Danny Hultzen Rumors

Draft Links: Dunston, Hultzen, Red Sox

Earlier today we compiled draft reactions, now it's time to round up some miscellaneous links…

  • Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune wrote about Shawon Dunston Jr., who signed with the Cubs for $1.275MM as an 11th round pick yesterday. Junior said he came to the decision to sign on Sunday night, without being pushed his father.
  • Larry Stone of The Seattle Times spoke to Brodie Van Wagenen, advisor to second overall pick Danny Hultzen. Van Wagenen discussed the compromises made by both his side and the Mariners during the negotiations, which were impacted by both Trevor Bauer (the third overall pick) and Dustin Ackley (the second overall pick two years ago).
  • WEEI.com's Alex Speier broke down the Red Sox's draft spending, which totalled over $10MM.

Mariners Sign Danny Hultzen

The Mariners have signed second overall pick Danny Hultzen, according to Larry Stone of the Seattle Times (on Twitter). It's a five-year deal worth at least $8.5MM and up to $10.6MM, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times (on Twitter). The contract includes a $6.35MM bonus, according to Stone. CAA represents the left-hander.

Earlier in the year, I spoke to Hultzen about his batting and which left-handed pitchers he admires. Here's the transcript.

You can keep track of which top picks have signed with MLBTR's list.

Heyman On Reyes, Ortiz, Cole, Twins

The market for Jose Reyes should still be strong after the season, Jon Heyman writes at SI.com. MLB executives tell Heyman that the Giants, Cardinals, Tigers, Angels, Nationals, Braves, Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees and Mets could be fits for the shortstop in terms of finances and positional need. Here are the rest of Heyman’s rumors…

  • Yankees people suggest they’re unlikely to pursue Reyes and Red Sox people say they don’t expect to spend big on a position player this winter.
  • The Red Sox haven’t discussed a new deal with David Ortiz, though they’re confident that they’ll be able to re-sign him after the season. Ortiz has expressed interest in a multiyear deal for a while, but the Red Sox don’t want to guarantee more than one year.
  • First overall draft pick Gerrit Cole is looking to approach Stephen Strasburg’s $15.1MM bonus and top Mariners pick Danny Hultzen is looking for $13MM plus money for school, Heyman reports. Keep track of which top picks have signed here.
  • The Twins appear to want to keep Joe Nathan when he hits free agency after the season, but they’ll probably let Matt Capps sign elsewhere.

Quick Hits: Twins, Ellis, Cole, Hultzen

The Mets released Wily Mo Pena on this date two years ago. The slugger resurfaced with the D'Backs yesterday, when he homered in his first MLB game since 2008. Here are some links for Wednesday night as Pena attempts to hit another homer or two…

  • A scout tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the Twins seem less likely to become sellers than they were a few weeks ago (Twitter link). Minnesota has re-entered the playoff race thanks to a 14-3 tear. 
  • Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group hears that the Giants are not one of the six teams on Mark Ellis’ no-trade list (Twitter link). Ellis has lost his starting second base job in Oakland and the Giants have had internal talks about obtaining him.
  • Jon Heyman of SI.com hears that top draft choices Gerrit Cole (Pirates) and Danny Hultzen (Mariners) will sign for roughly $10MM or so. Two high school arms, Archie Bradley (D’Backs) and Dylan Bundy (Orioles), will likely obtain $6-7MM and some executives see high school outfielder Bubba Starling (Royals) signing for more than Cole or Hultzen.
  • ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick examines the case for expanding active rosters to 26 players. Teams now have sprawling bullpens and demanding travel schedules, so there's support for bigger rosters from Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd, Marlins infielder Wes Helms and others.

Quick Hits: Beltran, Santana, Bundy, Hultzen

On this date three years ago, Ken Griffey Jr. hit home run number 600 off of Marlins lefty Mark Hendrickson. Slugger Jim Thome will resume his quest for 600 homers once the Twins activate him from the disabled list (Thome has 593 career homers). Here are today's links…

  • The Mets are willing to eat some of Beltran's $18.5MM salary in order to get quality prospects in return, tweets SI.com's Jon Heyman. Approximately $11.4MM is still owed to him this year.
  • Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers have signed second round pick Alex Santana (on Twitter). MLB's slot recommendation for the 73rd overall pick is approximately $500K.
  • Orioles' scouting director Joe Jordan spoke to MLB.com's Britt Ghiroli about this week's draft, saying they "don’t expect" to set any bonus records for first rounder Dylan Bundy. You can see Baltimore's five largest amateur signing bonuses here.
  • Danny Hultzen (Mariners), Taylor Jungmann (Brewers) and Tyler Anderson (Rockies) are among the 2011 draftees who could make an impact in the Major Leagues before long, according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.
  • We’re looking forward to seeing pitchers like Hultzen in the big leagues, but building a rotation through the draft is harder than it seems, as Tom Verducci shows at SI.com. Even first rounders have a high rate of failure, Verducci explains.
  • Former first rounder Scott Kazmir has a 15.15 ERA with a 13K/16BB ratio in Triple-A, so it appears that it's only a matter of time before the Angels release him, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times.
  • Jim Bowden of ESPN.com explains that he would pursue a two-year, $30MM extension with David Ortiz if he were running the Red Sox. Big Papi's consistency, history of health and hot bat all figure in to Bowden's analysis. Ortiz has a .326/.394/.612 line with 15 homers.

