Kolten Wong Rumors


Reaction To The Jhonny Peralta Signing

The Cardinals have reached agreement on a four-year contract with Jhonny Peralta worth $53MM. Here's the reaction to the signing from around baseball:

  • Peralta was asking interested teams for a five-year, $75MM deal, but accepted less from the Cardinals because he wanted to play in St. Louis, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com
  • MLBTR's Tim Dierkes tweets not many people predicted this kind of contract for Peralta and Stephen Drew should do better even though he's tied to draft pick compensation and is down a suitor.
  • Keith Law of ESPN.com writes in an Insider Only post (subscription required) the move could work out in the short term, but Peralta isn't the type of player he would want to commit to for four years. 
  • The Cardinals explored trade talks with the Diamondbacks and Angels before settling on Peralta, tweets USA Today's Bob Nightengale.
  • The Cardinals used their payroll flexibility to acquire Peralta and were going to have to overpay anyway to obtain a much-needed shortstop either financially in free agency or in prospects on the trade market, opines the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Bernie Miklasz
  • Within the same article, Miklasz offers six reasons why the Cardinals preferred Peralta over Drew.
  • The lack of draft pick compensation helped fueled Peralta's market, tweets Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. Feinsand, in a second tweet, isn't surprised Peralta was able to net such a lucrative deal despite being suspended 50 games for his involvement in the Biogenesis affair citing the two-year, $16MM pact the Blue Jays gave Melky Cabrera last offseason after his 50-game PED suspension in 2012.
  • Diamondbacks reliever (and union representative) Brad Ziegler was critical of rewarding a player suspended for PED use with such a contract. "It pays to cheat...Thanks, owners, for encouraging PED use. People really don't understand how this works. We thought 50 games would be a deterrent. Obviously it's not. So we are working on it again." (Twitter links)
  • Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio wonders if the Cardinals will play Peralta at third base, keep Matt Carpenter at second base, and trade Kolten Wong for a better overall shortstop (via Twitter).
  • This type of free agent acquisition is not typical for the Cardinals, according to ESPN.com's Mark Simon.
  • Steven Goldman of SBNation.com compares the Cardinals' signing of Peralta with the Yankees' signing of Brian McCann: a massive upgrade on the incumbent over the short term with a hazier outlook over the long run.
  • On its face, Fangraphs' Eno Sarris sees this as a perfect signing for the Cardinals.



Central Notes: Tulo, Cubs/Tigers Managerial Openings

The World Series continues tonight in St. Louis with the Cardinals holding a 2-1 lead over the Red Sox after Game 3's controversial ending. Even though their season is still in progress, many are already anticipating the Cardinals' offseason needs and shortstop sits atop that list. Earlier today, Troy Tulowitzki's name was mentioned as a possible target. Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post writes Tulo would fit perfectly in St. Louis with the Rockies' haul starting with first baseman Matt Adams and some mix of outfielder Stephen Piscotty, second baseman Kolten Wong and reliever Carlos Martinez. Renck, however, doesn't expect such a mega-deal because Rockies owner Dick Monfort has stated Tulowitzki will not be traded. Elsewhere from MLB's Central Divisions:

  • The Cubs will interview Torey Lovullo shortly after the conclusion of the World Series, reports the Chicago Sun-Times' Gordon Wittenmyer. The Cubs have yet to request permission to speak with the Red Sox's bench coach, sources from both organizations tell Wittenmyer.  
  • Within the same article, multiple industry sources say Padres bench coach Rick Renteria appears to be the favorite to land the Cubs' job.
  • The Tigers face the same challenge the Cardinals did two years ago when Tony LaRussa retired, opines John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press. If Dave Dombrowski follows the blueprint of John Mozeliak, Lowe reasons Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon will likely replace Jim Leyland as manager.
  • Earlier today, I posted some Indians notes on Chris Perez, Jake Westbrook, and Corey Hart.



Cardinals To Promote Kolten Wong

The Cardinals will promote top prospect Kolten Wong, the athletic department of the University of Hawaii (Wong's alma mater) tweets. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch confirms (via Twitter) that the Cardinals are set to promote Wong on Friday.

MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch tweets that the Cardinals will option Adron Chambers to clear space on their 25-man roster. Current Cards second baseman Matt Carpenter has played brilliantly this season, so Wong's promotion might mean less playing time for third baseman David Freese, as Carpenter, who has played 30 games at third this season, moves to the position on a more regular basis. Neither Wong nor Carpenter has significant experience at shortstop, where Pete Kozma has struggled this year.

