Kyle Gibson Rumors
In a recent two-part series for 1500 ESPN, Phil Mackey profiled Twins top prospect Byron Buxton and noted that Buxton's path to the Majors could be on a more accelerated timetable than most people think. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft, Buxton has obliterated Class-A Cedar Rapids similarly to Mike Trout, who played there two years ago when Cedar Rapids was an Angels affiliate. Buxton is hitting .368/.485/.632 with five homers and 13 steals in 29 games for the Kernels. Mackey adds that the Twins, who typically move prospects slowly, have been aggressive in the past with the likes of Joe Mauer, David Ortiz and Matt Garza. Chris Parmelee and Aaron Hicks are two current Twins who skipped Triple-A. In addition to that group, Oswaldo Arcia received only 10 games at Triple-A this season before being called up at the age of 21. Here's more on the Twins from Mackey's colleague, Darren Wolfson...
- Wolfson talked with Twins VP of player personnel Mike Radcliff about the upcoming draft, and Radcliff conceded that they're down to about four players they're eyeing with the No. 4 overall pick. Radcliff added that the Twins are likely to draft at a position of need, but that they still need to take the best player available at that position. That seemingly clashes with yesterday's report that they may cut a deal with prep catcher Reese McGuire and spend more heavily later in the draft.
- It's no surprise that two of the four players on the Twins list are Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray, although as the favorites to go No. 1 and No. 2 overall, neither college right-hander may be there.
- The Twins have had eight scouts evaluate Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier, and there's a 50/50 split amongst those scouts on which is the better prospect.
- Radcliff says the Twins aren't worried about dealing with Scott Boras if they select one of his advisees: "...he tells us what the deal is. We'll know (what it'll take to sign the player)."
- Radcliff praised San Diego third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant's versatility and power and also noted that Indiana State left-hander Sean Manaea's injury battles this Spring "has to be a factor." Both have been considered Top 5 talents, though Manaea's stock has fallen, as Radcliff noted.
- When Wolfson mentioned comparisons between Buxton and B.J. Upton, Radcliff replied that he feels Buxton will be "a way better hitter" than Upton and added: "Upton is a nice player, a plus defender. ... But Buxton has a swing that will allow him to hit for average. It's the fastest, quickest, most direct swing you'll see."
- Top prospect Kyle Gibson seems close to Major League ready following Tommy John surgery in late 2011, but Radcliff said Gibson is not quite ready to join the Major League rotation yet. Gibson, whose last start was an eight-strikeout shutout, is still a bit "uneven," according to Radcliff.
Here's the latest from around the league as Thanksgiving Weekend comes to a close...
- Zack Greinke's camp predicts the talented veteran will not only become the richest right-hander in history, but may also surpass Cole Hamels' $153MM contract, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN.com.
- While Rick Porcello's future with the Tigers remains uncertain, there's no denying that the 24-year-old may be a top player to watch for a breakout season in 2013, says FanGraphs' Dave Cameron (ESPN Insider required).
- The Twins will utilize the remainder of the offseason to figure out how the team will use right-hander Kyle Gibson as he returns from Tommy John surgery, writes Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com. Minnesota plans to look at how the Braves cautiously handled Kris Medlen's return from Tommy John surgery last season.
Teams like saving money and extending their control over top young players. Why wouldn't they? Having impact players on affordable contracts simplifies a GM's job. As a result, teams call top young players up strategically every season to control their service time and, in doing so, delay their free agency and/or limit their earnings.
Though service time is a consideration all season long, it's most evident at two times: in April and again midseason, around early June. If teams wait until a few weeks after the season has begun to call a prospect up for his MLB debut, the player doesn't collect a full year of service time, which delays his free agency by a year.
The precise date until which teams must wait before calling prospects up varies each year and according to whether players are on the 40-man roster. Now that we're nearly three weeks into the season, even prospects on the 40-man roster can be called up, since they have spent the requisite 20-day period in the minor leagues.
None of the following prospects have big league service time, which means that their teams can call them up at any point and keep them through the 2017 season, if not longer: Dustin Ackley, Lonnie Chisenhall, Brett Lawrie, Mike Moustakas, Jesus Montero, Eric Hosmer, Julio Teheran, Manny Banuelos, Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles.
On the other hand, Michael Pineda, Zach Britton and Brandon Belt are now in the majors, picking up service time. Because those players are now on MLB rosters, they're currently on track to hit free agency after the 2016 season. However, if their respective teams option them to the minors for 20 days or more, their path to free agency could be slowed as well (that's an immediate possibility for Belt and a long-term one for the pair of impressive rookie hurlers).
That may sounds complicated, but it's the easy part. Later this spring, in late May and early June, the guessing game begins. Teams do not (and can not) know exactly when future cutoffs for super two status will be, so if they want to play it safe and ensure that prospects like Montero and Ackley only go to arbitration three times, they'll want to wait until at least the middle of June before calling them up.
Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told Jon Heyman of SI.com that he thought carefully before locking up Jose Bautista to a $65MM extension. "When you spend that kind of money, I don't think you can ever be completely comfortable," Anthopoulos said. "And I am one to agonize over everything, anyway,'' Both Anthopoulos and Bautista acknowledged that a second 54-homer season is unlikely, but that doesn't mean the former utility player can't produce. Here are the rest of Heyman's rumors...
- Boston's front office has not seriously considered cutting Tim Wakefield.
- Dennys Reyes, who can opt out of his contract Friday, will likely make the team as well, according to Heyman.
- Two scouts say Marlins third baseman Matt Dominguez isn't ready to hit in the major leagues. However, he's an above-average defender.
