Lucas Giolito Rumors
Count Chipper Jones among those who wouldn't shut Stephen Strasburg down in the midst of a pennant race. Talking to Yahoo Sports' Les Carpenter, Jones pointed to his own lone World Series title despite the Braves' many postseason appearances as an example of how difficult it is to attain a championship. "Next year what if [Jordan] Zimmermann gets hurt again?” Jones said. “What if Gio Gonzalez goes down? There is a certain set of circumstances. Sometimes things aren’t the same. As those [pitchers] get older they will lose a little bit of speed on their fastballs. They will be a little more hittable. You have to strike while the iron’s hot.”
Here's the latest from Washington...
- Dr. James Andrews support the Nationals' decision to limit Strasburg's innings in an interview with ESPN Radio's Scott Van Pelt (Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post has a partial transcript). Andrews admitted he didn't have direct knowledge of the situation since he didn't perform Strasburg's Tommy John surgery but he "would certainly take up for the decision....I don’t think you can criticize that one bit, to be honest with you."
- Lucas Giolito will undergo Tommy John surgery on August 31, reports Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. The Nats took Giolito with the 16th overall pick of the 2012 draft amidst injury concerns due to a UCL sprain that sidelined the right-hander for much of his final high school season. Giolito has thrown two innings as a professional thus far, pitching for the Nationals' rookie league team. Giolito's surgery will be performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum, who also handled Strasburg and Zimmermann's Tommy John procedures.
Four teams have at least a 98% chance of reaching the postseason this year, according to Baseball Prospectus' Playoff Odds Report. The Yankees, Rangers, Nationals and Reds look like playoff teams now, but they all saw what happened to the Braves and Red Sox last year, so I doubt any contending teams intend on coasting from this point on. Here are today’s links...
- The chances that Melky Cabrera will appear in a potential postseason game or re-sign with the Giants this offseason are "close to nil," according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told reporters, including Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, that the team wouldn't attempt to retain Juan Cruz if he clears waivers (Twitter link). The Bucs have younger players who have passed Cruz, according to Hurdle. Cruz was designated for assignment earlier today.
- The Red Sox "weren't trying very hard" to trade Josh Beckett before the non-waiver trade deadline, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. The Rangers and Braves are believed to be among the teams that spoke to Boston's executives about Beckett, Heyman writes. One unnamed GM said "Boston's first priority has to be to trade Josh Beckett'' this August. Another executive suggested the Rangers could make sense for Beckett, who would have to be placed on waivers to be traded this month.
- The Cardinals signed 16-year-old right-hander Ronald Medrano, Ben Badler of Baseball America reports. Medrano has touched 90-91 mph with his fastball and has shown good feel for his secondary pitches. He had been considered one of the top Nicaraguan prospects available, according to Badler.
- Nationals first rounder Lucas Giolito re-injured his pitching elbow and will be examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum, ESPN.com's Keith Law reports. Giolito, who was at one point a candidate to be selected first overall, signed for $2.925MM after the Nationals drafted him 16th overall in June.
The Pirates inability to sign right-hander Mark Appel is a sign of a larger problem with the new draft system, opines Keith Law of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd). The previous system with no real penalties for exceeding slot would have allowed Pittsburgh to sign the Stanford standout and in turn allow them to feel more comfortable in parting with Gerrit Cole or Jameson Taillon in a trade. Even though the Bucs will have the ninth pick in next year's draft as compensation, Law writes that the 2013 crop appears to be weaker than this year's. Here's the latest draft news..
- The Pirates offered Appel $3.8MM, the most they could give without losing a first-round pick, a source tells Jim Callis of Baseball America (via Twitter).
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said that the club was "dangerously close" to the 4pm CDT deadline before signing Lucas Giolito. The 16th overall pick received a $2.925MM bonus from Washington.
- Andre Martinez signed with the Twins for $80K after originally agreeing to a $260K, bonus, tweets Callis. A physical exam raised questions about the left-hander's shoulder, leading to a renegotiation.
The Nationals have agreed to sign first round selection Lucas Giolito, ESPN.com's Keith Law reports (on Twitter). MLB recommends a $2.1MM bonus for the 16th overall selection, but Giolito obtained a $2.925MM bonus, according to Law.
The high school right-hander entered the year as one of the most talented draft eligible players, but suffered an elbow injury in March. “I’m confident that this issue is behind me,” he said the day after the Nationals selected him.“I’m looking forward to getting on the mound soon.” Giolito's fastball can reach 99 mph and he sits at 94-96 mph, according to Baseball America. He also throw s a plus-plus curveball and a plus change-up.
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 Marlins ended their franchise record offensive draught of scoring five runs or less for 25 consecutive games in their 9-0 win over the Blue Jays. And, for good measure, the nine runs were a season-high for the Marlins, who ended their six-game losing streak. Here's the latest news from around baseball.
- The Braves could make starting pitching a priority at the trade deadline because of the growing pains of Mike Minor and Randall Delgado and the uncertainty surrounding Jair Jurrjens, tweets Mark Bowman of MLB.com.
- The Pirates need to create an opening in their starting rotation when Jeff Karstens returns from the disabled list this week and Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review thinks a trade could create that opening (via Sulia). Biertempfel reported yesterday the Pirates are shopping Kevin Correia.
- With the Pirates looking for offensive help, the Denver Post's Troy Renck notes the Rockies have players available, including Marco Scutaro. In the same piece, Renck offers his suggestions on who the Rockies should play the rest of the way in 2012, so as to best prepare for 2013.
