Oakland Athletics Rumors
Baseball America's Jim Callis tweeted updates on previous draft signings Bryan Verbitsky and Carlos Salazar today. Verbitsky, a third-round pick by the Padres will receive $400K, while Salazar, the Braves' third-rounder, will receive $625K (Twitter links). The Padres landed Verbitsky $221K under slot, while the Braves went over-slot by nearly $120K. Here are more signings out of the second and third rounds (all slot info courtesy of Baseball America)...
- The Rockies went $535K over slot to sign sixth-rounder Dom Nunez, according to BA's Jim Callis (on Twitter). The California high school third baseman/shortstop/catcher boasts a compact swing, sneaky pop, and a strong arm.
- The Marlins have agreed to a significantly over-slot deal with seventh-round pick Justin Bohn, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned. Bohn, the No. 202 overall selection, signed for $525K, though the assigned pick value for that slot was just $193K. Bohn had been committed to Oregon State.
- The A's have signed third-round pick Ryon Healy for $500K, tweets Callis. The A's saved about $16K on Oregon's first baseman, who shows good power and has a chance to play third base.
- Callis tweets that the Rockies signed third-rounder Sam Moll for $600K, meaning they saved about $113K on the Memphis left-hander. Though he stands just 5'11", Moll throws 93-95 mph as a starter. He's likely a reliever in the pros, though.
- The Royals signed third-round pick Carter Hope for $561K, Callis reports (Twitter link). Hope's bonus is exactly $100K under slot. The prep righty from Texas throws 88-92 mph with an improving curveball. He had been committed to Oklahoma State.
Following a vote behind closed doors, the city council of San Jose has elected to file a lawsuit against Major League Baseball in an attempt to move the Athletics from Oakland to San Jose, according to John Shea and Jill Tucker of the San Francisco Chronicle. The lawsuit claims that MLB and commissioner Bud Selig violated state and federal laws regarding unfair business practices and anti-competitive conduct.
Athletics ownership has spent years lobbying for the team to be moved to San Jose, citing a need for a new ballpark. However, the A's are not plaintiffs in the lawsuit and owner Lew Wolff says that he wasn't aware of it being filed until the news broke earlier today. The city of San Jose isn't seeking financial restitution from MLB but alleges, with strong language, that they are being illegally blocked from importing the A's.
"This action arises from the blatant conspiracy by Major League Baseball to prevent the Athletics Baseball Club from moving to San Jose," the suit says. "This action challenges - and seeks to remedy - defendants' violation of state laws and use of the illegal cartel that results from these agreements to eliminate competition in the playing of games in the San Francisco Bay Area."
Written by Zach Links.
Here are today's notable signings from the second and third days of the amateur draft. Information on the assigned slot values is provided by Baseball America...
- The Rangers have signed tenth-rounder Cole Wiper, Fox Sports Southwest's Anthony Andro tweets. Wiper signed for a $700K bonus, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports, a far above-slot number that dwarfs the recommended bonus ($135.5K) for the 310th spot in the draft. Wiper was taken in the 14th round of the 2011 draft by the Blue Jays but he chose college instead, pitching at Oregon and missing the entire 2012 season due to Tommy John surgery. Wiper, a right-hander, has only thrown 12 innings for Oregon this season.
- The Athletics have agreed to terms with third-rounder Ryon Healy and sixth-rounder Kyle Finnegan, the team announced on its Twitter feed. Terms weren't disclosed but Healy's draft position (100th overall) has a slot value of $515.6K and Finnegan's position (191st overall) has a $214.3K slot value. Healy, an Oregon first baseman, was rated as the draft's 86th-best prospect by Baseball America while ESPN's Keith Law ranked right-hander Finnegan as the 93rd-best member of the 2013 draft pool.
- The Brewers have signed fourth round pick Taylor Williams, Baseball America's Jim Callis tweets. Williams, a right-hander from Kent State, signed for a $400K bonus, slightly less than the recommended $417K bonus for the 122nd overall pick.
- The Orioles have agreed to terms with fourth-rounder Jonah Heim, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo reports (Twitter link). Heim signed for a $389.7K bonus, exactly matching the recommended slot value for the 129th pick. Heim, who is advised by Frye McCann Sports, is a switch-hitting high school catcher who had committed to Michigan State.
Now that the draft is over, teams are focusing more on bolstering their rotations with one more piece, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. No one more aggressive in the pursuit of pitching than Orioles GM Dan Duquette who knows that one veteran starter could make all the difference. While they're anxious to improve their starting five, it doesn't sound as if the O's will be in the mix for someone like Cliff Lee. “We’re looking for a starter and a reliever,” said Duquette. “We’d like to solidify our pitching all around because that’s the name of the game, really. We have to look at everything. Don’t think we’re going to be in the market for a big-money pitcher, but there seem to be some guys out there that we might focus on and see where it takes us.” Here's more from today's column..
- The Astros will craft a game plan early this week for how to approach their veteran assets. Teams are already calling about Bud Norris, who has a cheap $3MM salary, but won't be cheap to acquire. The Orioles, Giants, and Pirates have kicked around the idea of acquiring Norris, but one National League exec says there will be about a dozen teams interested before all is said and done.
