Luis Heredia Rumors

Pirates Notes: McCutchen, Heredia, Ascanio

The Pirates have won just one of Paul Maholm's eight starts this year, but the left-hander and his 3.60 ERA aren't to blame. Pittsburgh has averaged 1.5 runs per game with Maholm on the hill, including last night's shutout at the hands of the Dodgers. Here's the latest on the Pirates...

  • Jim Bowden of explains that he believes the Pirates should move now to lock Andrew McCutchen long term. Since McCutchen hasn't fully realized his potential, the Pirates could save on an extension and pay him Justin Upton money ($51.25MMM) instead of Carlos Gonzalez money ($80MM). Plus, it would be a positive for fans and other players, Bowden argues. The Pirates have discussed a long-term deal with their center fielder and hope to sign him for five years or more.
  • Tim Dierkes says he expects a six-year deal for McCutchen, who probably won't have to settle for less than $52MM.
  • Pirates prospect Luis Heredia is just 16 years old, but he looks closer to 20, according to Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News. The right-hander retired rehabbing catcher Carlos Ruiz in extended Spring Training, much to the delight of his mother.
  • John Grupp of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review chronicles Jose Ascanio's long path back to the Pirates roster. The right-hander, who was acquired as part of the 2009 Tom Gorzelanny trade, is back in Pittsburgh after a two-year absence.

Odds & Ends: Barajas, Piniella, Nats, Ramirez, Jackson

From the South Bay to the Valley, from the West Side to the East Side, everybody is very happy because Vin Scully will return in 2011.  Let's check out some links from around the web..

Odds & Ends: Mets, Reds, Helton, Darvish, Harper

Friday Night Links..

Pirates Sign Luis Heredia For $2.6MM

The Pirates officially signed Mexican pitching prospect Luis Heredia for $2.6MM, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It’s the biggest bonus the Pirates have ever given an international amateur. 

Heredia’s former team, Veracruz, will keep 75% of the bonus ($1.95MM) and Heredia will keep 25% ($650K). The 16-year-old right-hander already passed a physical and completed the agreement with the Pirates, though the sides have not yet officially signed the deal.

Many teams were interested in Heredia and it appeared in July that the Blue Jays had offered him $2.8MM. However, the Pirates' offer was competitive and Pittsburgh has long-standing connections to Veracruz and Heredia himself. It's been a breakthrough week for the Pirates, who signed right-handers Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie before Monday night's deadline to come to terms with picks.

Pirates Remain Favorites To Sign Heredia

The Pirates are the “strong favorite” to sign Mexican pitching prospect Luis Heredia, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Pirates have been scouting the 16-year-old right-hander more aggressively than any other MLB club and have close ties to Veracruz, Heredia’s team. Not only do the Pirates have connections to Veracruz, which controls Heredia’s rights, Pittsburgh’s Mexican scouting suprevisor, Jesus Valdez, has known Heredia since the pitcher was five.

Veracruz cannot entertain formal offers until Thursday, but many teams other than the Pirates appear to have interest. The Yankees, Blue Jays, Rangers, A’s, Giants and Braves all scouted Heredia in Mexico last week, according to Kovacevic.

Pirates Notes: Heredia, Taillon, Allie

Let's check out some Pirates tidbits, courtesy of Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette..

  • The Pirates remain the favorites to land 16-year-old Mexican pitcher Luis Heredia.  Veracruz, the Mexican team that holds his rights, is allowed by the Mexican Baseball League to begin entertaining offers on Thursday.  Early last month, the Pirates and Blue Jays were said to be the favorites for his services.  Toronto reportedly offered $2.8MM while Pittsburgh offered $2.5MM.  The Yankees were said to be gaining interest in the prospect as of a month ago.
  • Jameson Taillon's father Michael expects his son and the club to reach agreement prior to tomorrow's deadline.  Michael mentioned that there remained a "variable" for the two sides to work out.  The variable, Finder says, could be a spot on the 40-man roster.  It appears that the Pirates are reluctant to oblige, though the father of the second overall selection doesn't see it as a potential stumbling block.  The slot recommendation for Taillon is $3.25MM, though he will likely receive more.
  • As for the Pirates and second-round choice Stetson Allie, there's optimism on both sides that a deal can be reached.  Both Allie and Taillon are represented by the Hendricks brothers.