- The Nationals are not willing to pay a fine in order to exceed their draft bonus pool, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. This is a corection to a story Kilgore wrote yesterday. Kilgore writes this stance will lower the amount the Nationals will be able to offer their first round draft pick Lucas Giolito.
- Condolences to the friends of family of Padres' bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer today. He was 50.
Late last week, the Nationals gave first-round pick Lucas Giolito a grand tour of their ballpark, but things have been quiet since between the two parties. Here's the latest news on the Nats and Orioles..
- The Nationals are willing to pay a fine in order to sign Giolito but they are not willing to forfeit a draft pick next year, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. The Nats signed several of their top ten draft picks under the recommended slot in order to give themselves room to ink the hard-throwing right-hander.
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter expects Jamie Moyer to continue pitching, tweets Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com. The 49-year-old asked to be released earlier today and the O's obliged.
- With the trading deadline roughly six weeks away, Orioles GM Dan Duquette insists that he’s looking to improve the club, writes Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com. “We’re in contention. We’re going to do whatever we can to make the playoffs,” he said.
The latest on the MLB draft, which has reached its conclusion after three busy days...
- The Diamondbacks are "close" to agreeing to terms with first-round pick Stryker Trahan, tweets Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic. The high school catcher was tabbed with the No. 26 pick.
- The Royals appear to be close to a deal with fifth-overall pick Kyle Zimmer, tweets Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star. The right-hander will likely start with the club's Arizona League affiliate but may go to Idaho Falls instead.
- The Red Sox are nearing deals with supplemental first round selection Pat Light and second rounder Jamie Callahan, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter).
- ESPN.com's Keith Law reviews the draft class of each National League team, noting that he loves what the Astros did. The Padres impressed Law early on, and he liked the Nationals' selection of Lucas Giolito.
- A legal dispute in Ohio could impact the future use of advisors, as Darren Heitner explains in a piece at Forbes.com. The MLBPA has warned agents that a case involving the former representatives of Andy Oliver “could represent a significant threat” to agents by placing restrictions on who can represent athletes who live or attend school in Ohio.
- There have been lots of pre-draft agreements between teams and players, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick hears (Twitter link). "It's a bigger joke this year than it's ever been,'' one agent told Crasnick.
The Nationals selected high schooler Lucas Giolito with their top pick in this year’s draft despite uncertainty surrounding his pitching elbow, and the right-hander sounds confident that he’ll justify the team’s decision. Considered one of the most talented players available in this year’s draft, Giolito suffered an elbow injury this March and waited last night as half of baseball’s 30 teams passed on him.
“I had no idea where I was going to go off of the board,” he told reporters on a conference call this afternoon.
Giolito has started throwing long toss -- he’s up to 300 feet -- and is also throwing “pretty hard” on flat ground. He said he expects rehabilitation, not surgery, to be the answer to his recent ligament injury.
“I’m confident that this issue is behind me,” he said, sounding more poised than most 17-year-old prospects. “I’m looking forward to getting on the mound soon.”
Giolito said he considers the Nationals a “great organization” and that he admires Stephen Strasburg's pitching style. He said he’ll join the Nationals by next month’s signing deadline if the situation is right, but noted that UCLA has an appealing baseball program that remains “a really big option” for him.
This marks the fourth consecutive season that the Nationals have drafted a player tabbed as a potential first overall talent with their top pick. They selected Anthony Rendon sixth overall last year after selecting Strasburg and Bryce Harper with the first overall selections in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Scouting director Kris Kline and general manager Mike Rizzo made Giolito the 16th overall selection last night. MLB recommends a bonus of $2.1MM for that slot; the sides have until July 13th to work out an agreement.
Here's some news from around the majors as we head into the end of the work week...
- Edwin Jackson tells Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he didn't receive any interest from the Cardinals about returning to the team. "There was no involvement with the Cardinals. Pitching wasn't a department they needed help in. Their rotation is pretty much set," Jackson said. "It was a place I wouldn't have minded going back to...but, coming into the offseason, it was never a place I realistically thought I had a chance to go back to."
- Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities radio details Glen Perkins' path from filing a grievance against the Twins in 2009 and seemingly being on the outs with the club to today's three-year extension that keeps the southpaw in Minnesota through 2015.
- Jason Lane talks to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic about his attempt to return to the Major Leagues as a pitcher, and how a chance meeting with Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers last summer led to Lane getting a minor league deal with Arizona.
- C.J. Nitkowski, who last pitched in the majors in 2005, threw a bullpen session with the Mets on Thursday, reports MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. Nitkowski pitched in Japan and Korea from 2007-2010 and, as MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince details, underwent a controversial blood-and-stem cell treatment last year. Nitkowski was the ninth overall pick of the 1994 amateur draft and pitched for eight teams in a 10-year Major League career, including a five-game stint with the Mets in 2001.
- The long-term effects of Lucas Giolito's UCL strain have yet to be determined, but Baseball America's Conor Glassey examines how the injury could impact Giolito's position in the 2012 amateur draft.
- The Mexican Baseball League has announced that Jose Canseco will not play for Quintana Roo Tigers after the slugger allegedly took a banned substance and refused to take a drug test, reports ESPN's news news services. League president Plinio Escalante told ESPN Deportes that testosterone was the banned substance. Canseco has denied the charge on his Twitter account.