Mark Appel Rumors
With the Winter Meetings completed, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports lists the five winners and five losers from the gathering in Nashville. A sampling: the Red Sox were "winners" for adding solid veterans like Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino, while the Angels were "losers" since the additions of Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton don't represent an upgrade for the club's rotation.
Here's some more news from around the majors...
- The Red Sox "would be expected to jump in" on Kyle Lohse if he was willing to accept a three-year contract, writes ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes. We heard during the Winter Meetings that the Red Sox and Angels were both interested in Lohse.
- Rafael Soriano may have made a mistake by opting out of his guaranteed $14MM from the Yankees in 2013, as there doesn't appear to be much of a remaining market for big-ticket closer contracts, writes SI.com's Tom Verducci.
- Scott Boras talked to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about the Pirates' controversial military training regimen for minor leaguers and the Bucs' failure to sign right-hander Mark Appel, who the Pirates chose with the eighth overall selection in last year's amateur draft. Boras believes the Pirates erred by not informing he and Appel about the pick beforehand: "There was no communication with us (before the draft). We would’ve been happy to have given them an advance (notice) that they could’ve used their pick in (another) way. We certainly would’ve let them know we didn’t have a fit there."
- The average salary amongst Major League players was $3.2MM in 2012, a rise of 3.8% from the 2011 season, reports Ronald Blum of the Associated Press.
Some links surrounding the team that will jump ship from the NL Central into the AL West for the 2013 season...
- The Astros have begun doing their homework for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft, and a familiar name could be in play once again, according to Brian McTaggart and Clark Goble of MLB.com. Stanford right-hander and Houston native Mark Appel will once again be among the team's candidates at 1-1, but he is just one of several players the team is considering, says scouting director Mike Elias. Appel, of course, was favored by many to be the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, but fell to the Pirates at No. 8 and did not sign. Houston instead selected Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa.
- General manager Jeff Luhnow told reporters, including McTaggart and Goble, that the team is narrowing its search for a manager. The 'Stros started with a list of 45 candidates, narrowed that to nine, and have since whittled the list down even further.
- Marty Noble of MLB.com writes that Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar is the right man for the managerial job in Houston. Bogar served as a minor league manager in the Houston organization from 2004-05, and Noble feels that he is a "bright, motivated, dedicated, sincere, balanced, [and] personable" candidate who can generate "tangible improvement."
- The Astros signed a two-year player development contract with the Class A Quad Cities River Bandits, McTaggart reports. Luhnow worked with the River Bandits when they were affiliated with the Cardinals, and a number of current Houston players have previously played there, including Brett Wallace and Tyler Greene.
- Lastly, McTaggart tweets that the Astros will not renew the contract of catching instructor Danny Sheaffer, who has been with Houston as a minor league instructor since 2009.
Blue Jays first round draft choice Marcus Stroman has been suspended for 50 games for violating the minor league drug prevention and treatment program, the team announced. Stroman, who obtained a $1.8MM bonus earlier in the summer, maintains that he “unknowingly ingested a banned stimulant that was in an over-the-counter supplement.” He wasn’t the only former first rounder suspended today. Josh Sale, who was selected 17th overall by the Rays in 2010, also obtained a 50-game suspension, according to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune (on Twitter).
Here are Tuesday’s links...
- “We’re continuing to assess our list of candidates,” said Astros GM Jeff Luhnow to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart about the club's managerial search. “We need someone that’s going to be good at teaching, someone good at inspiring and basically working with the front office and help us achieve our goal of becoming as competitive as possible."
- The Yankees hadn’t placed Alex Rodriguez on waivers as of yesterday morning, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. Though the Yankees would like to dump Rodriguez and the $114MM remaining on his contract for luxury tax purposes, Davidoff says A-Rod and the Yankees have a pretty good relationship these days.
- ESPN officially announced an eight-year extension for the rights to broadcast MLB games. John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal reports that the deal is worth $700MM per year for a total of $5.6 billion. The deal also covers digital, international and radio rights.
- Four teams showed interest in Randy Wolf when he hit the free agent market, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The Athletics were one of the teams with serious interest in Wolf before he agreed to sign with the Orioles, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports (on Twitter).
- ESPN.com's Keith Law previews the 2013 amateur draft class, suggesting it projects as one of the weakest in years. Mark Appel, the Pirates' first round selection in 2012, projects as a top talent for 2013 along with college right-hander Ryne Stanek.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
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.
4:14pm: Pirates GM Neal Huntington explained in a statement that the team offered as much as it could without losing future picks.
“Our final offer exceeded the available bonus pool money and was essentially up to the last dollar we could offer prior to falling into the second tier penalty which would have resulted in the loss of a first round draft selection," Huntington said. "While, as we have shown in past years, we are willing to be aggressive with our financial offer, we simply did not feel it was in the best interest of the organization to forfeit our first round selection in the 2013 amateur draft."
The Pirates will select ninth overall next year, ESPN.com's Buster Olney tweets.
4:05pm: The Pirates did not reach a deal with first round pick Mark Appel, Jim Callis of Baseball America reports (on Twitter). The right-hander established himself as one of the country's top amateurs as a member of Stanford's starting rotation. He was considered a candidate for the first overall pick, but fell to the Pirates at eighth overall.