Olney On Nationals, Mariners, Brewers, A’s

Rival executives have wondered whether the Nationals will eventually shift top pick Anthony Rendon to second base, so ESPN.com’s Buster Olney constructs an impressive-looking 2013 Nationals lineup with Rendon at second and prospective free agent Prince Fielder at first base. Here are the rest of Olney’s rumors:

  • The Mariners wondered whether Safeco Field would limit Rendon’s offense, but they’re confident that their second overall selection, left-hander Danny Hultzen, will be a good fit in their home ballpark.
  • Brewers GM Doug Melvin confirmed to Olney that it’s possible (though not likely) that top pick Taylor Jungmann could help them this year.
  • Some executives tell Olney that top Orioles pick Dylan Bundy is the greatest pure talent in the draft. He's certainly looking to get paid like an elite talent.
  • Olney wonders if Grant Balfour could be dealt to the Rangers, who could use relief help.
  • Teams like the Braves and Phillies are looking for offense, so Josh Willingham could become a target if the 27-34 Athletics do become sellers.

Draft Links: Rendon, Bauer, Cole, Mock Drafts

We've already learned that right-hander Gerrit Cole will be the Pirates' choice with the first overall pick in today's amateur draft, and it seems that the next two picks are also starting to crystalize.  "Barring huge late surprises," tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, the top three look to be Cole, Anthony Rendon (to the Mariners) and Trevor Bauer (to the Diamondbacks).  Here's the latest as we're just hours away from the 2011 draft…

  • Cole, Rendon and Bauer are the first three picks for Baseball America's Jim Callis in his final mock draft.  This represents a reversal for Callis, who said on Friday that "[Danny] Hultzen to Arizona was the biggest lock in the first six picks."  Instead, Callis has Hultzen falling to the Nationals at No. 6.
  • Francisco Lindor had a great workout with the Mariners and there were rumors Seattle could take the high school shortstop with the No. 2 pick, reports Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus.  Still, Goldstein predicts Seattle to draft Rendon in his latest mock since Jack Zduriencik didn't see much of Lindor in game action and, if the M's did branch out to take a high school player, they might prefer Bubba Starling.
  • Marc Hulet of Fangraphs and MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo also have Cole, Rendon and Bauer as the first three picks in their last mock drafts. 
  • Also from Mayo, he names the ten best draft picks in history according to their placement in the draft order.  For instance, Alex Rodriguez is the best first overall pick ever, Reggie Jackson is the best second overall pick ever, etc.
  • Now that it appears Cole will be Pittsburgh's pick at No. 1, the second-guessing has already begun.  "I think history suggests that the Pirates may be making a mistake here," writes Dave Cameron of Fangraphs, who cites the surprisingly weak crop of pitchers taken with the first overall pick.  (The jury is still out, of course, on David Price and Stephen Strasburg.)
  • Meanwhile, Tom Krasovic of West Coast Bias asks five scouts and an executive who they would rather draft between Cole and Bauer.  Cole won the informal poll, but only by a 4-2 margin.
  • Nationals owner Mark Lerner says his team won't hesitate to spend to get the draft picks they want, reports James Wagner of the Washington Post (via the Post's Adam Kilgore).  "Last year we had great luck in going after kids with signability issues like A.J. Cole and Robbie Ray, and hopefully we’ll have the same opportunity again this year if the opportunity presents itself," Lerner said.
  • The Rockies are looking at Hawaii second baseman Kolten Wong or UNC shortstop Levi Michael with the 20th overall pick in the first round, tweets ESPN's Keith Law.  Colorado apparently won't be selecting Utah first baseman C.J. Cron.
  • The Tigers have had success finding Major League players in the late rounds of recent drafts, reports MLive.com's Matt Sussman.  Detroit won't have a pick until the 76th overall selection after losing its first round pick to Boston as compensation for signing Victor Martinez.
  • MLBTR's Dan Mennella already posted a set of draft links earlier today, so click here for even more draft news on this busy day in baseball.