- It seems like a no-brainer for the A’s to pick up Coco Crisp's 2014 option for $7.5MM, but he'll be in demand if they don’t. Even though he's 33-years-old, there aren’t many top center fielder/leadoff hitter types out there. Jacoby Ellsbury will be the No. 1 guy in that department, but , one American League special assignment scout said Crisp might be a better low-cost option because “he can do everything Ellsbury can do. Neither of them have an arm, but Coco is still fast, a very good outfielder, and can still be a game-changer.”
- The Phillies believe there are at least three teams — Red Sox, Tigers, and Cardinals — that may have some interest in Jonathan Papelbon at the trade deadline and the Phillies are scouting those teams with a potential deal in mind. General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said last week that he’s not ready to “blow up” the Phillies, but a Papelbon trade could help retool the club.
- Teams continue to nudge Javier Vazquez into coming back to pitch, but the right-hander seems to be content with staying with his family, according to a source familiar with Vazquez’s thinking.
- The Red Sox can trade Stephen Drew now that June 15th has come and gone, and they would have no problem finding a taker given the lack of shortstops around baseball. However, Boston firmly believes that Drew is their guy. One National League GM doesn't quite understand their infatuation with the shortstop. “They’re either trying to justify the $9.5MM they paid him, or they’re not sold on [Jose] Iglesias, who could start for 29 other teams.”
- If the White Sox decide to finally bolster their farm system, they could get some helpful prospects back by moving right-hander Jesse Crain. The reliever is becoming a top name on wish lists around baseball.
- While many baseball people remain focused on Giancarlo Stanton’s availability in a deal, 25-year-old Logan Morrison is now healthy and has returned to the lineup. The Marlins first baseman/outfielder is a big lefthanded hitter who will be monitored closely by scouts over the next month.
It looks like the Astros and Mark Appel will avoid a lengthy signing negotiation, with the sides reportedly agreeing to a deal today. The right-hander was not only the draft's first overall selection, but the Astros first selection as an American League team. Here's the rest of tonight's notes from baseball's west divisions..
- CC Sabathia represents a best-case scenario for a possible Clayton Kershaw extension, argues Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. In Shaikin's opinion, Kershaw will command at least $200MM, and the Dodgers would do well to get the kind of production the Yankees have received from Sabathia.
- Shaikin also writes about how the Dodgers' sale affected the Angels' television revenue. Angels owner Arte Moreno based the team's last deal off of the Dodgers agreement negotiated under Frank McCourt that ended up being voided by the commissioner's office. The Angels are stuck with the terms of that deal, while the Dodgers have landed a record revenue stream.
- The Athletics have their key offseason additions to thank for their offensive success, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Rosenthal cites John Jaso and Jed Lowrie as quality hitters who have transformed the A's offense.
8:50am: Pinder's bonus will be $750K, according to BA's Jim Callis (Twitter link), meaning the A's were able to ink Pinder for about $33K under slot.
8:29am: The A's have signed No. 71 overall pick Chad Pinder, according to Pinder's Twitter account. Financial details of his signing bonus have yet to be reported, but the assigned pick value of that slot is $782,900, according to Baseball America. Pinder is advised by Icon Sports Management.
Pinder, a third baseman out of Virginia Tech, was selected with the competitive balance lottery pick that the Athletics were awarded in last summer's lottery. The 21-year-old ranked as the 49th-best prospect in the draft according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. He ranked 54th on BA's Top 500 and placed 80th on the Top 100 list of ESPN's Keith Law (Insider subscription required).
Mayo praised Pinder's gap power and ability to use the whole field at the plate, also calling him a "solid and reliable defender" at third base. BA and Law agree, though BA notes that some scouts feel he could also provide average defense at second base, where his bat profiles better.
Pinder is the second of the A's top three picks to sign, as Oakland inked first-rounder Billy McKinney for a $1.8MM bonus yesterday.
Over the next month, MLBTR will be keeping track of as many significant draft signings as possible. Here's your Tuesday rundown of notable draft bonuses (all slot information courtesy of Baseball America's assigned pick value list)...
- The A's inked 25 of their picks today, including third-round pick Chris Kohler, according to Callis (Twitterlinks). The high school left hander got a $486K bonus from Oakland.
- The Angels signed sixth-rounder Harrison Cooney for a little under $223K, according to BA's Jim Callis (on Twitter). The Florida Gulf Coast right-hander's salary is exactly in line with the slot recommendation for the No. 187 pick.
- The Rangers have officially signed ninth-round pick Jose Samayoa, MLBTR has learned. The right-hander is one of three Lee University pitchers drafted inside of the first eleven rounds.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis reports (on Twitter) that the Braves have signed sixth-round pick Stephen Janas. The Kennesaw State right-hander recovered from Tommy John surgery successfully this season and features a sinker clocked in the high 80s. Janas signed for the exact slot value of the 193rd pick -- $210,200.
