Kevin Gausman Rumors
The Orioles are likely to seek a top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher but are completely unwilling to include top prospects Kevin Gausman or Dylan Bundy in a package, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Orioles starters currently rank 23rd in ERA, and they recently lost Wei-Yin Chen to the disabled list with an oblique strain. There's no exact timetable no Chen, though Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun speculated today that he could be sidelined for as long as six weeks.
The Orioles were very interested in R.A. Dickey this offseason, according to Heyman, but even with the Blue Jays' disastrous start there's no guarantee that he would be available. Dickey can be controlled through the 2016 season, so the Blue Jays can hang onto him even if they don't contend this year. Baltimore has "little, if any" interest in mending Cubs ace Matt Garza, Heyman adds.
The Orioles went out and got some pitching help last summer by adding Joe Saunders in an August trade, but it sounds like GM Dan Duquette and his staff are eyeing bigger targets this time around. Heyman notes that before pursuing second tier options again (e.g. Ricky Nolasco, Edinson Volquez and Jason Vargas), the team is likely to exhaust its internal options.
I imagine that the Orioles will have an incredibly difficult time putting together a package for an ace-caliber pitcher without Gausman and Bundy, as the rest of their farm system lacks elite talent. Neither Baseball America or MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo listed an Orioles prospect besides those two in their respective Top 100 lists this offseason. ESPN's Keith Law (Insider required) ranked infielder Jonathan Schoop 50th overall (noting that he prefers him at third base) and lefty Eduardo Rodriguez 100th, but neither is the type of impact talent typically required to land a front-line starter.
Justin Verlander repeated today that he wants to stay with the Tigers beyond 2014, when his current contract expires. “I love Detroit,” he said, according to John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press. “I feel like I’m a kindred part of that town. I grew up in front of these fans and earned my way into their hearts.” Verlander said he's not yet sure whether he and his representatives would be willing to negotiate during the season. Here are some more links from around MLB...
- Grantland's Jonah Keri interviewed Orioles GM Dan Duquette about the success of his team in 2012 and Duquette's outlook on 2013. Duquette feels that both Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman will be ready to make significant impacts on the club at some point in 2013.
- ESPN's Jayson Stark presents an in-depth look at the top stories to watch in each league during Spring Training this year. Stark's piece also includes breakdowns of the best and worst free agent signings, trades and more, according to a group of 16 baseball scouts and executives.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs lists the ten worst moves of the offseason with the caveat that "the worst moves aren’t as bad as bad as they used to be." The Royals make three appearances on the list after trading Wil Myers to obtain James Shields, acquiring Ervin Santana and signing Jeremy Guthrie for three years.
- Meanwhile, in another piece for Grantland, Keri examines the worst contracts in MLB starting with Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees and Carl Crawford of the Dodgers.
- Agents at Hendricks Sports have filed an MLBPA grievance against three MLB agents who left the firm for Excel Sports Management and took players with them, Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal reports (on Twitter). Be sure to use MLBTR’s Agency Database for your agency-related inquiries.
4:22pm: The sides agreed to a $4.32MM bonus, ESPN.com's Keith Law tweets. The Orioles have announced their agreement with Gausman.
4:10pm: The Orioles have agreed to sign first round selection Kevin Gausman, the pitcher reports (on Twitter). MLB recommended a bonus of $4.2MM for the fourth overall pick and Gausman's bonus is expected to fall in that range, Jon Paul Morosi reported today.
Gausman has two premium pitches including a fastball that sits 94-96 mph and a plus change-up, according to Baseball America. The Louisiana State right-hander also throws a curve and a slider.
Teams have until 4pm CDT to sign their picks from this year's Rule 4 draft, so teams and advisors are in for a busy afternoon. We'll track the draft-related news here:
- Third round selection Avery Romero signed with the Marlins for $700K, Conor Glassey of Baseball America tweets.
- The Pirates signed 17th rounder Hayden Hurst for $400K, Callis tweets. Hurst appears to have obtained the second-biggest deal for players selected after the tenth round.
- The Athletics signed second round selection Nolan Sanburn for $710K, Jim Callis of Baseball America tweets.
- Top Orioles pick Kevin Gausman is in Baltimore and a press conference will be held at 5pm CDT if the sides agree by today's 4pm CDT deadline, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets.
- The Cubs announced that they signed second round selection Duane Underwood. The high school right-hander doesn't turn 18 until next week. The Cubs reportedly agreed to a $1.05MM deal with Underwood.
- The Indians signed eighth round selection Caleb Hamrick, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports (on Twitter). The high school right-hander obtained a $180K bonus.
- You can track every unsigned selection at Baseball America. The list includes the four remaining unsigned first rounders: fourth overall selection Gausman (likely to sign with Orioles), eighth overall selection Mark Appel (Pirates), 16th overall selection Lucas Giolito (Nationals) and 25th overall selection Richie Shaffer (nearing deal with Rays).
- The Orioles' expected agreement with Gausman will be worth "around" $4.2MM, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports.
- It's unlikely the Pirates will sign Appel, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. Heyman suggests there's a possibility of intervention from MLB officials.
- The Marlins agreed to sign first round selection Andrew Heaney, in case you missed it.
The Orioles have made "significant progress" in negotiations with first-round draft pick Kevin Gausman and a "deal seems likely" before tomorrow's signing deadline, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
It was just three days ago that Gausman seemed to be leaning towards pitching for LSU, though the O's increased their contract offer in the interim. Baltimore's previous offer that was "close" to the $4.2MM recommended slot bonus for the fourth overall pick, while Gausman and his reprentatives were known to be looking for a bonus of slightly beyond $4.2MM. The two sides have until 4 PM CST on Friday to complete an agreement.