Keith Law’s Final Mock Draft

Keith Law of ESPN.com has written up his final projections for tonight's draft. Here are some of the latest highlights (Insider subscription needed):

  • The D'Backs select UCLA righty Trevor Bauer with the No. 3 pick, meaning two of the first three picks will be Bruins after the Pirates take Gerrit Cole at No. 1 overall.
  • The Orioles, turned off by Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen's hefty contract demands, take prep righty Archie Bradley out of Oklahoma at No. 4. Dylan Bundy then falls to the Royals at No. 5, which Law says would be a steal, and Hultzen slides back to the D'Backs at No. 7, a "dream scenario" for Arizona. That could lead to tricky negotiations considering Hultzen's demands and the fact that the pick is unprotected after Barret Loux didn't sign last year, but Bauer and Hultzen  would represent quite a boon to the D'Backs' rotation in the near future.
  • The Mets meet their organizational mandate to take a pitcher at No. 13, selecting UConn righty Matt Barnes.
  • The Brewers, with an unprotected pick at No. 15, need to take a signable player, and may be looking at Vanderbilt righty Sonny Gray or Oregon lefty Tyler Anderson.
  • The Red Sox probably won't spend too wildly at No. 19 and could focus on a high-probability player like Alex Meyer of Kentucky as they did a year ago with Kolbrin Vitek.

Draft Links: Royals, Pirates, Phillies

Here's the latest as we close in on Monday's First-Year Player Draft …

  • The Royals will be tempted to take prep outfielder Bubba Starling from Kansas with the No. 5 overall pick, writes Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. The Royals are thought to covet a polished pitcher so that he can help the big league team sooner than later, according to Dodd, but they've smarted over missing out on local products Albert Pujols and Logan Morrison in the recent past, and GM Dayton Moore has discussed the importance of snatching up local talent.
  • The Pirates' indecision about which pricey college player to take select at No. 1 overall — Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon are represented by Scott Boras, while Danny Hultzen is reportedly seeking $13MM — has some baseball people wondering whether they'll take a prep player like Starling or Dylan Bundy in order to preserve their draft budget and overpay for tough-to-sign players at later picks, writes Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune. Also within that piece, Rogers examines some of the crucial selections of the past 10 drafts.
  • The Phillies are charged with restocking their farm despite making their first pick at No. 39, writes Bob Brookover of Philly.com. The fact that many of the Phils' core players are homegrown and others were acquired with prospects is a testament to the scouting and development departments, according to Brookover.
  • The Royals could also select UConn right-hander Matt Barnes with the fifth overall pick, writes Stephen Goff of the Houston Examiner. Within that piece, Goff explains Barners' unforeseen ascent to likely top-10 selection.
  • The Astros were once interested in Texas A&M righty John Stilson at No. 11, according to Goff, but the hurler has generally slipped out of first-round consideration due to a shoulder injury. As a result, Stilson is now a deep sleeper, writes Goff.
  • Jonathan May of MLB.com published his latest mock draft today, with Cole, Rendon and Hultzen going at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 to the Pirates, Mariners and D'Backs, respectively.
  • Four of six industry experts polled said they prefer Cole to Trevor Bauer of the two UCLA Bruins, but it's closer than you think, writes Tom Krasovic.

Draft Notes: Starling, Phillies, Bauer, Bradley

Peter Gammons of MLB Network runs through some of the most intriguing 'what-ifs' in the history of the draft at MLB.com. Here are more draft links, as we wonder what would have happened if the White Sox had drafted Barry Bonds in 1985…

  • Florida prep shortstop Francisco Lindor's workout with the Diamondbacks was scheduled for today, tweets Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.  The Monteverde (Fla.) Academy product is a candidate for their pick at No. 7.
  • Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (via Twitter) has received more pre-draft bonus demand letters.  Wyoming's Brandon Nimmo is seeking $3MM, first baseman Dan Vogelbach wants $1.65MM, and Pennsylvania outfielder Derek Fisher is eyeing a bonus of $2.25MM.
  • Chris Cox of MLB.com profiled University of South Carolina outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., who is unsure of where he'll land after suffering a wrist injury.  Bradley, who has garnered comparisons to Jim Edmonds, will likely wind up being selected in the supplemental round.
  • Right now there's not a whole lot of clarity in the top 15 of the draft, writes Keith Law of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required).  Law has Anthony Rendon pegged to go No. 2 to the Mariners though he believes that outfielder Bubba Starling could wind up going in that spot also.
  • More from Law (via Twitter) as he hears that the White Sox are potentially looking at Stanford left-hander Chris Reed as a sandwich round pick.
  • Phillies scouting director Marti Wolever suggested to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that the Phils will be looking for offense this year. "I always love to get bats, but that's kind of what we're looking at," Wolever said.
  • Steve Henson of Yahoo Sports shows that UCLA right-hander Trevor Bauer is talented, feisty and unorthodox. Could he be the next Tim Lincecum? One American League scout says he "could be as good as [Lincecum] or better." 
  • As Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic explains, high school right-hander Archie Bradley faces a difficult decision: start at quarterback for the football-crazed University of Oklahoma or let his 100 mph fastball carry him to a seven-figure bonus and a baseball career. It sounds as though the affable Bradley will sign with an MLB team if he's offered enough money, since baseball is his first love.
  • Check out Tim Dierkes’ writeup about Bradley from last month.
  • Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen has pitched his way up teams' draft boards and remains a candidate to go first overall to the Pirates, Jonathan Mayo writes at MLB.com.