Josh Sale Rumors

Quick Hits: Astros, Blue Jays, Yankees, Wolf, Appel

Blue Jays first round draft choice Marcus Stroman has been suspended for 50 games for violating the minor league drug prevention and treatment program, the team announced. Stroman, who obtained a $1.8MM bonus earlier in the summer, maintains that he “unknowingly ingested a banned stimulant that was in an over-the-counter supplement.” He wasn’t the only former first rounder suspended today. Josh Sale, who was selected 17th overall by the Rays in 2010, also obtained a 50-game suspension, according to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune (on Twitter).

Here are Tuesday’s links…

  • “We’re continuing to assess our list of candidates,” said Astros GM Jeff Luhnow to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart about the club's managerial search. “We need someone that’s going to be good at teaching, someone good at inspiring and basically working with the front office and help us achieve our goal of becoming as competitive as possible."
  • The Yankees hadn’t placed Alex Rodriguez on waivers as of yesterday morning, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. Though the Yankees would like to dump Rodriguez and the $114MM remaining on his contract for luxury tax purposes, Davidoff says A-Rod and the Yankees have a pretty good relationship these days.
  • ESPN officially announced an eight-year extension for the rights to broadcast MLB games. John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal reports that the deal is worth $700MM per year for a total of $5.6 billion. The deal also covers digital, international and radio rights.
  • Four teams showed interest in Randy Wolf when he hit the free agent market, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The Athletics were one of the teams with serious interest in Wolf before he agreed to sign with the Orioles, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports (on Twitter).
  • ESPN.com's Keith Law previews the 2013 amateur draft class, suggesting it projects as one of the weakest in years. Mark Appel, the Pirates' first round selection in 2012, projects as a top talent for 2013 along with college right-hander Ryne Stanek.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.


Rays Sign Josh Sale, Drew Vettleson

The Rays agreed to sign first-round pick Josh Sale and supplementary first-rounder Drew Vettleson, according to Conor Glassey of Baseball America (Twitter link). Sale, a 19-year-old outfielder, had committed to playing at Gonzaga next season. Last year, MLB recommended a $1.467MM bonus for the 17th-overall selection, but the Rays signed Sale for $1.62MM. Vettleson, a two-way player who turned 19 last month, gets $845K.

The Rays already signed first-rounder Justin O'Conner for $1.025MM. Click here for the complete list of 2010 first-rounders to sign.


Draft Notes: O’s, Harper, Pomeranz, Grandal

The countdown is on for MLB scouting directors. The draft is just days away, so it's time for them to rank hundreds of players. Here are the latest links on the 2010 draft:

  • The Rangers' ownership problems means the team will be focusing on easily-signable players, reports Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com.
  • Steve Gilbert of MLB.com thinks the Diamondbacks will look to add pitching after spending most of their early picks in the 2009 draft on position players.  He also doesn't think Arizona will pay above slot to sign a player.  
  • Lou Montanez, Matt Wieters and Nick Markakis tell MLB.com's Spencer Fordin what they remember about being drafted.
  • Bryce Harper may have played his last amateur game and it's not just because the draft is approaching. He received a two-game suspension after being ejected, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale (Twitter link). MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has video of the ejection.
  • ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill hears that the Mets are high on Drew Pomeranz and Josh Sale. The Mets' decision could come down to players' asking prices, however.
  • ESPN.com's Keith Law says the Mets could have a shot at Manny Machado, since the clubs picking between Pittsburgh and New York haven't shown clear interest in the high school shortstop.
  • Rival scouts and executives expect the Red Sox and Blue Jays to be big spenders in the draft this year, according to Law.
  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian that the Jays will not shy away from tough signs.
  • An MLB executive told Law that catcher Yasmani Grandal is looking for "Buster Posey money." Posey received a $6.2MM bonus from the Giants.
  • If you're wondering who your team might select, check out this mock draft by three Baseball America writers.