Manny Machado Rumors
As Mike Rizzo recently suggested, for baseball's general managers and scouting directors, the Super Bowl isn't eight months away -- it's tomorrow. Here are a few more links in anticipation of the 2010 draft....
- Zack Cox is looking for "[Pedro] Alvarez money" which could cause him to slip in the draft, multiple sources tell Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (via Twitter). Alvarez, taken second overall by the Pirates in 2008, signed a four-year deal worth $6.355MM. On top of that, Cox is said to be seeking a major league deal, tweets ESPN's Keith Law.
- The Nats will take Bryce Harper No. 1, barring any drastic changes, GM Mike Rizzo told MASN's Debbi Taylor. If they do take Harper, Washington will move him to the outfield, according to a baseball source who spoke to Bill Ladson of MLB.com.
- Despite not having a first round pick, the Tigers are confident they can find talent in the later rounds, writes MLive.com's Steve Kornacki.
- The Pirates have narrowed their choices to include Manny Machado, Jameson Taillon, or a college pitcher, writes Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.
- Don't be surprised to see the White Sox draft a college pitcher with the 13th pick, writes MLB.com's Scott Merkin.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson spoke with Rizzo, who once again said that they know who they'll select first overall. Rizzo says the player doesn't know he'll be selected, though it's tough to see them passing up consensus top pick Bryce Harper. Rizzo says the second through fifteenth rounds will determine the strength of a draft, and the Nats are "fired up" about it.
- The latest updates from Fanhouse's Frankie Piliere include the Mets' and Yankees' first-round targets, and more details on the deal the Royals are working toward with Yasmani Grandal. Industry sources tell Piliere it'll be worth "upwards of" $3MM.
- The Rangers own four of the top 50 picks in the draft, but they'll be on a budget, says Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
- With the sixth pick, the Diamondbacks could be the wild card of the draft, according to ESPN.com's Keith Law (Insider-only). Their top two choices appear to be Barrett Loux and Chris Sale, who MLBTR's Mike Axisa profiled last week.
- A potential first-round pick could have already been a Phillie, writes Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Karen Smith of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review conducts a brief Q&A with Pirates director of scouting Greg Smith.
Some more links in anticipation of Monday's draft...
- The Scott Boras camp envisions Bryce Harper as a five-tool corner outfielder not unlike Larry Walker, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. Harper's teammates told Crasnick that they enjoy playing with the presumptive first overall pick because he's a hard worker.
- EPSN.com's Keith Law has the Pirates selecting Jameson Taillon, not Manny Machado, in his latest mock draft.
- Law hears that the Royals would love to see Machado to fall to them.
- The Royals and Reds are leaning towards college players.
- The Blue Jays and A's are eyeing Michael Choice, Christian Colon and Justin O'Conner, according to Law.
- Nats GM Mike Rizzo told MLB.com's Bill Ladson that the draft is his "Super Bowl."
The countdown is on for MLB scouting directors. The draft is just days away, so it's time for them to rank hundreds of players. Here are the latest links on the 2010 draft:
- The Rangers' ownership problems means the team will be focusing on easily-signable players, reports Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com.
- Steve Gilbert of MLB.com thinks the Diamondbacks will look to add pitching after spending most of their early picks in the 2009 draft on position players. He also doesn't think Arizona will pay above slot to sign a player.
- Lou Montanez, Matt Wieters and Nick Markakis tell MLB.com's Spencer Fordin what they remember about being drafted.
- Bryce Harper may have played his last amateur game and it's not just because the draft is approaching. He received a two-game suspension after being ejected, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale (Twitter link). MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has video of the ejection.
- ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill hears that the Mets are high on Drew Pomeranz and Josh Sale. The Mets' decision could come down to players' asking prices, however.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law says the Mets could have a shot at Manny Machado, since the clubs picking between Pittsburgh and New York haven't shown clear interest in the high school shortstop.
- Rival scouts and executives expect the Red Sox and Blue Jays to be big spenders in the draft this year, according to Law.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian that the Jays will not shy away from tough signs.
- An MLB executive told Law that catcher Yasmani Grandal is looking for "Buster Posey money." Posey received a $6.2MM bonus from the Giants.
- If you're wondering who your team might select, check out this mock draft by three Baseball America writers.
Assorted links about baseball's most popular 17-year-old, Bryce Harper...
- Harper tops Keith Law's updated list of the top 100 prospects in this year's draft (ESPN insider link). Manny Machado, Jameson Taillon and Drew Pomeranz aren't far behind.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo explains that few hitters after Harper are considered safe bets this year.
- Harper's advisor Scott Boras told SI's Tom Verducci, "No baseball person in his right mind will have the guy catch." Baseball America's Jim Callis sees the Nationals moving Harper to a corner outfield position, allowing him to reach the Majors in September of 2012 at the earliest. Also in that piece, Callis compares Pomeranz to other recent college lefties.
- Yahoo's Tim Brown wonders what it's like to be Harper.
