Delino DeShields Jr. Rumors
Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow wrote the club's season ticket holders this afternoon to encourage them to stay on board as they look to build for future seasons. Houston is dead last in the standings but Luhnow pointed to the club's commitment to building through the draft, international free agents, and the trade market as evidence of better things to come. More on the Astros..
- While the Astros weren't expecting to contend this year, new owner Jim Crane told the Associated Press that he wasn't expecting the team to be struggling this much. "We made a lot of trades and once we made that decision — Jeff started moving some of the talent — we knew we might slide back a little bit, but we didn’t think it would be this bad," Crane said.
- Prospect Delino DeShields Jr. is on a path to reach the majors in the near future, but Luhnow says that the club isn't yet concerned about what to do with him and All-Star Jose Altuve, writes Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. "If we get to the point we have two guys up here and they're blocked, or one guy here and one guy [at Triple-A], maybe then you make an adjustment. That's how we're going to approach it," the GM explained.
- The Astros' rebuilding project is a gift to the rest of the contending teams that are scheduled to face them in the coming weeks, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Of the seven teams in the hunt for the Wild Card (including the division-leading Reds), five have games remaining against Houston.
THURSDAY, 5:43PM: The deal was officially announced today. DeShields' bonus is worth $2.15MM, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (Twitter link). As Callis notes, this bonus is $107K over the recommended slot for the eighth overall pick.
TUESDAY, 6:51PM: The Astros have reached an agreement with eighth overall pick Delino DeShields Jr., according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. DeShields' father, longtime big leaguer Delino DeShields, told McTaggart yesterday that his son would sign. The younger DeShields turns 18 on August 16th, the date by which teams must sign their draft picks.
This year's MLB draft guide noted that DeShields was "one of the best high school running backs in Georgia" and had committed to LSU.
It's not clear how much the Astros will commit to the compactly-built teenager, but recent history suggests the bonus will fall in the $2MM range. Mike Leake ($2.27MM in 2009), Gordon Beckham ($2.6MM in 2008) and Casey Weathers ($1.8MM in 2007) all signed for $2MM or so after their clubs selected them eighth overall. The recommended bonus for the eighth overall pick was $2.04MM last year.
Click here for MLBTR's list of first-round picks to sign.
Links for Thursday, as Juan Pierre picks up his 500th career stolen base...
- Pedro Martinez said he has recently received offers to pitch this year, but still doesn't intend to play in 2010, according to this AP report on ESPN.com.
- Mets owner Fred Wilpon implied to Mike Puma of the New York Post that Omar Minaya will definitely be his GM in 2011.
- Top Astros draft pick Delino DeShields Jr. told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart that he's excited to begin his pro career. DeShields' deal could be finalized today.
- Astros GM Ed Wade told Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse that he has no concern about Brett Myers' health. "He's a 29-year-old horse," Wade said.
- Chuck Greenberg's group, which won the auction to buy the Rangers for hundreds of millions, plans to pursue Cliff Lee when he hits free agency after the season, according to Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter). Yesterday, we saw that GM Jon Daniels has interest in bringing the left-hander back.
- Tim Redding, who had been pitching in the Yankees system, signed with the Samsung Lions of the Korean Professional Baseball League, according to Donnie Collins of the Scranton Times-Tribune (Twitter link).
- Over at RotoAuthority, Tim Dierkes wonders what to expect from Mike Minor as a fantasy baseball option this year.
- The Yankees had interest in Willie Harris before the deadline, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter).
- The Rockies 'kicked the tires' on Derrek Lee last month, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
Links for Monday, as Jeremy Hellickson makes a smooth transition to the majors...
- Ivan Rodriguez told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez that he isn't thinking about retirement and expects to play two or three more seasons. Pudge is under contract with the Nationals through 2011.
- MLB.com's Hal Bodley names the Yankees and Rangers trade deadline 'winners.'
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels explained his club's approach to the deadline, speaking to ESPNDallas.com's Richard Durrett.
- The Astros may be in good position to sign their first round pick from the June draft. Delino DeShields told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart that his son, Delino Deshields Jr., intends to sign instead of going to college. "He's going to be an Astro," DeShields said. "No doubt."
- Former Astro Lance Berkman told Tim Britton and Didier Morais of MLB.com that adjusting to life in the Bronx after so many years in Houston will take some time.
Links for Saturday..
- White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter) that the team has the financial freedom to add pieces, though he added the team "might be good enough the way it is". Meanwhile, Reinsdorf said that GM Kenny Williams has the power to fire the manager, though that isn't in his plans, tweets Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.
- Fred Lewis told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that his improved performance in Toronto isn't a result of a change of scenery. Lewis is OPSing .799 for the Blue Jays, a marked improvement over his OPS of .738 for the Giants in 2009.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter) wonders aloud if Nolan Ryan's recent comments regarding Roy Oswalt could be considered tampering.
- Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweets that a Mets scout was on hand to watch Lee last night, though it was said to be part of "normal coverage".
- Joel Sherman of The New York Post says that despite all the talk about Cliff Lee, the Yankees might need to fixate on adding a bat between now and the trade deadline.
- Speaking of Lee, Ryan Divish of The News Tribune mentions that the lefty shrugs off all the trade talk. “It’s out of my control,” said Lee. “That’s a better question for Jack [Zduriencik]. He’s the one who makes those decisions, but I don’t.”
- The Astros are pleased with how negotiations with top draft pick Delino DeShields Jr. are going, reports Bernardo Fallas of The Houston Chronicle. Houston selected DeShields with the eighth overall pick last week.
- Daric Barton told Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he's grateful for being included in the Mark Mulder trade because it created an opportunity for him. "For me, it was probably the best move that could have happened to me," said Barton. "I was catching then and (Yadier Molina) was back there then, and some guy by the name of (Albert) Pujols was at first. Obviously, I could never fill his shoes."