We're less than a day away from the draft signing deadline, as teams have until 4 PM CST on Friday to sign their picks. Here's the latest on the status of some high-round picks who have yet to agree to terms, plus some signings...
- The Indians have signed fourth-round pick D'vone McClure, reports Jim Callis of Baseball America (via Twitter). McClure signed for a $750K bonus, more than double the recommended slot price of $314.7K.
- The Nationals can pay Lucas Giolito just under $2.813MM without going over the draft spending cap, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, citing calculations from Baseball America. MLB's recommended slot price for the 16th overall pick is $2.125MM. Kilgore outlines the situation surrounding Giolito, who the Nats say they will not sign to a contract that puts them over the spending cap and causes the team to incur a fine.
- "We are making progress. We’re waiting to hear their next proposal," Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich tells Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link) about the club's negotiations with first-rounder Kevin Gausman. The fourth overall pick has a slot price of $4.2MM, which Gausman and his representatives are looking to "slightly" exceed, tweets Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com.
- The Mets are at a "standstill" with second-round pick Teddy Stankiewicz, reports Jim Callis of Baseball America (via Twitter). Callis hears that Stankiewicz is willing to sign for the recommended slot price for the 75th overall pick ($680.4K) but the Mets haven't offered that large of a bonus.
- The Giants have signed third-rounder Mac Williamson, tweets Baseball America's Nathan Robe. Williamson will receive a $390K bonus, which is under the $412.3K recommended price for the 115th overall pick.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo outlines the rules of the newly-instituted Competitive Balance Lottery, which takes place on July 18 and will distribute six total bonus picks among low-revenue and small-market teams for the 2013 amateur draft.
The deadline to sign draft picks is 4pm CT this Friday. Here are the latest deals...
- The Giants signed second round pick Martin Agosta for $613K, Jim Callis of Baseball America reports (on Twitter). The right-hander can touch 96 mph and his fastball regularly checks in between 90-92 mph.
- The Orioles have made a new offer to fourth overall pick Kevin Gausman and "still feel pretty confident" they will sign him, reports Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com. Earlier this week we heard that the right-hander from LSU was leaning towards returning to school for his senior season.
- The Blue Jays have signed 15th rounder Ryan Borucki to an above-slot $426K bonus, reports Jim Callis of Baseball America (on Twitter). The high school right-hander from Illinois can throw his fastball in the low-90s but had an elbow issue in March.
Though fourth overall selection Kevin Gausman recently said he’s leaning toward returning to LSU, Orioles executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports the team intends to reach a deal with its top pick. Duquette says the sides have made progress toward an agreement and Morosi reports that the Orioles have already offered Gausman "close" to MLB's recommended $4.2MM bonus. Here’s the latest from the AL East...
- There’s lots of concern about Evan Longoria’s absence in Tampa Bay and no guarantee the Rays third baseman will return in 2012, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweets. Longoria has been sidelined since the beginning of May with a partially torn hamstring.
- Commissioner Bud Selig says it’s “inexcusable” to see the Rays ranked 29th in attendance, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times (on Twitter). “Nobody can defend that," Selig said. The commissioner added that he'll continue "discussions" with Rays ownership, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times notes (on Twitter).
- Blue Jays left-hander Luis Perez will miss the remainder of the season after tearing a ligament in his left pitching elbow, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star writes.
9:15pm: Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun quotes Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich (on Twitter) as saying that talks between the two sides are still progressing.
7:57pm: Kevin Gausman, the No. 4 overall pick in this year's draft is unlikely to sign with the Orioles because his heart is still with Louisiana State University, writes Albert Buford of the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
"This is turning out to be a tough decision, but as of now my heart is still with LSU," Gausman said. "There are still things for me to accomplish as a Tiger. I still want to play in and win the College World Series, and with a lot of guys coming back next year I believe we can do it."
Gausman was the first pitcher taken in this year's draft, going ahead of fellow college righties Kyle Zimmer (Royals) and Mark Appel (Pirates). Earlier today, it was reported that Appel is also leaning toward returning to college for another season, rather than signing in Pittsburgh.
Electing to return to LSU would mean forgoing a sizeable bonus for Gausman. MLB's recommended bonus for the fourth overall pick in the draft is $4.2MM. If he does decide to return to LSU, the decision won't have as much to do with the Orioles as it would a desire to leave his mark on LSU baseball, writes Buford.
Earlier today, we ran down the remaining unsigned first-round picks from the 2012 draft. Here's today's latest draft news..
- An Orioles source tells Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com (via Twitter) that the team remains "very confident" of signing top pick Kevin Gausman. However, talks between the two sides still could go into next week. The fourth-overall pick in the draft has said that he expects to reach agreement with the O's but there hasn't been a great deal of news on that front lately.
- The Phillies were unable to reach agreement with second-round pick Alec Rash, writes Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register. The right-hander's father said the family requested $800K while the Phillies countered with an offer of $500K plus $120K for college. Rash will now attend Missouri in the fall.
- The Brewers signed eighth-rounder Edgardo Rivera for $200K, more than the suggested pick value of $132K, tweets Jim Callis of Baseball America. The high school outfielder out of Puerto Rico boasts plus-plus speed and could be solid left-handed bat, Callis writes.