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Jameson Taillon Rumors
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.
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.
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.
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.
Links for Sunday, as Jeremy Hellickson aims for his third win in his third career start….
- Troy Glaus earned an additional $350K for making his 450th plate appearance last night, tweets Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Glaus will earn another $350K for his 500th plate appearance.
- Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun tells us that the Orioles are unlikely to sign a pair of pitchers: sixth and seventh round picks Dixon Anderson and Matthew Bywater. The club is still working toward a deal with #3 overall pick Manny Machado, but expect to get a deal done.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times (Twitter link) hears that, although a deal is unlikely, the Braves will probably "kick the tires" on Chone Figgins. Baker reported on Friday that Atlanta had yet to ask the Mariners about Figgins.
- John Tomase of the Boston Herald argues that moving Jonathan Papelbon and making Daniel Bard the closer before 2012 would be a mistake for the Red Sox. In yesterday's MLBTR poll, only about 20% of you said the Sox should keep Papelbon past this season.
- The New York media is always tough on the Mets, but today's coverage seems especially harsh: Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News breaks down the ways in which the Mets have wasted the last four seasons, while the New York Post's Joel Sherman says the club's future doesn't look much better.
- Talking to the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan, Derrek Lee discusses his decision to veto a trade to the Angels.
- Jeremy Hermida tells Rob Bradford of WEEI that he was "kind of surprised" to be designated for assignment by the Red Sox.
- A couple updates on top draft picks: Reds' first-rounder Yasmani Grandal has already taken a physical, while the Pirates met with the agents for Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie for nearly seven hours yesterday. MLB.com's Mark Sheldon and Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have the details.
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.
- Heath Bell told Ephraim Fischbein of New York Baseball Digest that he's happy in San Diego, but would like to return to the Mets if the Padres decide to go in a different direction.
- Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News (via Twitter) applauds the Giants' signings of Juan Uribe and Aubrey Huff, who cost the club roughly $3MM each.
- Mark Tracy is excited to be a part of the Rockies along with his father, manager Jim Tracy, writes MLB.com's Thomas Harding. Colorado selected the skipper's son in the 22nd round of the 2010 Draft.
- Contrary to a report late last night, the Angels and Red Sox did not agree to a swap of Gary Matthews Jr. and Mike Lowell over the winter, a major league source told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
- David Lennon of Newsday (via Twitter) writes that it's an 80% possibility that the Mets non-tender John Maine after this season.
- ESPN's Buster Olney says that the Indians are likely to move some veterans in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline, but they could be a dangerous team to face until then because of Fausto Carmona, Justin Masterson, and Jake Westbrook (Insider req'd).
- MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch says to expect negotiations between the Pirates and their top draft picks Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie to go right down to the August 16th signing deadline.
- The Pirates had a long debate about who to take with the second overall pick in last week's draft according to Chuck Finder of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and it wasn't until last weekend that they decided on Jameson over Manny Machado.
- Meanwhile Rob Biertempfel of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says the Pirates won't rush their top prospects. Once those prospects are promoted to the big league team, their minor league roster spots will be filled by players currently on ML roster (after they're optioned down) or by "signing low-cost, minor league free agents."
- Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer doesn't see the Indians offering anyone but Shin-Soo Choo a multi-year deal, including the resurgent Austin Kearns.
- Newsday's David Lennon thinks it might make sense for the Mets to "consider opening extension talks" with catcher Rod Barajas before the season ends and he hits the free agent market.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Aubrey Huff | Austin Kearns | Boston Red Sox | Cleveland Indians | Gary Matthews Jr. | Heath Bell | Jameson Taillon | John Maine | Juan Uribe | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Manny Machado | Mike Lowell | New York Mets | Pittsburgh Pirates | Rod Barajas | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Shin-Soo Choo
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):
- Nationals – Bryce Harper
- Pirates – Jameson Taillon
- Orioles – Manny Machado
- Royals – Christian Colon
- Indians – Drew Pomeranz
- Diamondbacks – Barret Loux
- Mets – Matt Harvey
- Astros – Delino DeShields Jr.
- Padres – Karsten Whitson
- Athletics – Michael Choice
- Blue Jays – Deck McGuire
- Reds – Yasmani Grandal
- White Sox – Chris Sale
- Brewers – Dylan Covey
- Rangers – Jake Skole
- Cubs – Hayden Simpson
- Rays – Josh Sale
- Angels – Kaleb Cowart
- Astros – Michael Foltynewicz
- Red Sox – Kolbrin Vitek
- Twins – Alex Wimmers
- Rangers – Kellin Deglan
- Marlins – Christian Yelich
- Giants – Gary Brown
- Cardinals – Zack Cox
- Rockies – Kyle Parker
- Phillies – Jesse Biddle
- Dodgers – Zach Lee
- Angels – Cam Bedrosian
- Angels – Chevez Clarke
- Rays – Justin O'Conner
- Yankees – Cito Culver
Click here for the results of Compensation Round A, picks #33-50.
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.
The first round of the MLB draft kicks off at 6pm CST today. Links to start you off, with new ones being added to the bottom of the post:
- MLB.com's Mark Newman prepares you for the festivities by outlining MLB's many facets of draft coverage. Here's a reminder of the draft order.
- The Pirates pick second, and Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette believes they're leaning toward shortstop Manny Machado over pitcher Jameson Taillon. GM Neal Huntington explained that they will have no problem selecting a Scott Boras client. Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun says the Orioles would then take Taillon, who they favor anyway. Jim Callis of Baseball America has a different point of view, saying the Pirates lean toward Taillon.
- The Blue Jays have the #11 pick. Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun suggests they have a big draft budget and an eye on Delino DeShields, Jr., Josh Sale, and Deck McGuire as potential first-round picks. Scouting director Andrew Tinnish is emphasizing athleticism and upside, as well as up-the-middle positions.
- Dodgers assistant GM Logan White hinted that they could again take a high school pitcher, writes Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times. The Dodgers have the #28 pick in the first round.
- The Tigers start at #44, having given #19 to the Astros for Jose Valverde. John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press quotes scouting director David Chadd: "We have a history of being aggressive. I don't see that changing."
- Phillies scouting director Marti Wolever told Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the team will take the best available player early and will lean toward catching, lefthanded pitching, and middle infielders later. The Phils' first pick is #27.
- The Rockies are at #26, and Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post says they've scouted Aaron Sanchez, Nick Castellanos, and Kevin Gausman heavily. Links on player names in this post go to MLB.com scouting reports.
- John Maffei of the North County Times deduced that the Padres might take a center fielder like Michael Choice or Kolbrin Vitek, but MLB.com's Corey Brock tweets his opinion that they will take a pitcher such as Karsten Whitson. The Padres have the #9 pick.