Mike Zunino Rumors
9:12pm: Ben Badler of Baseball America writes that despite signing Zunino for well under the slot recommendation, the Mariners are $36,600 over their bonus pool for the first 10 rounds of the draft. Badler also gives a brief recap of Zunino's season, noting that he was Baseball America's College Player of the Year.
8:45pm: ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that Zunino will receive a bonus of $4MM -- well below the slot recommendation (Twitter link).
8:32pm: The Mariners have signed No. 3 overall pick Mike Zunino, the team announced (on Twitter). A press conference to introduce Zunino will be held tomorrow.
Details of the signing are not yet known, but the recommended bonus for the third overall slot is $5.2MM. Over the weekend, we had heard that the Mariners were expected to sign the former University of Florida catcher in the near future. Baseball America says Zunino's hitting ability "projects to be above-average for a Major League catcher" while noting that he offers strong intangibles that draw Jason Varitek comparisons.
With the signing of Zunino, there are now eight first round picks who have yet to sign.
June 26: The Mariners are expected to sign third overall pick Mike Zunino shortly, reports Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times. The announcement could come in early-July after the catcher from Florida attends two awards ceremonies.
Slot money for the third overall selection is $5.2MM. Baseball America says Zunino's hitting ability "projects to be above-average for a major league catcher" while noting that he offers strong intangibles that draw Jason Varitek comparisons. Zunino is the highest unsigned pick and is one of ten unsigned first rounders.
MLB's first year player draft takes place one week from today. The notes below should provide some hints as to what might happen on June 4th...
- Chicago GM Jed Hoyer says "pitching is a target” for the Cubs in next week’s draft, Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald reports (Twitter link) “As an organization, our pitching depth is one of our bigger concerns,” Hoyer said.
- In this week's edition of Ask BA Jim Callis of Baseball America explains why teams won't use top picks to draft players they don't intend to sign.
- Cuban left-hander Onelki Garcia has his eyes on a major payday with the draft looming. The 22-year-old is looking for a signing bonus of $7MM and will not sign unless he's taken in the first round, tweets ESPN.com's Keith Law.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America expects the Pirates to take a hitter with the eighth overall selection (all Twitter links). Callis keeps hearing the Pirates connected to Arizona State shortstop Deven Marrero, and prep outfielder Albert Almora and University of Florida catcher Mike Zunino are also possibilities. Zunino draws comparisons to Jason Varitek, Callis notes.
- Callis expects the Twins to take the top talent available when they select second overall, but notes that they could use pitching.
Daniel Seco contributed to this post.