whose stock has risen enough that he's considered a likely first-rounder. Harvey is the son of former MLB closer Bryan Harvey, who saved an AL-best 46 saves in 1991 and made two All-Star teams. The younger Harvey has a 0.38 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 54 2/3 high school innings this season. Harvey, whose fastball sits in the mid-90s and has touched 97, also features a solid curveball. Mayo had him going 25th to the Giants in his mock draft, while John Sickels of Minorleagueball.com has him going 30th to the Rangers and ESPN's Keith Law (Insider req'd) has him at No. 24 to the Athletics.
The new draft slotting system essentially allows teams to "trade down" with themselves, writes Dave Cameron of Fangraphs. Cameron uses the Astros' selection of Carlos Correa last year as an example, stating that by saving money on the No. 1 overall pick and re-investing their draft pool later on Lance McCullers Jr. and Rio Ruiz, the team employed the same philosophy that NFL and NBA teams do when they trade down: increase the quantity of good talent rather than focus on one elite player. Cameron adds that such a tactic is highly risky, as the No. 1 overall slot has produced significantly more value (in terms of WAR) than even the No. 2 and No. 3 spots in the draft, historically speaking. He does concede that in years without a consensus No. 1 talent, the strategy can make a lot of sense. Here are Wednesday's draft-related tidbits...
- The Marlins are likely to focus on college players early on, specifically position players, writes Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Spencer writes that the Fish will likely select San Diego third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant or UNC third baseman Colin Moran if either is available at No. 6. If both are gone, they could shift to Nevada right-hander Braden Shipley and target a bat later on.
- The Rockies are also eyeing Kris Bryant at the No. 3 spot, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Bryant, regarded as the most powerful bat in the draft, has been popping up in rumors more and more as the draft nears. Some feel he has No. 1 overall potential.
- After focusing heavily on high school pitching in last year's draft, the Padres are likely to focus on bats, assistant GM of player personnel Chad MacDonald tells Chris Jenkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Particularly, the Friars will be looking for middle infield help.
- MacDonald has scouted prep right-hander Kohl Stewart, and the Padres are enamored with his "electric" talent, but he's very unlikely to be on the board by the No. 13 selection. "He's the best high school arm in the country," said MacDonald.