Colorado Rockies Rumors
While the precise roster move to be made remains unknown, starter Jeff Francis will be removed from the Rockies' active roster tomorrow, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The team will promote Roy Oswalt to start tomorrow's game at Washington.
As Renck explains, the club could seek to option Francis, but would need the veteran's consent to do so. Of course, a 40-man roster spot would presumably still need to be cleared under that scenario to make way for Oswalt. Otherwise, Colorado could designate Francis for assignment. Either way, says Renck, the lefty has had his locker cleared out and will not accompany the team to D.C.
Francis, 32, re-signed with the Rockies on a one-year deal with a $1.5MM base salary and another $1.5MM worth of incentives. In 52 innings this season, he's posted a 6.58 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9. The strikeout rate is actually the highest of Francis' career, as is his 50.3 percent ground-ball rate. He's been hurt by a homer-to-flyball ratio (20.4 percent) that's nearly double that of his career mark.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
Young Jr. was designated for assignment last week in order to make room for the activation of right-hander Chris Volstad. The outfielder posted a .316/.377/.448 slash line in 196 plate appearances last year but has hit just .242/.290/.352 with one homer in 180 PAs this year. The 28-year-old has experience at all three outfield positions as well as 49 games at second base.
McHugh has 11 big league games under his belt but has spent the 2013 season with the Mets' Triple-A affiliate. In nine starts for Las Vegas, McHugh has a 2.87 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9. Despite his success there, he'll report to the Rockies' Double-A affiliate, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
Cowgill, 27, has a .173/.189/.327 slash line in 53 plate appearances this year. In parts of three seasons at the Triple-A the outfielder has hit .307/.381/.476.
Baseball America's Jim Callis tweeted updates on previous draft signings Bryan Verbitsky and Carlos Salazar today. Verbitsky, a third-round pick by the Padres will receive $400K, while Salazar, the Braves' third-rounder, will receive $625K (Twitter links). The Padres landed Verbitsky $221K under slot, while the Braves went over-slot by nearly $120K. Here are more signings out of the second and third rounds (all slot info courtesy of Baseball America)...
- The Rockies went $535K over slot to sign sixth-rounder Dom Nunez, according to BA's Jim Callis (on Twitter). The California high school third baseman/shortstop/catcher boasts a compact swing, sneaky pop, and a strong arm.
- The Marlins have agreed to a significantly over-slot deal with seventh-round pick Justin Bohn, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned. Bohn, the No. 202 overall selection, signed for $525K, though the assigned pick value for that slot was just $193K. Bohn had been committed to Oregon State.
- The A's have signed third-round pick Ryon Healy for $500K, tweets Callis. The A's saved about $16K on Oregon's first baseman, who shows good power and has a chance to play third base.
- Callis tweets that the Rockies signed third-rounder Sam Moll for $600K, meaning they saved about $113K on the Memphis left-hander. Though he stands just 5'11", Moll throws 93-95 mph as a starter. He's likely a reliever in the pros, though.
- The Royals signed third-round pick Carter Hope for $561K, Callis reports (Twitter link). Hope's bonus is exactly $100K under slot. The prep righty from Texas throws 88-92 mph with an improving curveball. He had been committed to Oklahoma State.
We'll keep track here of notable signings from the second and third day of the amateur draft (slot information courtesy of Baseball America)...
- The White Sox announced in a press release that they have reached agreement with 27 of the team's 40 draft picks, including all of the club's first eleven selections. MLBTR previously covered the team's signing of its first five picks (click for details): Tim Anderson; Tyler Danish; Jacob May; Andrew Mitchell; and Thaddius Lowry.
- Fifth-rounder Trae Arbet has signed with the Pirates for a well-above-slot bonus of $425k, tweets Jim Callis of Baseball America. The high-school shortstop, who profiles as an athletic defender and baserunner, was drafted with the 149th overall choice, which carries a $321,400 slot value.
- The Rockies have agreed to terms with southpaw Sam Moll, the club's third-round choice, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca tweeted last night. The hurler from Memphis is small in stature but possesses a powerful left arm that allows him to reach the mid-90's with his fastball. While financial terms are not yet available, his draft slot (77) carries a $713,900 bonus recommendation.
- The Yankees have signed fifth-round choice David Palladino for an above-slot sum of $371k, tweets Callis. Palladino, a towering righty who had been committed to LSU, will receive about $93k over the recommended bonus for the 164th overall selection.
Here are Friday's minor moves from around the league...