- Joe Posnanski cautions that unlike Stephen Strasburg, Harper is a long way from being big-league ready. A lot can go wrong in that time.
Major League Baseball's amateur draft will be held from June 7th-9th, so we're going to introduce you to some of the top players available during the next few weeks.
High school shortstops have long been a hot commodity during baseball's amateur draft, with six being taken in the first round over the last three years. That includes Tim Beckham and Mike Moustakas, the first overall pick in 2008 and the second overall pick in 2007, respectively. The top shortstop prospect in this year's class (high school or college) is Manny Machado of Brito HS in Miami.
ESPN's Keith Law ranked him as the second best prospect in the draft behind Bryce Harper, while Baseball America had him fourth (subs. req'd for both). MLB.com's Draft Report says that Machado has been "swinging the bat very well" and has a chance to hit for good power, but it's uncertain if he can remain at short as his 6-foot-3, 190 lb. frame fills out. Law notes that he "he has the tools to be a plus defender there," though acknowledges the possibly of him moving off the position. The MLB.com link has video.
Being a righthanded hitting shortstop from Miami with a big frame draws obvious comparisons to Alex Rodriguez, though it's completely unfair to put that on anyone, let alone a kid still in high school. Machado simply doesn't have A-Rod's innate hitting ability. In his latest mock draft, Baseball America's Jim Callis projects the Pirates to select Machado with the second overall pick, and it's hard to envision him getting past the Mets and the seventh overall pick.
Links for Friday, as the streaking Mets visit the Brewers...
- Tom Verducci of SI.com asked agent Scott Boras how he'd re-structure the draft and heard some interesting answers. Boras would limit the number of high schoolers selected.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America has the Pirates taking Manny Machado second overall and the Orioles taking Jameson Taillon third in his latest mock draft.
- If Pat Burrell signs a minor league deal with the Giants, he would be able to opt out after about two weeks, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- Indians GM Mark Shapiro tells Tyler Kepner of the New York Times that he isn't worried about losing Shin-Soo Choo, though Choo may have to serve in the South Korean military.
- Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald wonders how a Carlos Quentin for Kosuke Fukudome swap would work out for Chicago's two teams.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro hears that no team contacted the Marlins about a Hanley Ramirez trade after the shortstop's run-in with manager Fredi Gonzalez (Twitter link).
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic says the D'Backs appear to be leaning towards pitching with their sixth overall pick in the upcoming draft.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney has heard that Ozzie Guillen and White Sox GM Kenny Williams do not have a good relationship at this point.
- GM Alex Anthopoulos explains to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star that the Blue Jays might consider adding pieces later in the summer, depending on the cost.
- Kameron Loe has a clause in his contract that allows him to ask for his release if he isn't in the major leagues by June 5th, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Loe is pitching well for the Brewers' Triple A affiliate.
- Morosi also notes that Rich Hill, who is pitching at Triple A for the Cardinals, has a June 1st opt-out clause in his contract (Twitter link).
- Rocco Baldelli tells Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal that he hasn't thought about returning to the majors for a team other than the Rays. Baldelli says he would prefer the Rays to another organization.
- Omar Vizquel says he will likely retire if he doesn't finish the year well, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- The Rays released Eduardo Morlan and Cody Strait, according to Stacy Long of the Montgomery Advertiser. The Rays acquired Morlan in the Matt Garza-Delmon Young trade.
- Click here to listen to my appearance today with Jeff & Jeff of KFNS St. Louis.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan tells the story of Sergio Santos, a converted shortstop who has a 0.52 ERA and 10.9 K/9 as a White Sox reliever.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis compares Manny Machado to other high school shortstops in recent draft history. Yesterday in his mock draft ESPN's Keith Law wrote that the Pirates have Machado and lefty Drew Pomeranz high on their list for the second overall pick.
- AOL FanHouse's Frankie Piliere is hearing buzz about the Reds considering Alex Wimmers with the #12 pick (Twitter link). Law had the Ohio State righty going 16th to the Cubs, picking catcher Yasmani Grandal for the Reds.
- Law ranked James Paxton 12th overall, but doesn't project the lefty as a first-round pick. Paxton, a Boras client, is now pitching independent ball after losing his NCAA eligibility. According to Matthew Sekeres of The Globe and Mail, Paxton has no ill will toward Paul Beeston and the Blue Jays.
The Nationals are considering 'a handful' of players in preparation for the draft, GM Mike Rizzo told MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Naturally Bryce Harper is one of the prospects the Nationals are watching, but they aren't committed to taking him.
"I wouldn't say we are leaning toward anybody." Rizzo said. "We are leaning toward a handful of people."
A baseball source told Ladson that the Nationals are also considering pitchers Drew Pomeranz and Jameson Taillon and shortstop Manny Machado. Some have questioned Harper's character, but Rizzo made it clear that he doesn't share those doubts.
"We have no problem with Bryce Harper's character," Rizzo said.