Drew Storen Rumors
Links for Sunday night..
- The Pirates have promoted Bryan Morris to Double-A after a sensational start to the season, writes Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. The 23-year-old starter, who has a 0.60 ERA, could earn another promotion by August according to GM Neal Huntington. Morris was one of the main pieces the Pirates received in the Jason Bay trade in July of '08.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter) points out that three former Yankees set-up men have been released in the last 24 hours: Chad Gaudin, Edwar Ramirez, and Brian Bruney.
- Nats pitching coach Steve McCatty says that the club has not yet determined Drew Storen's role and that they will "ease him in", tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com writes that Mets GM Omar Minaya will accompany the team on their trip to Atlanta, though a team official insists that he will be there just to lend support.
Links for Sunday, as we wait to see if the Dodgers can extend their six-game winning streak....
- Ken Rosenthal writes that the Nationals promoted the 10th overall pick from the 2009 draft, Drew Storen, today. Storen had annihilated minor league hitters across two levels this season.
- Ozzie Guillen understands the reasoning behind GM Kenny Williams' recent public confirmation that he's losing patience with his ballclub, writes Ken Falkoff on MLB.com.
- Two players signed to one-year deals, Justin Duchscherer and Nick Johnson, could require surgeries that would sideline them for most or all of this season. MLB.com's Jane Lee and Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork have the details.
- Bill Ladson of MLB.com tweets that Willy Taveras may not accept a minor league assignment if he clears waivers. Taveras was DFA'd by the Nationals last night.
- Luis Ayala has exercised the opt-out clause in his contract, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). The Dodgers will have to add Ayala to their 25-man roster by Monday afternoon or release him.
- Earlier in the week, MLB.com's Chris Haft floated the idea of the Giants moving Aubrey Huff to left field to make room at first base for Buster Posey. According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, Huff is open to the idea and thinks Posey would do well at first base.
- Speaking of Posey, John Sickels asks who you'd rather have: the Giants' prospect or Carlos Santana of the Indians.
- The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes details the Indians' changing draft strategy, and fields readers' Tribe-related questions in a mailbag.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette lists the top ten best investments made by the Pirates' current regime.
- Tony Abreu could be an attractive trade chip if the D'Backs shop him for relief help, writes Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic.
- Ken Griffey Jr. should retire gracefully, writes MLB.com's Hal Bodley.
- We shouldn't be surprised to see Drew Storen arrive in the majors before Strasburg. As Ben Goessling of MASN.com explains, the Nationals may choose to reward Storen for signing so soon after they drafted him.
- Yorvit Torrealba has been one of baseball's best free agent bargains, if you ask MLB.com's Corey Brock.
- In a pre-draft notebook, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo explains why pitcher Peter Tago is gaining on some fellow amateurs and the answer is pretty simple.
- Wondering which pitchers have seen their strikeout rate climb or tumble this year? RotoAuthority has the results for the season so far.
- If Mark DeRosa hits the disabled list, the Giants will rely on their own players, mostly John Bowker, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney believes the Nationals would like to debut Stephen Strasburg at home, while his colleague Rob Neyer can see the Nats breaking him in on the road. Last night I suggested we could see Strasburg's first MLB start against the Astros in early June.
- Marc Hulet of FanGraphs says it's too early to worry, but pitching prospect Aaron Crow reminds him a little of another former first rounder in the Royals' system: Luke Hochevar.
The draft is less than a month away and once again, the Nationals appear likely to select the nation's best-known amateur with the first overall pick. Here are the details on the team's draft strategy and a couple other Nats-related notes:
- Former Nationals GM and current FOX Sports analyst Jim Bowden says Washington will take Bryce Harper with the first overall pick (Twitter link). Bowden believes the teenager's makeup is fine, even if he is a little immature. Last month the Nats said nothing was "etched in stone," but the club is monitoring Harper closely, at the very least.
- Nats GM Mike Rizzo told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that he feels good about the team's options in right field. 'We're going to find out what these players can do," Rizzo said in reference to Willie Harris, Roger Bernadina and Justin Maxwell. That means we shouldn't expect the Nats to sign Jermaine Dye or another free agent right fielder any time soon.
- The Nationals released Mike Daniel, an outfielder chosen in the seventh round of the 2005 draft, according to MASN.com's Ben Goessling (via Twitter).
- The Nationals need starting pitching, president Stan Kasten told MLB.com's Bill Ladson. As Kasten says, every team needs pitching and the Nats are no exception. Kasten chose not to predict when 2009 first rounders Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen will make their MLB debuts.
Links for Tuesday....
- Baseball America's Ben Badler tweets that the Red Sox have signed speedy 17-year-old outfielder Roberto Rosario from the upstart Dominican Prospect League for $150K.
- The Red Sox might be in a terrific position to take advantage of the Ryan Howard contract fallout, says Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal interviewed former Mets' executive Tony Bernazard, who was fired last year. It's a very interested read, give it a look.
- MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling explores the financial savings the Nationals could enjoy if they delay calling up Drew Storen.