Wong had been hitting .303/.369/.466 for Triple-A Memphis. The 22-year-old was the No. 22 overall pick in the 2011 draft. MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo ranks Wong the No. 53 prospect in baseball, while Baseball America ranked Wong No. 84 in their preseason rankings and ESPN's Keith Law ranked him No. 96. BA's 2013 Prospect Handbook named Wong the fifth-best prospect in a strong Cardinals system, noting that he has good power for a small player and has shown improved instincts at second. The late-season promotion surely means that Wong will not receive Super Two status, which would put him on track for arbitration eligibility after the 2016 season and free agency after 2019, assuming he sticks in the Majors.



Jake Peavy Rumors: Sunday

Jake Peavy has cleared his belongings from the White Sox's clubhouse and is prepared to be traded soon, reports ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine. "It is sad to think that this is probably my last day in here," Peavy said this morning. "We all realize the reality of the situation and I am prepared with that to happen soon. If I am not traded I would be happy to know the message here is we think we can win it all next year with you a part of it. I am reflecting on my four years here as we speak and getting a little caught up in the emotion. It is a sad day when you think it could be your last. This is a business and this is what we do. I will always cherish the people here and my time in Chicago." Here are the other rumors involving Peavy today:

  • The White Sox have shown no interest in absorbing any of the approximately $24MM owed Peavy and that, along with health concerns, are big issues for the Braves, Orioles, Cardinals, and even the Dodgers, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark.
  • Baseball executives still feel it is likely the White Sox will trade Peavy before the deadline, ESPN's Buster Olney reports (Insider-only). The Cardinals have more than enough young pitching to get Peavy, but they don't seem inclined to move it, Olney writes. He guesses that Peavy will ultimately wind up with the Athletics.
  • The Sox are having difficulty trading Peavy, however, tweets Peter Gammons, whose reporting echoes Stark's. The Sox asked the Athletics for top young players Sonny Gray and Addison Russell, while also asking the A's to pay almost $20MM in salary, Gammons writes. That's surely far more than the A's would be willing to pay.
Earlier Updates
  • The Braves are no longer in the mix for Peavy, tweets FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal. In a separate tweet, Rosenthal notes Orioles owner Peter Angelos has historically been a stickler on medical issues and Peavy's long injury history may affect their pursuit. 
  • The sense is the A's are working the hardest to acquire Peavy while the Braves like him but not enough to offer a significant package, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
  • The current front-runners for Peavy are (in order): A's, Cardinals, Red Sox, and Orioles, according to ESPN's Buster Olney (Twitter link).
  • The White Sox are targeting top prospects, but interested teams figure the price will come down and see the Sox accepting multiple prospects instead, tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. Passan, in a separate tweet, reports the asking price for Peavy is higher than for Matt Garza
  • Levine notes, in the aforementioned article, talks with the Braves have heated up since Tim Hudson's season-ending ankle injury, but MLB.com's Mark Bowman writes, while there might be some lingering interest in Peavy, GM Frank Wren appears focused on upgrading the bullpen.
  • The Cardinals are continuing their pursuit of Peavy and Alexei Ramirez, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio. Bowden lists Carlos Martinez, Joe Kelly and Kolten Wong as names being mentioned on the Cardinals' end.

Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.



Prospect Rumor Roundup: Trade Bait

The July trade deadline in Major League Baseball is less than two weeks away on the 31st. We don't exactly know who will be on the move, or how many trades will be completed, but we do know that a lot of minor league prospects will be changing uniforms within the next 13 days.

Below is a look at some of the prospects who could be on the move to new organizations looking to build for the future.

American League

Athletics: Oakland hasn't shied away from leaning on young players while in a playoff hunt and recent promotions for pitcher Sonny Gray and infielder/outfielder Grant Green could also serve a secondary purpose: showcasing. Gray, a right-handed hurler, was extremely successful in Triple-A and was lights-out during his one big league appearance before the All-Star break. He could develop into a No. 2 or 3 starter, or a high-leverage reliever. Green has played sparingly since his promotion but the former first round draft pick's versatility could be highly coveted.  

Indians: Cleveland has one of the top shortstop prospects in (untouchable) Francisco Lindor, which could make fellow infielder Dorssys Paulino expendable in the right deal. Just 18, his numbers don't look great but he's holding his own in Low-A ball at a young age and has shown signs of improvement in June and July.

Orioles: L.J.Hoes doesn't have a huge ceiling but the 23-year-old prospect can play all three outfield positions, as well as second and third base. Currently hitting .308/.405/.413 at Triple-A, he makes good contact and can run the bases well.

