Huascar Ynoa Rumors

Quick Hits: Drew, Nelson, Smith, Marquis, Hall, July 2

As expected, recently signed Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew has cleared waivers and appeared in his first minor league game for the organization, reports Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe (via Twitter). The procedural move of placing Drew on revocable outright waivers — a mechanism through which claims are rarely made — was needed since he inked a big league deal. Here’s the latest from around the game:

  • The Brewers will call up top pitching prospect Jimmy Nelson to start Sunday to take the rotation turn of Yovani Gallardo, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. At this point, at least, it seems that Nelson may only get one start, as Gallardo is not expected to miss significant time. As I explained back in April, Nelson already has 27 days of service to his credit. Accordingly, if he did stay in the bigs from this point forward, he would accrue enough service time to set himself up to become eligible for an additional year of arbitration as a Super Two player, though he will not be able to pass the one-year service mark by the end of the year.
  • Milwaukee’s decision to deal for reliever Will Smith (in exchange for outfielder Norichika Aoki) has been a key element in the team’s success this year, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The team’s pro scouting staff gave Smith high marks, leading GM Doug Melvin to pull the trigger on the trade. He has allowed just one earned run in 21 2/3 innings of work, posting 12.9 K/9 against 4.2 BB/9.
  • Pitcher Jason Marquis was scheduled to throw for scouts today, Rosenthal reports in the same piece. The 35-year-old had Tommy John surgery last summer after tossing 117 2/3 innings of 4.05 ball for the Padres.
  • Another former big leaguer looking to make a return is infielder Bill Hall, who tweets that he is on the comeback trail. The 34-year-old has spent time at third, short, second, and all over the outfield in his 11 seasons of MLB action, and owns a career .248/.308/.436 line. He spent last year with the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate, putting up a .225/.321/.407 mark with 17 home runs in 452 plate appearances.
  • Ben Badler of Baseball America has the latest updates on the July 2 market. Yesterday, Badler ticked through the top ten expected bonuses among players eligible to sign for the 2014-15 period, along with the clubs expected to land them. Leading the way is infielder Gilbert Lara, who has been linked to the Brewers and could earn $3MM. Four of the players are expected to go to the Yankees, with the RaysRed Sox, and Blue Jays also said to be set up for some large outlays among AL East clubs. (The American League could also be in line to pick up the other two players on that list, with the Mariners potentially in position to sign outfielder Brayan Hernandez and the White Sox predicted to land righty Huascar Ynoa.) And today, he profiles a set of field position prospects who figure to be among the best available players, headlined by Venezuelan shortstop Kenny Hernandez, who Badler says could get a nine-figure bonus.
  • Meanwhile, the Yankees are reportedly prepared to ink Korean shortstop Hyo-Jun Park for a $1.1MM bonus, according to a report from Korean outlet Naver (Korean language link; translated article; hat tip to River Ave. Blues ). Jason Cohen of Pinstripe Alley recently compiled the available information on Park, who is said to be a solid all-around player.

Badler On Top July 2 Prospects

We’re less than two months from the kickoff of the 2014-15 international signing period, during which Major League clubs will spend a combined hundreds of millions of dollars on amateur talents from Latin America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Many of these players will be as young as 16 years old, and Ben Badler of Baseball America has penned a pair of articles in the past two days highlighting some of the top players and their potential landing spots. A subscription is required and highly recommended in order to read the full scouting report that Badler has on each player. Here are a few of the highlights from his work…

  • Huascar Ynoa, the younger brother of A’s righty Michael Ynoa, could land also land a seven-figure bonus and has been scouted by White Sox vice president Kenny Williams and GM Rick Hahn. The Red Sox have also been tied to Ynoa, and some sources of have told Badler that they expect the Twins to be involved as well. One scout told Badler that Ynoa has the tools to be a frontline starter but lacks consistency. Badler points out that his older brother’s $4.25MM signing bonus from Oakland reduces some of the urgency for Ynoa to sign immediately on July 2.
  • The Blue Jays look like the strong favorites to ink Venezuelan right-hander Juan Meza, who could command a bonus as large as $1.5MM. Meza works out at Carlos Guillen‘s baseball academy in Venezuela and has a three-pitch mix (fastball, changeup, curveball).
  • Fellow Venezuelan right-hander Frankin Perez is also likely to land seven figures and has been most prominently linked to the Astros. Houston is also oft-connected to Venezuelan shortstop Miguel Angel Sierra, whose bonus could reach $1MM, and Dominican outfielder Rafael Ronny, who could be the second-most expensive Dominican outfielder in this year’s class, writes Badler.
  • The Yankees, who are reportedly planning to shatter the international spending limitations this signing period, are heavily linked to Venezuelan catcher Miguel Flames, Venezuelan outfielder Jonathan Amundaray and Venezuelan shortstop Diego Castillo, says Badler. Flames and Amundaray should top $1MM, while Castillo could get close to that figure, he adds.