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- Tigers To Exercise Joakim Soria’s Option
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More links for the morning…
- Bill Hall explains to MLB.com that he's confident he can still play. Seems like Hall reacted like a pro upon hearing that he was designated for assignment.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis says the Padres wouldn't have chosen Donavan Tate if they weren't prepared to pay him what he's worth. Tate can always play college football if he doesn't sign, so he has more leverage than most picks.
- Over at the Hardball Times, Adam Guttridge determines which teams won their deadline deals from a value standpoint.
- Remember to follow MLBTR on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
Some afternoon links…
- Jason Jennings of 99.9 The Fan reports that Donavan Tate left the UNC football program and appears likely to sign with the Padres.
- The Orioles expect to know within two days whether they'll sign second rounder Michal Givens, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.
- The Mets expect to sign their top pick, Steven Matz, according to Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News. The lefty could command a seven figure bonus.
- Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle says the Astros could bring Miguel Tejada back next year, though they haven't decided what they'll do.
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports that Jays manager Cito Gaston isn't sure he wants to manage after his contract expires at the end of next season.
- Joe Posnanski says Alex Rios has the seventh worst contract in the game. Rob Neyer's take: Ricciardi has signed players to lousy contracts, but he may be the right guy in the wrong place at this point. My take: Posnanski's too hard on the deal.
ESPN.com's Keith Law reminds us that the Reds seemed unlikely to sign Yonder Alonso until hours before the deadline to sign draft picks last summer. It shouldn't be any different this year; here are the details:
- We'll hear that teams aren't close to signing their picks, but that doesn't mean the two sides won't agree to last-minute deals.
- Don't expect Stephen Strasburg, Dustin Ackley or Donavan Tate (all Scott Boras clients) to sign much before next Monday at midnight.
- Law expects Strasburg to sign for about $18-20MM.
- The commissioner's office will try to limit the number of over-slot signings, but teams can offer whatever they like, so MLB's efforts to hold teams to recommended bonuses may be quixotic in the end.
Links? You can't handle the links!
- ESPN's Jason Churchill notes that third overall pick Donovan Tate was expected to report to UNC's football camp today, and that the Padres are "mum on the negotiations between Tate's adviser, Scott Boras, and the club." If he doesn't sign, Tate will play both football and baseball for the Tar Heels.
- Peter Gammons of ESPN writes about the Phillies and the rotation depth they've build this year. It seems like whenever we hear a team has pitching depth, it disappears. It's like the Madden cover curse, but crueler.
- Pirates skipper John Russell admits that his club will "have to look to find a left-hander to solidify [the bullpen], either this season or in time for next season," reports John Perrotto of PiratesReport.com. The Bucs haven't had a southpaw in the pen since trading John Grabow to the Cubs at the deadline.
- Terry Pluto of The Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that even though the Indians recent moves were driven by money, they still made sense for the organization.
Links for Thursday morning…
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo reports that two teams passed on Tanner Scheppers because they believe he has a partially torn labrum. The Rangers, who picked him, don't believe the problem is as severe.
- In a Q&A for The Baseball Analysts, Padres exec Paul DePodesta says he's "ecstatic" about his team's draft. He compares Donavan Tate, the Padres' first rounder, to Adam Jones and Mike Cameron.
- The Padres are encountering trouble at the major league level, where Chris Young will likely join Jake Peavy on the DL, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock. Not only do the Padres lose their best starters, it's now harder for them to field offers for them.
- Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates are set to sign a handful of their picks, including their second selection, Brooks Pounders.
- Patrick Newman at NPB Tracker passes on comments Hideki Matsui made about returning to Japan. Matsui sounds happy that the Hanshin Tigers could be interested, but says he'd probably prefer to stay in the States.
- The Mariners are scouting top international prospect Guillermo Pimentel, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.
Major League Baseball's amateur draft is now just three days away, so let's round up the latest news.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America posted version three of their Mock Draft yesterday (subscription req'd). He projects the top three picks to be Stephen Strasburg, Dustin Ackley, and Donavan Tate.
- After Strasburg is announced as the first overall pick on Tuesday, he will not meet with the media at his home or on the San Diego State campus, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times. Strasburg will instead hold his press conference in "the main lobby of the Boras Corporation offices."
- Conor Glassey reports that Missouri righthander Kyle Gibson experienced tightness in his forearm during his start last weekend, which is causing his velocity and stock to drop. Gibson was a consensus top 15 talent prior to the injury.
- Mark Heller of The East Valley Tribune spoke to Diamondbacks scouting director Tom Allison, who says the team will "stay true to best person on the board." With seven of the first 64 picks, there was some thought that the D-Backs would seek out players willing to sign for, or below slot to save money.
- Steve Buckley of The Boston Herald wrote about how the Red Sox's recent success in the draft has fans following the event more closely than ever.