- The Angels have signed left-hander Dustin Richardson to a minor league deal, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo reports. Richardson posted a 3.31 ERA over 16 1/3 relief innings (despite issuing 15 walks and 18 hits in that stretch) with the Red Sox in 2009-10. He has spent the last two seasons with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters. Richardson was suspended for 50 games for PED use in 2012 but his suspension has since been lifted due to compliance with MLB and his time away from affiliated baseball.
- The Yankees have outrighted left-hander Cesar Cabral to Double-A, the team announced today (passed on by Mike Axisa of the River Ave Blues blog.) Cabral was taken by the Royals from the Red Sox in the 2011 Rule 5 draft and then dealt to the Yankees, though he missed the entire 2012 season with an elbow injury.
- The White Sox have acquired outfielder Carl Thomore from the Rockies in exchange for cash, according to Baseball America's Matt Eddy (on Twitter). Thomore was a second-round pick by the Rox as recently as 2011, but he's hit just .196/.308/.309 in 58 games in the Rookie-level Pioneer League. Thomore has recovered from a devastating leg injury suffered in high school (as chronicled by Brian Falzarano of MaxPreps.com two years ago) to make it to pro ball.
- Five players currently reside in DFA limbo: John Baker and James Darnell of the Padres, Ramon Ramirez of the Giants, Ramon Hernandez of the Dodgers and Kelly Shoppach of the Mariners.
The Rockies have signed second-round draft pick Ryan McMahon to a contract with a bonus worth just under $1.328MM, Jim Callis of Baseball America reports. The bonus exactly matched the assigned slot value of the 42nd overall pick (slot values provided by Baseball America). McMahon is advised by the Wasserman Media Group.
McMahon, 18, is a third baseman who also played quarterback for Mater Dei High School and didn't turn his full attention to baseball until his senior year, according to MLB.com. A left-handed hitter, McMahon is described by Baseball America as having "good hitting instincts and leverage in his swing, giving him a chance to be a solid-average hitter with slightly above-average power as he fills out his 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame." McMahon had committed to USC.
The Rockies took McMahon a bit earlier than expected by most major draft pundits, though he was still solidly placed within the rankings of the top 100 prospects. ESPN's Keith Law had McMahon highest at 73rd, while MLB.com ranked him 78th and Baseball America had him in the 82nd spot.
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.
The Rockies have locked up supplemental second-round pick Alex Balog for the recommended slot bonus of $795,200, tweets Jim Callis of Baseball America. (As usual, please see Baseball America for all bonus slot values.) Balog, a righty out of the University of San Francisco, is being advised by Adam Karon of Sosnick Cobbe Sports.
The 6'6" Balog was rated higher than his number 70 draft slot. Baseball America placed him as the 32nd overall prospect; ESPN's Keith Law placed him at number 64; and MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo had him at 44th. Mayo believes that Balog has three offerings of major league quality, with a sinking fastball accompanied by a sharp slider and crafty change. Callis calls his 90-95 MPH fastball "heavy," while Law qualifies his relatively lower rating by noting that a more consistent showing would increase Balog's stock. Nik Balog, Alex's brother, is a first baseman in the Orioles' system.
The Rockies signed first-round pick Jonathan Gray to a $4.8MM deal, tweets Jim Callis of Baseball America. The right-hander's deal is about $826K less than the suggested slot value for the No. 3 overall pick, according to BA's list of the assigned pick values for the first ten rounds. He is advised by BBI Sports Group.
Gray, who comes out of Oklahoma University's program was the top-ranked talent in the draft according to Baseball America, second according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo and third according to ESPN's Keith Law. Gray was widely projected as either the No. 1 or No. 2 pick in the draft but fell to third when the Cubs threw everyone a minor curveball and drafted Kris Bryant.
The 6'4", 245-pounder spent the season as the Sooners' Friday starter, flashing a fastball that hit triple digits and showing the ability to maintain that velocity deep into his outings. His slider is considered by BA, Mayo and Law to be a plus pitch as well.
Gray was the source of some minor controversy just days before the draft when it was reported that he tested positive for Adderall. There was some speculation at the time that the failed test could cause his bonus demands to drop, though it's not clear if that test is the reason he signed an under-slot deal. Cubs scouting director Jason McLeod said after the draft that the test didn't play a role in their decision to select Bryant over Gray. With this agreement, Gray becomes the 10th first-round selection from this year's draft class to sign.
Steve Adams contributed to this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The outfielder posted a .316/.377/.448 slash line in 196 plate appearances last year but hasn't found the same success in 2013. In 180 PAs this year, the 28-year-old has hit .242/.290/.352 with one homer. Young has experience at all three outfield positions as well as 49 games at second base.