Donavan Tate Rumors
Though the Dodgers' bankruptcy has been the biggest news to emerge from the NL West this week, there's plenty going on with the division's other teams. Here's the latest:
- The D'Backs announced that they called up right-hander Yhency Brazoban and left-hander Alberto Castillo from Triple-A Reno and optioned right-handers Esmerling Vasquez and Bryan Shaw to Reno.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, who first reported the Brazoban callup, notes that the reliever last pitched in the Major Leagues as a member of the 2008 Dodgers. Meanwhile, Castillo had a 1.83 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 39 1/3 innings at Triple-A this year.
- Padres prospect Donavan Tate received a 50-game suspension for violating MLB's drug prevention and treatment program, according to John Manuel of Baseball America. It's the second time that Tate, the third overall selection in 2009, has tested positive for a drug of abuse. The 20-year-old has a .294/.368/.471 line through 76 plate appearances in the lower minors this year.
- Triple-A manager Steve Decker told Chris Haft and Adam Berry of MLB.com that 21-year-old catching prospect Hector Sanchez probably needs more seasoning before he can contribute in San Francisco. The Giants recently promoted Sanchez from Class A to Triple-A, but would like to see him improve his plate discipline. They're searching for big league catchers in the meantime.
Some links for Thursday...
- John Manuel of Baseball America ranks all 30 MLB farm systems at SI.com. The Rangers, Rays and Giants top the list.
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick lists nine potential free agent bargains.
- Keith Law, Dave Cameron and Tyler Hissey don't like the Placido Polanco deal from the Phillies' standpoint.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates have tentative interest in Xavier Nady and Ron Villone, who are both Scott Boras clients.
- Sam Borden of the Journal News wonders how many long-term contracts the Yanks can take on.
- The Yankees get the sense that Andy Pettitte isn't done yet, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.
- They aren't expected to consider an extension for Joe Girardi this offseason.
- Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that the White Sox have begun preliminary talks with arbitration-eligible reliever Bobby Jenks.
- Placido Polanco appears to be nearing a three-year deal with the Phillies, but the Astros have some interest in the Gold Glover, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.
- Curtis Granderson tells MLB.com's Jason Beck that he doesn't let the trade talk get to him.
- The Rockies have tentative plans to meet with Rafael Betancourt's representatives this coming Monday, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- As Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports, Donavan Tate, the Padres' third overall selection in the June draft, was injured in an ATV accident. He broke his jaw, but should be ready for Spring Training.
- Jason Marquis had a falling out with the Rockies, so Jon Heyman of SI.com suggests he isn't likely to accept the team's offer of arbitration.
- MLB.com's Matthew Leach explains why long-term deals are becoming less frequent in MLB.
- Juan Castro passed his physical, so his deal with the Phils is now offiicial, according to Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Scott Boras told 619 Sports that he was never looking to sign Stephen Strasburg to a $50MM deal, despite reports that he was using Daisuke Matsuzaka's contract as a reference point for the number one overall pick.
"I can assure you our first offer was well less than half of that," Boras said.
Here are some more points Boras makes over the course of the interview:
- Boras says revenues around baseball have increased in the last decade, so he argues that money should trickle down to players and draft picks.
- He also suggests that more teams are holding onto their players, which leads to smaller crops of free agents.
- Boras says American players deserve as much as international ones.
- Boras says J.D. Drew didn't sign with the Phillies because they told him they didn't believe him.
- The agent praises Donavan Tate and Strasburg on their intelligence.
- Boras says every organization makes mistakes with players, but suggests adding players with questionable character hurts teams most of all.
- Check out the audio for Boras' description of deadline day. It's pretty interesting stuff.
Links for Wednesday...
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star says the Royals' decision to demote Alex Gordon has more to do with performance than service time.
- Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press says the Tigers had better win, especially since they'll be stuck paying Magglio Ordonez $18MM next year, "barring an influx of common sense."
- Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union-Tribune says Donavan Tate was eager and respectful throughout his first visit to Petco Park.
- Doug Tucker of the Associated Press reports that the Royals hope to start talking contract with top pick Aaron Crow now that they've seen what other first rounders signed for. Monday's deadline did not apply to Crow because he played independent ball this year.
10:02pm: According to ESPN's Keith Law, Tate's bonus is $6.25MM, and will be spread out over five years according to MLB's provisions for two sport athletes. He was also a top football recruit committed to play both sports at UNC.
9:29pm: Baseball America's Jim Callis reports that the Padres have officially announced that they've signed Tate. The terms are still unknown.
8:35pm: Lee Hamilton at SDNN.com says the two sides appear to have reached a deal, and that a press conference to announce the signing will likely happen Tuesday. Hamilton mentions that the Padres "went beyond the $3.4 million recommended signing slot" to get the deal done (which we all expected), and reminds us that Tate is in San Diego.
5:44pm: Jon Heyman of SI.com is reporting that the Padres and third overall pick Donavan Tate are close to an agreement on a deal. Heyman says it's believed to be worth about $6MM. Over the weekend we learned that Tate and agent Scott Boras were looking for a $6.5MM bonus.
Tom Krasovic hears that Tate will take batting practice with the big league team tomorrow.
In his latest blog post at ESPN.com, Peter Gammons says that there "are rumblings that the commissioner's office wants to hold off the announcement of some of the bigger deals so they do not impact others." He hears the following deals are done according to GMs:
- Padres and first rounder Donovan Tate at $6.7MM, which had been done for five days
- Tigers and first rounder Jacob Turner at $6.7MM
- Tigers and second rounder Andy Oliver at $1MM
Gammons also says that the Giants and first rounder Zack Wheeler are close to a deal at $3.4MM, and that there are "conflicting reports" on Colorado signing Tyler Matzek and Texas signing Matt Purke, both first round picks. The Indians and Alex White are deadlocked, but the Tribe could go near $2MM.
The Padres signed their second rounder and appear to be making progress with their first rounder...
- ESPN.com's Keith Law says the Padres signed second rounder Everett Williams to a deal worth $775k. Some teams considered taking Williams in the first round, but backed off because they feared his bonus demands. Now that he signed for less than $1MM, Law says those fears seem unfounded in hindsight. Williams projects as a top-of-the-order hitter who can play center field.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America hears that first rounder Donavan Tate is in San Diego to take a physical. However, this doesn't mean the Padres will sign Tate, who they selected third overall in June.
Corey Brock at MLB.com says the Padres are confident they'll sign Donovan Tate, likely close to the midnight (eastern time) deadline tomorrow.
Yesterday, there was a report that the Padres had agreed to a deal for $6.5MM with their first round pick before Pads GM Kevin Towers said it wasn't "a done deal. Still working on it."
Brock notes that Tate is not the only pick that the Padres need to sign. Everett Williams and Keyvius Sampson, their 2nd and 4th rounders respectively, remain unsigned. Williams, says Brock, could be tricky to sign since he was perceived as a first round pick that slid into the second round.
4:39pm: Brock says the $6.5MM mark "sounds about right from everyone I've talked to."
4:07pm: MLB.com's Corey Brock just spoke with Padres GM Kevin Towers, who offered this on the Tate rumors: "It's not a done deal. Still working on it."
3:36pm: Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus has "reason to believe" the Padres have come to terms with first-round pick Donavan Tate for around $6.5MM. The speedy 18-year-old outfielder was selected third overall in June. He was offered a scholarship to play both football and baseball next year at the University of North Carolina, but it sounds like he will turn it down and begin his professional baseball career.
Lars Tate tells Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that his son Donavan Tate and agent Scott Boras seek a $6.5MM bonus from the Padres. The younger Tate can play football at North Carolina if he doesn't sign, but his father, who had a standout college football career, has doubts about a life in the NFL.