Rangers: It would probably take a very intriguing veteran player with more than one year of control but Texas' middle infield depth could allow the club to dangle shortstop Luis Sardinas on the trade market. The 20-year-old infielder is a slick defender with little-to-no power but the ability to hit for average and steal some bases.

Rays: Right-hander Alex Colome made three starts with Tampa Bay earlier this year and the organization's pitching depth could allow the right-hander to be offered in an attractive deal, but he's currently on the Triple-A disabled list with what has been called a "mild elbow strain." Second baseman Ryan Brett, 21, received a 50-game suspension last year, so that cloud is still hanging over his head, but the scrappy baseball player can really hit. He's currently batting .336/.392/.480 with 17 steals in 39High-A ball games.

Red Sox: Boston is in an enviable position with a fair amount of depth that can be used to help strengthen the big league product. The presence of top prospect Xander Bogaerts means that the club can comfortably move third base prospect Garin Cecchini or shortstop Deven Marrero, should the right deal come along, because Bogaerts could probably handle either position at the big league level. Cecchini swings a mean stick but he lacks the prototypical power that teams look for from the hot corner. Marrero's numbers have been respectable in 2013 but nothing to write home about. A team that really liked him in college, though, might be willing to bite. 

Tigers: The Tigers system is pretty thin, which could impact the organization's ability to make key moves via the trade market. Outfielder Danry Vasquez is highly projectable thanks to his frame and left-handed swing, both of which hint at future power. Just 19, he's aggressive but makes good contact given his limited experience.

Yankees: Catcher J.R. Murphy could be an attractive name on the trade market, if New York is willing to part with him knowing that Gary Sanchez is not that far behind. Murphy is an offensive-minded backstop who's improved his defensive game, especially with throwing out baserunners. 

National League

Braves: On the surface it seems like the Braves haven't really made the amateur draft a priority in recent years and that has hurt the organization's depth. The versatile Joey Terdoslavich's strong performance in Triple-A earned him a promotion to the big league level where he's possibly been showcased for a deal. The pop in his bat, along with his ability to switch hit and positional versatility could make him an intriguing trade target.

Cardinals: The Cardinals have some impressive middle infield depth and former first round draft pick Kolten Wong could become a casualty. The second baseman can hit, but converted third baseman Matt Carpenter has been nothing short of brilliant at the big league level. Any team that acquires Wong is getting a player who's very close to MLB ready.

Diamondbacks: If Arizona is looking to make a big splash at the trade deadline, the club has a lot of pitching depth to deal from, including (likely) untouchables Archie Bradley and Tyler Skaggs. It would take a special player coming over to Arizona to nab him, but lefty David Holmberg is an underrated talent that could help a lot of ball clubs. His ceiling is probably that of a No. 3 or 4 starter but he's been durable and isn't afraid to throw strikes.

Dodgers: Los Angeles is always rumored to have a lot of irons in the fire and the club is definitely looking to improve itself despite the massive payroll. Southpaw Onelki Garcia, signed out of Cuba in 2012, made just one appearances during the regular season last year. In 2013, he's been very good in Double-A thanks to his above-average fastball. He's mostly viewed as a future reliever but Garcia has made six starts. 

Pirates: To get value back, you often have to trade quality players. Pittsburgh has enjoyed breakouts over the past year in the form of infielder Alen Hanson, outfielder Gregory Polanco and pitcher Tyler Glasnow, among others, and that trio is probably safe at the trade deadline barring a blockbuster deal. However, pitcher Luis Heredia could perhaps be had at the right price. The right-hander is just 18 with three years of pro experience under his belt. He's a larger-framed pitcher and hasn't developed quite as hoped, suggesting a modest ceiling as a starter.  He's been passed on the depth chart by a number of guys like Jameson Taillon, Nick Kingham and Glasnow.

Reds: Outfielder Jesse Winker doesn't wow with his tools but he gets the most out of his abilities and is one of the safer bets in Cincinnati's system to have a big league career. The 19-year-old prospect has modest power and doesn't steal bases so he's going to have to hit for average to provide value as a hitter -- along with his willingness to take a free pass.

Rockies: Colorado doesn't have much in the way of tradable commodities, but the organization could cash in on the lack of catching depth around the game -- much like the Yankees -- with Tom Murphy. The second-year catcher, who's now 22 years old, has inexplicably been left in Low-A ball all year long despite overpowering the younger competition. He's by no means a finished product and has holes in his game but an OPS over 1.000 is going to attract some suitors.