- Meanwhile, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says the Marlins aren't going rush Mike Stanton to the big leagues.
- Dusty Baker denied a report that the Reds turned down extension talks, tweets John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer.
- Didn't get enough Ryan Howard extension reactions yesterday? Not to worry, there are plenty more pundits weighing in today. ESPN.com's Buster Olney says that many baseball people now feel that Howard, "a star in his prime," is overpriced, and the Phillies might regret the contract long before it expires. ESPN.com's Keith Law agrees, writing that he laughed when he heard the news. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer says the contract may be an overpay but it represents "the cost of doing business," and Todd Zolecki of MLB.com says the Phils had to either pony up for Howard or risk letting him walk after 2011.
- Meanwhile, USA Today's Bob Nightengale suggests Howard's deal could be the beginning of a slew of mammoth contracts for baseball's sluggers.
- John Tomase of the Boston Herald notes that modifications in Fangraphs' UZR model make Jason Bay's defense look a whole lot better. Fangraphs' latest UZR update included adjustments for specific ballparks like Fenway, and improved Bay's 2009 UZR from -13.8 to +1.9. As Tomase indicates, Bay and his agent probably would've liked that change made before Bay signed his four-year deal this winter.
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Giants have discussed promoting Buster Posey earlier than June.
- In his MLB.com blog, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann speculates on who would be next in line for each managerial job in both the National League and American League.
- Also at MLB.com, Peter Gammons has a column up that addresses a few intriguing what-if questions, including what could have happened if the Red Sox had acquired either Alex Rodriguez or Mark Teixeira.
Washington has purchased the contract of right-handed reliever Rafael Martin from his Mexican League team, Saltillo. ESPN's Jorge Arangure was the first to break the news (via Twitter), and said the Nationals "agreed to terms" with Martin for a deal worth $450K a "couple weeks ago." MLB.com's Bill Ladson tweeted that Martin just passed his physical today, which may have been the reason for the delay in announcing the move.
Martin, 26, posted a 4.12 ERA in 63 1/3 innings for Saltillo last season and recorded 65 strikeouts. Ladson reported that Martin will start the season in Double or Triple-A, and that the Nats see the reliever as a possible set-up man behind Drew Storen. Ladson also said the Mariners and Yankees had been interested in acquiring Martin.
Sunday night links..
- The Astros have agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.6MM with pitcher Tim Byrdak, writes Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. The dollar figure is the midpoint between Houston's offer and Byrdak's submission. The agreement leaves Wandy Rodriguez as the team's last remaining arbitration eligible player.
- Boston's international scouting efforts are starting to yield some results, writes Daniel Barbarisi of The Providence Journal. Of the twelve minor leaguers at this year's rookie development program, six of them were foreign-born.
- Jon Heyman of SI (via Twitter) hears that Chuck Greenberg's group will pay $570MM for the Texas Rangers, though he notes that is unconfirmed.
- While all eyes are on Stephen Strasburg in Washington, right-hander Drew Storen is trying to make the Opening Day roster, writes Bill Ladson of MLB.com. The Nationals used their other first-round selection, tenth overall, to select Storen in the 2009 draft.
MLB.com's Bill Ladson answered a few questions from fans about the D.C. nine today and here are a few of the more relevant details....
- Ladson "could see" Drew Storen making the Nationals as the team's set-up man, in just the right-hander's second year of pro ball. Storen had a 1.95 ERA and an eye-popping 11.9 K/9 in 28 appearances for Washington's Single-A, Single-A advanced and Double-A teams last season after being taken 10th overall in the 2009 June Entry Draft.
- Whatever Washington's rebuilding plans entail, they won't involve dealing Adam Dunn.
- Ian Desmond and Justin Maxwell have yet to entirely prove themselves to Nationals management and "must have a great Spring Training" for either of them to even make the Opening Day roster, let alone get playing time.
- Ladson thinks the Nats might at least inquire about Pedro Martinez if the future Hall-of-Famer becomes available in the off-season, but the price tag will likely be too high for Washington's taste.
- Mark DeRosa's versatility is what would attract the Nationals most if they made a play for the veteran free agent.
4:09pm: Chico Harlan of the Washington Post says the deal includes a $1.6MM bonus. This is less than the recommended bonus for the slot. Typically players drafted 10th have received bonuses of $2MM or a bit more.
11:13am: MLB.com's Bill Ladson reports that the Nationals have agreed to terms with Drew Storen, who they selected 10th overall in yesterday's portion of the draft. Terms of the deal aren't known. Some believe Storen could make the big leagues quickly, as he was a reliever in college.
Pete McElroy of MASN reports that Storen's open to starting or relieving in the Nationals' system. He struck out 66 batters in just over 40 innings of college ball this year, but he would start if that's Washington's preference.
The Nationals ensured Storen has ample time to develop in the minor leagues by agreeing to terms with him quickly. Negotiations with Stephen Strasburg, their other first round pick, are expected to continue until the August 17th deadline.