Appel stands 6'5" and his repertoire includes a fastball that has touched 98 mph plus a "nasty" slider, according to Baseball America. MLB recommended a bonus of $2.9MM for the eighth overall selection. Scott Boras is Appel's advisor.
Teams have until 4pm CDT to sign their picks from this year's Rule 4 draft, so teams and advisors are in for a busy afternoon. We'll track the draft-related news here:
- Third round selection Avery Romero signed with the Marlins for $700K, Conor Glassey of Baseball America tweets.
- The Pirates signed 17th rounder Hayden Hurst for $400K, Callis tweets. Hurst appears to have obtained the second-biggest deal for players selected after the tenth round.
- The Athletics signed second round selection Nolan Sanburn for $710K, Jim Callis of Baseball America tweets.
- Top Orioles pick Kevin Gausman is in Baltimore and a press conference will be held at 5pm CDT if the sides agree by today's 4pm CDT deadline, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets.
- The Cubs announced that they signed second round selection Duane Underwood. The high school right-hander doesn't turn 18 until next week. The Cubs reportedly agreed to a $1.05MM deal with Underwood.
- The Indians signed eighth round selection Caleb Hamrick, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports (on Twitter). The high school right-hander obtained a $180K bonus.
- You can track every unsigned selection at Baseball America. The list includes the four remaining unsigned first rounders: fourth overall selection Gausman (likely to sign with Orioles), eighth overall selection Mark Appel (Pirates), 16th overall selection Lucas Giolito (Nationals) and 25th overall selection Richie Shaffer (nearing deal with Rays).
- The Orioles' expected agreement with Gausman will be worth "around" $4.2MM, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports.
- It's unlikely the Pirates will sign Appel, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. Heyman suggests there's a possibility of intervention from MLB officials.
- The Marlins agreed to sign first round selection Andrew Heaney, in case you missed it.
Mark Appel, the eighth overall selection of the 2012 draft, is leaning against signing with the Pirates, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). MLB recommends a $2.9MM bonus for Appel, who was considered a potential first overall selection.
Jim Callis of Baseball America keeps hearing the Pirates won't give up a first round pick to sign Appel (Twitter link). Pittsburgh can offer the Stanford right-hander a maximum of $3.84MM without surrendering a 2013 pick, Callis notes. If Appel were to return to school for another season he would be draft eligible following his senior year. Agent Scott Boras is advising Appel.
Just six first round selections remain unsigned with four days to go before this Friday's deadline.
The Phillies (31-37), Brewers (30-36) and Diamondbacks (32-34), last year's division winners in the National League, have all lost more games than they've won to this point in the season. Here's some news from the NL...
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post expects the Rockies to trade Jeremy Guthrie (Twitter link). The Blue Jays have some interest in Guthrie, so it’s a question of how quickly trade talks develop.
- A Nationals official said Henry Rodriguez is “not going anywhere" even though the Nationals have a crowded bullpen, according to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider.
- In response to a reader question, Jim Callis of Baseball America explains that first round selection Mark Appel couldn’t necessarily become a free agent by refusing to sign with the Pirates then spending a season in Japan. MLB would likely attempt to ensure that Appel remained eligible for the 2013 draft. Callis suggests it's in Appel's best interest to sign with Pittsburgh for $3.5-4MM.
Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia has tearing in his labrum and rotator cuff, reports Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Surgery is not recommended at this time but he will be shut down for a minimum of four weeks. Garcia signed a four-year, $27MM extension last July.
Here's the latest from the NL Central, which just lost one of its best young pitchers...
- ESPN's Jayson Stark hears that the Pirates are expected to offer eighth overall pick and Stanford right-hander Mark Appel a slot $2.9MM signing bonus and hold the line until the July 13th deadline as they sign their other picks. "I don't see how," said one executive when asked if a deal will get done between the team and the Scott Boras client.
- Indians closer Chris Perez told Andrew Wagaman of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he was excited when the Cardinals traded him "because I could go do my thing." Cleveland acquired Perez from the Cards for Mark DeRosa in June 2009.
- We know the Cubs are willing to absorb most of the $54MM left on Alfonso Soriano's contract to trade him, and ESPN's Buster Olney wonders (on Twitter) if the outfielder's recent power surge will create some interest. Soriano hit two homers last night and has 11 in his last 23 games.
General managers don’t expect many frontline hitters to be available in trades this summer, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. Here are more of Olney’s notes:
- Carlos Quentin of the Padres could be the most sought-after hitter on the trade market, but teams may have concern over the outfielder’s injury history. Olney speculates that teams such as the Reds, Rays, Indians, Dodgers, Braves, Blue Jays, Pirates and Marlins could have interest in Quentin depending on how the next two months unfold. In case you missed it, I set out to determine Quentin’s trade value last week.
- It was somewhat surprising to see potential first overall selection Mark Appel stay on the board until the Pirates made him the eighth pick of the draft, but executives from many teams had Appel projected as the fourth or fifth-best pitcher available, Olney reports. The presence of agent Scott Boras wasn’t scaring teams off, the clubs simply preferred other players.
- Most of Olney’s sources believe the Pirates did well to select Appel eighth overall, yet there’s an expectation that the team won’t be prepared to spend wildly and forfeit future draft picks to complete a deal.