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Here are a few items of note as Jarrod Saltalamacchia parks one over the Big Green Monster on Sunday Night Baseball …
- The Indians' acquisition of shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is looking like one of the organization's best moves in recent years, writes Bud Shaw of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. The Tribe plucked Cabrera, now 25 and posting All-Star caliber numbers, from the Mariners in 2006 in exchange for Eduardo Perez. For more on how the 2011 Indians were assembled, check out Ben Nicholson-Smith's recent post.
- Angels lefty Scott Kazmir, who's spent most of the season on the disabled list, will soon begin a minor league rehab stint, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. Kazmir may return to to the bigs as a long reliever, and if he continues to struggle, he could be released, in which case the Halos will have to eat his contract (what's left of his $12MM salary, plus a $2.5MM buyout after the season). Mike Axisa wrote in January that this one would be a make-or-break season for Kazmir, and it's not going well so far. Ben thinks the lefty may have to settle for a minor league deal this offseason.
- The Padres own six of the first 58 picks in next month's draft, writes Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune, and they face some pressure after they were unable to sign last year's first-round pick, Karsten Whitson. Center speculates that the Friars could focus on pitching and up-the-middle players, considering their farm is relatively stocked with corner infielders and outfielders. For more on the draft, be sure to check out our Amateur Draft Glossary.
On this date two years ago, umpires agreed to the use of instant replay to help determine boundary calls, such as fair or foul, on home runs. Expanded use of instant replay remains a hot topic in baseball, and even though Commissioner Bud Selig continues to dance around the subject, more replay feels inevitable at this point.
Here are a bunch of links from around the baseball blogosphere…
- Mike Ashmore's Thunder Thoughts interviews players and team personnel about minor league life, touching on everything from salary to housing to food, the whole nine. It's a long, but truly great read.
- Capitol Avenue Club analyzes the Derrek Lee trade.
- Pine Tar and Pocket Protectors says that Pedro Feliz is not the answer for the Cardinals.
- Beyond The Box Score looks at which teams are building the best bullpens on the cheap.
- Amazin' Avenue tries to figure out who should close for the Mets with Francisco Rodriguez out for the season.
- Royals Review questions whether or not Kansas City has something in Bryan Bullington.
- The Few, The Proud, The Brave looks ahead to Atlanta's offseason as well as the 2011 season.
- Pittsburgh Lumber Co. tries to figure out if the Pirates should start spending this offseason.
- The Process Report lists the Rays' farmhands eligible for this year's Rule 5 Draft.
- SD Sports Net wonders if the Padres whiffed by failing to sign first rounder Karsten Whitson.
- Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness uses Ricky Romero's new contract as a basis for a Clayton Kershaw contract extension.
- Baseball Time In Arlington examines the hidden value of Cliff Lee.
- Camden Crazies wonders if Brad Bergesen is back to being an effective pitcher.
- 1 Blue Jays Way introduces us to Toronto's prospects.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Baseball Blogs Weigh In | Bryan Bullington | Clayton Kershaw | Cliff Lee | Derrek Lee | Francisco Rodriguez | Kansas City Royals | Karsten Whitson | Los Angeles Dodgers | New York Mets | Pedro Feliz | Pittsburgh Pirates | San Diego Padres | St. Louis Cardinals | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Toronto Blue Jays
The smoke has cleared and all but three of the first 50 picks signed deals. Barret Loux (Diamondbacks) and Dylan Covey (Brewers) did not sign, but both pitchers had medical issues that influenced the dialogue they had with the clubs that selected them. Here are the details on the third player who did not sign, plus Baseball America's winners and losers:
- John Manuel of BA lists the Nationals, Pirates, Anthony Ranaudo and Bud Selig as winners. The losers? The Brewers, Padres and the process itself.
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer told XX Sports Radio in San Diego that the Padres had a verbal agreement with Karsten Whitson for $1.953MM on draft day. The club boosted its offer as high as $2.1MM, but Whitson and his representatives were holding out for more, so the sides didn't reach a deal. You can listen in on Hoyer's comments here.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law finds it "hard to see [Whitson] beating the Padres' offer … in the 2013 draft."
- In the same piece, Law explains that he believes Bryce Harper and the Nationals both did well with last night's deal.
- The Indians spent $9.3MM on the draft, Indians scouting director Brad Grant told MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince (Twitter link).
- The Rockies are allowing first-rounder Kyle Parker to play college football, but their $1.4MM bonus is protected if he gets injured, according to Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
The Padres did not sign ninth-overall pick Karsten Whitson according to Baseball America (Twitter link). Whitson, 19 next week, is a right-handed pitcher out of Chipley H.S. in Florida. The Padres will get the 11th overall pick in the 2011 draft because the Diamondbacks did not sign Barret Loux.
The Padres offered Whitson $2MM-plus, only to see him reject it, according to Dan Hayes of the North County Times (on Twitter).
Click here for the complete list of 2010 first-rounders to sign.
Major League Baseball's amateur draft will be held from June 7th-9th, so we're going to introduce you to some of the top players available between now and then.
The 2010 draft class features one truly elite high school righthander in Jameson Taillon, but Karsten Whitson of Chipley High School in Florida isn't far behind him. He offers a nice 6-foot-4, 195 lb. frame that scouts can dream on, but unlike most other prep pitchers, he also offers command and poise beyond his years.
ESPN's Keith Law (sub. req'd) recently ranked Whitson as the fifth best player available this year while Baseball America had him 15th. MLB.com's Draft Report says he throws his fastball in the 91-96 mph range, and also features a swing-and-miss slider, an average changeup and good command. As I already said, it's Whitson's mound presence and polish that really separates him from the pack. The MLB.com link offers video.
High school arms carry the stereotype of being the riskiest demographic among amateurs, so it's often hard to predict where they'll be selected. Baseball America's Jim Callis projected to the Cubs to take Whitson 16th overall, while Law doesn't think he'll last quite that long, instead going 11th overall to the Blue Jays (sub. req'd for both). It's tough to envision him falling past the Red Sox at 20.