- The Mariners have signed 11th-rounder Zack Littell for a bonus of exactly $100K, tweets Callis. Littell is a high school righty out of North Carolina who's touched 92 mph with his heater and can throw his curve for strikes, according to Callis. He was committed to Appalachian State prior to signing. Littell's $100K bonus is the most teams are allowed to spend on players in rounds 11-40 without that money counting against their allotted bonus pool for the Top 10 rounds.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
The Athletics have signed first-round pick Billy McKinney for a bonus of $1.8MM, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (on Twitter). Oakland signed the high school outfielder nearly $100K under slot, as Baseball America previously reported that the assigned value of the No. 24 selection is $1,893,500.
McKinney, who is being advised by the BBI Sports Group, ranked 27th on BA's Top 500 draft prospects, 34th on Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com's Top 100 and 28th on Keith Law of ESPN's Top 100 (Insider required). All three outlets praise his smooth swing, with BA calling it "one of the sweetest swings in the draft." Mayo feels that McKinney may be the best high school bat in the draft. He projects to hit for both average and power, but his below-average speed and arm will limit him to corner outfield duties.
McKinney is the third member of this year's first-round class to sign. He marks the second straight high school bat taken by the A's, as Oakland selected high school shortstop Addison Russell in the first round of the 2012 draft.
This weekend's draft meant the start of a path to the big leagues for top picks like Mark Appel, Kris Bryant and Jonathan Gray, but also lots of unknowns selected on the Day Three. Former big-league outfielder Gabe Kapler reflects on his status as a late-round nobody in an essay for WEEI.com. While we're busy fussing over the signings of first-round picks, Kapler writes, "the next Kevin Youkilis will be covertly advancing through the minor league system on his way to winning a World Series championship with a bunch of other idiots." Here's more on the draft.
- The Rangers have signed 11th-round pick Ryan Cordell, a junior outfielder from Liberty, for $100K, Jim Callis of Baseball America reports (via Twitter). Signings of $100K or less after Round 10 do not count against teams' bonus pools. Baseball America ranked Cordell the No. 196 prospect in the draft.
- There hasn't been any specific announcement of a signing, but MLB.com's Adam McCalvy reports (via Twitter) that the Brewers' top pick, Missouri high school pitcher Devin Williams, is taking a team physical. Williams was a second-round pick; the Brewers lost their first-rounder when they signed Kyle Lohse.
- Mariners fifth-round pick Jack Reinheimer will finalize his deal with his new team tomorrow, Nathan Summers of Reflector.com reports (via Twitter). Reinheimer, a junior shortstop from East Carolina, was the No. 147 pick in the draft.
- ESPN's Keith Law's AL draft recap (Insider-only) features praise for the Athletics (who gambled on high-upside picks like Bobby Wahl, Kyle Finnegan and Dustin Driver in the middle rounds) and Yankees (who nabbed Eric Jagielo, Aaron Judge and Ian Clarkin with their three late-first-round picks).
Over the next several weeks, signings from this year's MLB draft will be pouring in. Here's Monday's rundown of significant signings (all slot info courtesy of Baseball America's list of assigned pick values)...
- The Athletics signed fourth-round pick Dylan Covey to a $370K deal, tweets Jim Callis of Baseball America. The San Diego right-hander was taken by the Brewers with the No. 14 overall pick in 2010 but ultimately didn't sign after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
- BA's Jim Callis reports that the Brewers have signed third-round pick (No. 90 overall) Barrett Astin for a bonus of $584,300 (Twitter link), which is the exact amount of the assigned slot value. The Arkansas right-hander "was a force" as a reliever in 2012 but more average as a starter in 2013, Callis adds.
- Mets tenth-round pick Luis Guillorme tweeted that he has signed with the team earlier today (hat tip: Adam Rubin of ESPN on Twitter). Callis adds that Guillorme signed for $200K, noting that the slick-fielding high school shortstop has drawn comparisons to Omar Vizquel (Twitter link). Guillorme's bonus is over slot, as the recommendation for that pick was $136,400.
- Callis also tweets that the Marlins have signed sixth-round pick Ryan Aper for $225K. A junior college player from Illinois, Aper possesses a quick bat and has a plus arm and speed in center field. Aper signed about $30K under the slot recommendation of $257,400.
- The Rockies have signed right-hander Konner Wade for a $198,500 bonus, tweetsCallis. Wade was a seventh-round pick out of Arizona and features a solid fastball/changeup combo when he's at his best, Callis notes. Wade signed for exactly slot value.
- Callis also reports that the Cardinals have signed 16th-round pick Blake Higgins for a $100K bonus (Twitter link). Higgins attended Jackson Community College in Michigan and is forgoing a Michigan State commitment to sign. He's already had Tommy John surgery but was clocked at 95 mph prior to his injury.
- One more from Callis, who adds (also via Twitter) that the Brewers have signed Fresno State left-handerTyler Linehan for $125K. Milwaukee selected the 6'4", 240-pound hurler in the ninth round, and Callis reports that he sits 88-93 mph with his fastball. Linehan came at a slight discount, asthe slot value of his pick was $144,100.
Zach Links contributed to this post.