- Though manager Joe Girardi won't say as much, Ivan Nova has locked up the Yankees' No. 4 starter job, according to Heyman.
- It appears that Oliver Perez will find a job. The Yankees and Brewers aren't interested.
- Scouts tell Heyman that Twins pitching prospect Kyle Gibson isn't far from the majors.
- The Yankees will soon add Dustin Moseley to their roster, probably at the expense of Chan Ho Park or Chad Gaudin, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). Moseley's opt-out clause kicks in tomorrow.
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon that he's looking at pitching, though the team has a limited number of 'bullets' to fire this summer.
- A veteran scout told Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse that Mark Prior was "just all right" in his workout today (Twitter link). Prior, who last pitched in the majors in 2006, is attempting a comeback.
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that he would like the Nats to become “younger, better [and] more athletic” if they make trades this summer.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times notes that the Phillies scouted last night's Yankees-Mariners game and wonders if the Phils are eyeing Jose Lopez, who could fill in for Chase Utley and Placido Polanco.
- The Nationals appear satisfied with hot-hitting Roger Bernadina in right field, but they did have interest in David DeJesus at one point, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson (via Twitter).
- Two executives told MLB.com’s Peter Gammons that there's no way the Twins will give up pitcher Kyle Gibson this summer. Like Cardinals prospect Shelby Miller, Gibson is a 2009 draft pick who signed late, so he would have to be dealt as a ‘player to be named later’ in any July trade.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears that the Padres had interest in Eric Patterson before the Red Sox acquired him over the weekend (Twitter link).
The Twins signed 22nd overall pick Kyle Gibson for $1.8MM, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America. Slot for the position: $1.287MM. Gibson's predraft stock dropped when he suffered a stress fracture in his throwing arm. Gibson is a college righty from the University of Missouri. Click here for MLB.com's scouting report.
A few more loose draft links...
- Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Repubic reports that the Diamondbacks have made a new offer to seventh round pick Matt Helm, but it will only be the table for another two hours. Piecoro notes that Helm said he was looking for third round money last month.
- Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune notes that the Twins are stil in talks with first rounder Kyle Gibson. Over the weekend we learned that the two sides were about $1MM apart. Christensen also mentions that 44th rounder Tyler Herr has agreed to terms.
- Peter Abraham of The Journal News says the Yankees have come to an agreement with 21st rounder Joe Talerico.
- ESPN's Keith Law confirms that righty David Buchanan will not be signing with the Mets. He was their sixth rounder.
The Twins and first round pick Kyle Gibson are "about a million dollars apart in their negotiations," according to ESPN's Keith Law. Gibson suffered a stress fracture in his pitching arm right before the draft, but the bone has healed and he's been throwing for about three weeks now.
Selected 22nd overall, Gibson was considered a potential top ten pick before his injury. MLB's recommended slot bonus for the 22nd overall pick is roughy $1.29MM, and a seven figure gap in negotiations is pretty significant with less than three days until the signing deadline.
Let's round up some reactions to day one of the draft before day two gets underway...
- There's not much buzz surrounding the players remaining, but, as MLB.com's Matthew Leach points out, Albert Pujols was drafted in the 13th round a decade ago.
- So which impact players have yet to be picked? Baseball America says Max Stassi, Sam Dyson and Zack Von Rosenbuerg are the best available.
- Baseball America's Conor Glassey reports that Stassi could go to UCLA if teams don't like his asking price.
- Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun says Orioles first rounder Matt Hobgood looks like a young Sidney Ponson.
- Red Sox first rounder Reymond Fuentes told David Laurila of Baseball Prospectus that his cousin, Carlos Beltran, phoned to congratulate him last night in the midst of the Mets-Phillies game.
- Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the Mariners see Dustin Ackley as an outfielder.
- In this MLB.com press release, GM Neal Huntington says signability was not the "primary factor" when the Pirates selected Tony Sanchez fourth overall.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law was among those who thought the Pirates could have done better with that pick.
- Law praises the Rockies, Cardinals and Twins for picking Tyler Matzek, Shelby Miller and Kyle Gibson, respectively. Law says all three pitchers have high-impact arms.
With tomorrow's draft approaching fast let's take a look at some recent rumors and analysis...
- MLB.com's Lisa Winston reports that former super prospect Ben McDonald is impressed by Stephen Strasburg's stuff and poise.
- David Price told Danny Knobler of CBS Sports that Strasburg's stuff is better than his. Like Joe Maddon, Price believes the minors can be helpful and doesn't advocate rushing Strasburg into a big league rotation.
- Chico Harlan of the Washington Post interviewed acting GM Mike Rizzo about the draft and heard that signability won't be a factor for the Nats with their 10th pick, even though they get nothing if they fail to sign the player they choose. After saying for weeks that Strasburg is his choice with the first pick in the draft, Rizzo doesn't confirm it this time.
- Pete McElroy of MASN.com hears that the Nats will take Chad Jenkins, a big college righty, with their 10th pick if he's available.
- Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates could use the $1.3MM they saved by trading Nate McLouth to sign the player they draft fourth overall. Aaron Crow, who's looking for $4MM, could be an option for Pittsburgh.
- Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Crow's looking forward to tomorrow's draft after waiting a year.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan says prospects can be over-hyped to the point that we encounter "an uncomfortable reality" when they struggle.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo reports that Kyle Gibson and Tanner Scheppers could fall lower than originally expected because of injury concerns. Other players, like Jacob Turner, could fall because they're expected to demand large bonuses.
- Follow the draft on Twitter as it unfolds: @mlbtraderumors and @MLBDraft.