Jameson Taillon Rumors

NL Central Links: Taillon, Maholm, Schumaker, Crane

The Brewers have gone 8-2 over their last 10 games to pull away in the NL Central race, currently leading by 8.5 games. There's more to this division than just the standings though, as shown in this collection of links:

  • MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch has some quotes from Pirates GM Neal Huntington on top prospect Jameson Taillon. Huntington says that while the 2010 No. 2 overall pick's numbers aren't spectacular — a 4.52 ERA through 79 2/3 innings — he's been working heavily on his fastball command. Huntington says Taillon can overpower Low-A hitters with his breaking ball but has gotten hit trying to improve his heater.
  • In the same piece, Langosch reports that Paul Maholm will see Dr. James Andrews for a second evaluation of his shoulder. Huntington cautions not to read too much into it, but Maholm's shoulder is worth keeping an eye on as it could impact a major financial decision; the Buccos hold a $9.75MM option on Maholm for 2012 that comes with a $750K buyout.
  • Skip Schumaker's 2012 contract status is questionable, writes Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Cardinals could non-tender Schumaker this offeseason.
  • In Nick Cafardo's Sunday column for the Boston Globe, he says that Major League owners are "wading through a lot of personal stuff" on prospective Astros buyer Jim Crane before approving him. Crane has had complaints filed against him in the past by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Huntington Talks Taillon, Allie, Presley, Draft

Pirates GM Neal Huntington spoke to some reporters today, and Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the audio up. Here's some highlights:

  • Huntington feels it's unfortunate that top prospects Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie are often linked so closely because they're very different cases. Taillon has been pitching his whole life and therefore has a more accelerated schedule with his innings, whereas Allie was more of a position prospect until his emergence on the mound during his senior year of high school and will be handled more slowly.
  • Minor leaguer Alex Presley will continue to "make it a challenge" for the Pirates to keep him off the Major League roster if he continues playing at his current level. Huntington points out that it's a good problem to have when players are excelling at Triple-A but there isn't a Major League roster spot open. Presley is following up a .320/.373/.494 effort in 2010 with a .367/.413/.560 performance so far in 2011.
  • Huntington says he trusts his scouts will make an informed decision to draft the best player possible, but it's difficult without a consensus #1 like the Nationals had with Stephen Strasburg. Most expect the Pirates to draft either UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole or Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon.
  • Ultimately, the decision will come down to scouting director Greg Smith, who has final veto power on the first overall pick. Huntington says he has "complete trust and faith" in Smith, but if the pick goes wrong, it will be his own fault, not Smith's.
  • 2011 would be a great year to be able to trade the #1 overall pick if Major League Baseball's rules allowed it, due to the depth of the draft. Huntington says it's a great year to be Tampa Bay, San Diego, or Toronto with all of their high picks.

Overall, the 12-minute clip offers some great insight into the Pirates' means of evaluating players and their approach to the draft. It's definitely worth a listen.


Odds & Ends: White Sox, Hoffman, Britton, Cubs

As Albert Pujols joins the 400-homer club, here are some items of note…

  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams hinted that his club may be pursuing a lower-profile waiver wire target than Manny Ramirez, reports MLB.com's Scott Merkin.  This target, however, is apparently not Trevor Hoffman. Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com writes that Williams denied a report saying that the Sox put in a claim on Hoffman, but were unable to work out a trade with the Brewers.
  • The Orioles are "increasingly less likely" to call up left-hander Zach Britton in September, reports MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli.  Britton, ranked as the 63rd-best prospect in the game by Baseball America's preseason rankings, would only be in line to start every six or seven days given Baltimore's full staff and a number of September off-days.  Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun adds that Britton is already nearing his 2010 innings limit.
  • The Cubs interviewed Eric Wedge today for their open manager's job, reports Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com.  Levine mentions that Fredi Gonzalez, Pat Listach and Ryne Sandberg are all slated for interviews, and Chicago GM Jim Hendry wants a new manager hired before the team's November organizational meetings.
  • It's "unlikely at this point" that the Diamondbacks will be making any more trades, a team executive tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.
  • The Pirates were wise to get Jameson Taillon signed at an over-slot price rather than take their chances with two top-3 picks in the 2011 amateur draft, writes Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Jeff Bagwell isn't sure if he wants to return as Houston's hitting coach next season, says MLB.com's Alyson Footer.


Pirates Sign Jameson Taillon

12:03am: Taillon's bonus is worth $6.5MM, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (on Twitter).

9:14pm: Taillon and the Pirates agreed on a deal worth slightly more than $5MM, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).

7:52pm: The Pirates signed second-overall pick Jameson Taillon, the pitcher's father told to Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The tall Texas right-hander has drawn comparisons to other power pitchers such as Roger Clemens and Josh Beckett. Back in May, MLBTR's Mike Axisa profiled Taillon in detail.

The specifics on Taillon's deal aren't yet known, but MLB recommended a $3.25MM bonus for the second overall pick last year. The Mariners, who chose second overall in 2009, signed Dustin Ackley to a $6MM bonus and it wouldn't be surprising to see the Pirates pay Taillon considerably more than slot, too. They already appear to have signed second-rounder Stetson Allie.

With less than three hours remaining between now and the deadline to sign picks, 13 first-rounders have yet to sign.


Pirates Notes: Heredia, Taillon, Allie

Let's check out some Pirates tidbits, courtesy of Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette..