Cards Agree To Terms With Draft Pick Kolten Wong

The Cardinals have agreed to terms with first round pick Kolten Wong, reports Baseball America's Jim Callis (on Twitter). He will receive a $1.3MM signing bonus, slightly above MLB's slot recommendation of $1.287MM for the 22nd overall pick.

Wong, a second baseman from Hawaii, was expected to be in St. Louis this weekend as the two sides neared a deal. Baseball America (subs. req'd) says he has "professional approach at the plate and a good understanding of the strike zone" with surprising power for a 5-foot-9, 190 lb. middle infielder. They also mention that Wong might fit best as a "Chone Figgins type who moves around the field" down the road.

Check the status of all first and supplemental first round players right here.



Draft Links: Wong, Simon

Teams have 51 more days to get their draft picks signed before the August 15th deadline. Let's round up the latest draft news here...

  • Cardinals first round pick Kolten Wong was expected to visit St. Louis today as he nears a deal with the team, reports The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Wong ran into some travel issues but is still expected to meet with the team soon, and scouting director Jeff Luhnow said they are having "active ongoing and daily discussions." A second baseman from Hawaii, Wong was the 22nd overall pick earlier this month, which comes with a slot recommendation of $1.287MM from MLB.
  • Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles have signed fourth rounder Kyle Simon, a right-hander from Arizona. MLB's slot recommendation for the 125th overall pick is approximately $231K, but it's unclear how much he received.



Draft Notes: Nationals, Bundy, Cardinals, Astros

Be sure to catch up on the results from the first and supplemental rounds of the draft. As we await day two of the big event, here's what you need to know:

  • ESPN.com's Keith Law lists the RaysTwins and D'Backs among his day one winners while questioning moves by the BravesRockies and others. High school outfielder Josh Bell heads Law's list of best remaining players.
  • Bell, Daniel Norris and Dillon Howard are the best players remaining according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.
  • Anthony Rendon, Alex Meyer and Brian Goodwin, Washington's first three picks, are all Scott Boras clients, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. The Nationals have a history of selecting Boras clients, going back to first overall picks Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.
  • Rendon plays the same position as Nationals cornerstone Ryan Zimmerman, but "the point of the draft is to take the best player available" regardless of the big league roster, Zimmerman told Ladson.
  • Top Orioles pick Dylan Bundy may be an especially difficult player to sign, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. “The numbers that were thrown out were true," Bundy said, without saying explicitly that he's looking for a $30MM bonus.
  • Cardinals scouting director Jeff Luhnow sounds confident that he'll be able to sign first rounder Kolten Wong before the August deadline for deals, according to MLB.com's Matthew Leach.
  • Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and scouting director Amiel Sawdaye broke down Boston's top four picks and Alex Speier of WEEI.com has the details. Epstein says he thought some things broke Boston's way.
  • Stephen Goff of the Houston Astros Examiner gets the sense that Astros' amateur scouting director Bobby Heck will take a pitcher with the 69th overall selection (Twitter link).



Draft Notes: Bradley, Bauer, Wong, Springer

We're 41 days away from the amateur draft! The Pirates, Mariners, Diamondbacks, Orioles, and Royals will lead off with the first five picks. Click here to see the entire draft order. Several of the links below require subscriptions, which we heartily recommend purchasing. Today's notes:

  • ESPN's Keith Law hears that South Carolina outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. has a torn ligament in his wrist and could miss the rest of the spring (Twitter link). Bradley was expected to be a first round pick before the injury.
  • Baseball America's John Manuel, Jim Callis, and Conor Glassey make picks for the first round - not projections, but their own preferences.
  • UCLA righty Trevor Bauer is a top five candidate, writes Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, but there are concerns over his workload. Talking to ESPN's Jason A. Churchill, one assistant GM admitted he's worried about Bauer's pitch counts. He's averaged 124.5 pitches per start, according to Churchill.
  • In a draft heavy on pitching, Goldstein says second baseman Kolten Wong out of Hawaii "is now getting late first round consideration."
  • Connecticut outfielder George Springer has bounced back lately, perhaps enough to put him within the first ten picks, says Churchill. For more on Springer, check out Ben Nicholson-Smith's interview. Ben's other prospective draft pick interviews include Sonny Gray, Matt Purke, Danny Hultzen, and the elusive Gerrit Cole.
  • Current buzz from Churchill still has Rice's Anthony Rendon going to the Mariners at #2 overall.









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