Odds & Ends: Holt, Lee, Klein, Valentine, Villone

Links for Thursday, exactly 23 years after the Braves and Tigers swapped Doyle Alexander and John Smoltz...

  • The Indians signed tenth round pick Tyler Holt according to Baseball America's Jim Callis. Holt's $500K bonus is the largest we've seen for a player drafted in a double-digit round this year. 
  • Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News wonders how much the Texas heat will play into Cliff Lee's decision about whether or not to re-sign with the Rangers after the season.
  •' Brittany Ghiroli tweets that Orioles' third rounder Dan Klein is expected to report to one of the team's minor league affiliates once he passes his physical, indicating that the two sides have a deal in place.
  • Someone familiar with Bobby Valentine’s thinking tells Larry Stone of the Seattle Times that Valentine considers the Mariners managerial opening one of "the most appealing jobs in baseball.”
  • The Nationals released Ron Villone, according to Syracuse Chiefs broadcasters Jason Benetti and Mike Couzens (on Twitter). The veteran left-hander, who last pitched in the majors in 2009, posted a 6.59 ERA in Triple A this year.
  • The sale of the Rangers is now final, as’s Barry Bloom writes.
  • Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker previews some of the players who could soon make the jump from Japan to MLB. Wei-Yin Chen, a 25-year-old lefty represented by Alan Nero may be posted this offseason.
  • Veracruz, the Mexican team that holds the rights to pitching prospect Luis Heredia, will not entertain offers from MLB clubs until next Wednesday, August 18th, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Tim Chambers, Bryce Harper's college coach, told Byron Kerr of that Harper, the first overall pick in this year’s draft, is “begging to play.” Chambers expects the Nationals to work out a deal by Monday night’s deadline.
  • Angels scouting director Eddie Bane told Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times that the Angels are "fairly close" to an agreement with first rounder Kaleb Cowart, though he expects negotiations to last until Monday, the deadline for signing draft picks.
  • Jamey Newberg counts down the ten biggest August trades in recent Rangers history for Rick Helling and Ryan Dempster have prominent roles on the list, which is worth checking out.

Odds & Ends: Nationals, Lilly, Haren, Marlins, Kotsay

Sunday night linkage..

Blue Jays, Pirates Bidding On Luis Heredia

The Pirates and Blue Jays are bidding on Mexican pitching prospect Luis Heredia, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A source tells Kovacevic that the Blue Jays offered the tall 15-year-old right-hander $2.8MM and the Pirates offered $2.5MM. The international signing period opens today, but Heredia cannot sign until August 16th of this year, when he turns 16.

Any teams interested in Heredia will have to negotiate with Veracruz, the Mexican team that currently owns his rights. Veracruz will keep three quarters of the bonus Heredia receives and controls the prospect’s future to a considerable extent.

The Yankees have also scouted Heredia, but the Pirates have been watching him for two years and are closer to the pitcher than any other team. Back in May, the Dodgers, Giants, Rangers and Mariners also appeared to have interest. The Pirates and Blue Jays have both scouted and invested in international prospects aggressively in recent years.

Several Teams Interested In Luis Heredia

Seven teams are interested in Mexican right-hander Luis Heredia, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The 6'4'' teenager is part of this year's July 2 class, so he will be able to sign exactly one month from today if the Mexican team that controls Heredia's rights makes him available. The Pirates, Yankees, Dodgers, Giants, Blue Jays, Rangers and Mariners are interested, but acquiring the 15-year-old pitcher could cost as much as $2MM.

The Pirates have pursued international free agents aggressively under GM Neal Huntington. The club nearly signed Miguel Sano last summer, before the Dominican signed with the Twins. Alex Anthopoulos has also pursued international talent aggressively since taking over as Blue Jays GM last fall.

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