  • The Pirates remain the favorites to land 16-year-old Mexican pitcher Luis Heredia.  Veracruz, the Mexican team that holds his rights, is allowed by the Mexican Baseball League to begin entertaining offers on Thursday.  Early last month, the Pirates and Blue Jays were said to be the favorites for his services.  Toronto reportedly offered $2.8MM while Pittsburgh offered $2.5MM.  The Yankees were said to be gaining interest in the prospect as of a month ago.
  • Jameson Taillon's father Michael expects his son and the club to reach agreement prior to tomorrow's deadline.  Michael mentioned that there remained a "variable" for the two sides to work out.  The variable, Finder says, could be a spot on the 40-man roster.  It appears that the Pirates are reluctant to oblige, though the father of the second overall selection doesn't see it as a potential stumbling block.  The slot recommendation for Taillon is $3.25MM, though he will likely receive more.
  • As for the Pirates and second-round choice Stetson Allie, there's optimism on both sides that a deal can be reached.  Both Allie and Taillon are represented by the Hendricks brothers.

Odds & Ends: Glaus, Orioles, Figgins, Papelbon

Links for Sunday, as Jeremy Hellickson aims for his third win in his third career start….


Odds & Ends: Red Sox, Harper, Canseco, Figgins

Saturday afternoon linkage..

  • Boston sent catcher Michael Thomas to Texas to complete the trade for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, writes Alex Speier of WEEI.
  • Dusty Baker has no interest in becoming a general manager, writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
  • A former teammate of Bryce Harper's doesn't see the first overall pick going back to school, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
  • The Laredo Broncos, an independent minor league team, say they have signed Jose Canseco to a short-term contract, according to the Associated Press.  Canseco will serve as a bench coach and designated hitter during two Laredo homestands.
  • Chuck Finder of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pirates GM Neal Huntington and scouting director Greg Smith are expected to sit down with agents Randy and Alan Hendricks in Houston this weekend to discuss a contract for second overall pick Jameson Taillon. MLB's slot recommendation for that pick is $3.25MM, though Taillon is expected to receive more than that.
  • We know the Braves have not asked the Mariners about the availability of Chone Figgins in the wake of Chipper Jones' injury, but ESPN's Buster Olney says a deal is unlikely anyway. It would be pretty tough for GM Jack Zduriencik to tell ownership they have to eat tens of millions of dollars to move a player they just signed this past offseason.
  • Ken Fidlin of The Toronto Sun says that Blue Jays' second round pick Griffin Murphy and his father were on the field at Angels Stadium talking with club officials, "a surefire sign that a deal is done." MLB's slot recommendation for the 61st overall pick is just short of $600K. 
  • The Yankees have come to terms on well-overslot bonuses with a pair of draft picks. Baseball America's Jim Callis reports that they signed ninth rounder Taylor Morton for $450K while Kendall Rogers of Yahoo! Sports reports an agreement with tenth rounder Ben Gamel (Mat's brother) for $500K. Both deals are more than three times over MLB's recommendation, and Gamel's is the largest given to a player selected in a double digit round so far.

Odds & Ends: Bell, Giants, Lowell, Maine, Indians

Sunday linkage..


2010 MLB Draft Results

Ever since the A's called Rick Monday's name 45 years ago, teams have relied on the MLB draft to stock their systems with talented young players. Today, teams have the chance to draft the next Joe Mauer (1st overall, 2001), the next Carl Crawford (52nd overall, 1999) or the next Albert Pujols (13th round, 1999). Or, they could end up with the next Matt Bush (1st overall, 2004).

Here's this year's draft order, from River Ave. Blues, to be updated after each selection (links go to MLB.com):

  1. Nationals – Bryce Harper
  2. Pirates – Jameson Taillon
  3. Orioles – Manny Machado
  4. Royals – Christian Colon
  5. Indians – Drew Pomeranz
  6. Diamondbacks – Barret Loux
  7. Mets – Matt Harvey
  8. Astros – Delino DeShields Jr.
  9. Padres – Karsten Whitson
  10. Athletics – Michael Choice
  11. Blue Jays – Deck McGuire
  12. Reds – Yasmani Grandal
  13. White Sox – Chris Sale
  14. Brewers – Dylan Covey
  15. Rangers – Jake Skole
  16. Cubs – Hayden Simpson
  17. Rays – Josh Sale
  18. Angels – Kaleb Cowart
  19. Astros – Michael Foltynewicz
  20. Red Sox – Kolbrin Vitek
  21. Twins – Alex Wimmers
  22. Rangers – Kellin Deglan
  23. Marlins – Christian Yelich
  24. Giants – Gary Brown
  25. Cardinals – Zack Cox
  26. Rockies – Kyle Parker
  27. Phillies – Jesse Biddle
  28. Dodgers – Zach Lee
  29. Angels – Cam Bedrosian
  30. Angels – Chevez Clarke
  31. Rays – Justin O'Conner
  32. Yankees – Cito Culver

Click here for the results of Compensation Round A, picks #33-50.


Pirates Expected To Draft Jameson Taillon

The Pirates have the second pick in today's draft, and ESPN's Buster Olney reports that they are expected to take high school pitcher Jameson Taillon.  This matches predictions made this morning by Baseball America's Jim Callis and ESPN's Keith Law, though an earlier note by Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggested they were leaning toward Manny Machado.  Talking to Finder, Bucs GM Neal Huntington explained that "we passed on some high school pitchers last year because, quite candidly, we didn't think they had the stuff that allowed [some] to be the exceptions."

For more on Taillon, check out Mike Axisa's post from May 29th.