Here's a look back at the week that was at MLBTR:
- The Astros agreed to terms with first overall pick Mark Appel. See below for more draft pick signings from the first three rounds.
- The Rays will promote outfielder Wil Myers.
- The Mariners promoted catcher Mike Zunino.
- The Dodgers discussed an extension with pitcher Clayton Kershaw.
- Catcher Miguel Olivo sought his release from the Marlins.
- The Cubs acquired pitcher Henry Rodriguez from the Nationals for fellow pitcher Ian Dickson.
- The Indians acquired shortstop John McDonald from the Pirates for cash or a player to be named.
- The Mariners signed veteran catcher Henry Blanco and designated Kelly Shoppach for assignment. The Blue Jays released Blanco earlier in the week.
- The Dodgers claimed catcher John Baker off waivers from the Padres and designated Ramon Hernandez for assignment.
- The Diamondbacks claimed pitcher Nathan Adcock off waivers from the Royals.
- The Padres acquired utilityman Pedro Ciriaco from the Red Sox for a player to be named and designated third baseman James Darnell for assignment.
- The Mets designated pitcher Collin McHugh for assignment.
- The Pirates designated reliever Mike Zagurski for assignment.
- The Giants designated reliever Ramon Ramirez for assignment.
- The Rockies designated outfielder Eric Young Jr. for assignment.
- The Yankees outrighted pitcher Cesar Cabral.
- The Cubs outrighted pitcher Eduardo Sanchez.
- The Blue Jays outrighted infielder Andy LaRoche and pitcher Evan Crawford.
- The Mariners outrighted catcher Brandon Bantz.
- The Angels outrighted infielder Chris Nelson.
- The White Sox outrighted pitcher Leyson Septimo.
- The Twins released pitcher Anthony Slama.
- The Pirates released reliever Jose Contreras.
- The Rockies released pitcher Jon Garland.
- Rick Ankiel elected free agency from the Mets.
- The Rockies signed third overall draft pick Jonathan Gray, second-round pick Ryan McMahon and competitive-balance pick Alex Balog.
- The Indians signed fifth overall pick Clint Frazier.
- The Royals signed first-round pick Hunter Dozier and second-round pick Cody Reed.
- The Mariners signed first-round pick D.J. Peterson and third-round pick Tyler O'Neill.
- The Tigers signed first-round pick Jonathon Crawford.
- The Cardinals signed first-round picks Marco Gonzales and Rob Kaminsky, as well as second-round pick Oscar Mercado and third-round pick Mike Mayers.
- The Rangers signed first-round picks Alex Gonzalez and Travis Demeritte, second-round pick Akeem Bostick and third-rounder David Ledbetter.
- The Athletics signed first-round pick Billy McKinney, as well as competitive-balance pick Chad Pinder and supplemental third-round pick Chris Kohler.
- The White Sox signed first-round pick Tim Anderson and second-round pick Tyler Danish.
- The Dodgers signed first-round pick Chris Anderson and third-round pick Brandon Dixon.
- The Reds signed first-round pick Phillip Ervin.
- The Yankees signed first-round pick Eric Jagielo and third-round pick Michael O'Neill.
- The Braves signed second-round pick Victor Caratini and third-round pick Carlos Salazar.
- The Brewers signed second-round pick Devin Williams and competitive-balance pick Tucker Neuhaus.
- The Padres signed second-round pick Dustin Peterson and third-round pick Bryan Verbitsky.
- The Rays signed second-round pick Riley Unroe.
- The Giants signed second-round pick Ryder Jones.
- The Pirates signed second-round pick Blake Taylor.
- The Phillies signed second-round pick Andrew Knapp.
- The Orioles agreed to terms with second-round pick Chance Sisco and third-round pick Stephen Tarpley.
- The Astros agreed to terms with second-round pick Andrew Thurman.
- The Red Sox agreed to terms with second-round pick Teddy Stankiewicz and third-round pick Jonathan Denney.
- The Marlins signed competitive-balance pick Colby Suggs.
- The Nationals signed third-round pick Drew Ward.
- The Angels signed third-round pick Keynan Middleton.
- The Mets signed third-round picks Ivan Wilson and Casey Meisner.
- The Twins signed third-round pick Stuart Turner.
- The Blue Jays signed third-round pick Patrick Murphy.
- The Diamondbacks signed third-round pick Daniel Palka.
- First baseman Travis Ishikawa of the Orioles exercised his opt-out clause.
- The White Sox acquired outfielder Carl Thomore from the Rockies for cash.
- The Reds signed pitcher Zach Duke to a minor-league deal after the Nationals released him.
- The Nationals signed pitcher Mark Lowe to a minor-league deal.
- The Indians signed pitcher Clay Rapada to a minor-league deal.
- The Angels signed pitchers Mike Ekstrom and Dustin Richardson to minor-league deals.
- The Twins signed pitcher Cody Eppley to a minor-league deal.
- The Diamondbacks signed pitcher David Pauley to a minor-league deal.
- The Royals released minor-league pitcher Matt Ridings.
- The Brewers released minor-league pitcher Clay Hensley.
- The Diamondbacks released minor-league pitcher Warner Madrigal.
- First baseman Kila Ka'aihue signed with Hiroshima in Japan.
A look back at the original reporting and analysis found on MLBTR this past week:
- MLBTR learned Carlos Torres re-worked the opt-out clause in his minor league deal with the Mets where he would remain at Triple-A Las Vegas, but be allowed to contact other MLB teams. If Torres found a 25-man roster spot somewhere, the Mets would then have 48 hours to put him on their own active roster or the right-hander could declare free agency and sign with that other club. The Mets promoted Torres yesterday.
- MLBTR was the first to report Greg Reynolds and Travis Ishikawa had June 15 opt-out dates in their minor league contracts with the Reds and Orioles, respectively. Ishikawa exercised his opt-out today and, in addition to either being added to their 25-man roster or released within 48 hours, MLBTR learned the Orioles could also trade the first baseman during that window.
- MLBTR was the first to learn the Rangers signed their ninth-round draft pick right-hander Jose Samayoa.
- Tim Dierkes broke the news of the Diamondbacks signing right-hander David Pauley to a minor league deal and the Rays signing their second-round draft choice Riley Unroe to an above-slot contract.
- Steve Adams sees Scott Feldman as a trade candidate the Cubs could turn into a pair of top 15 prospects.
- Jeff Todd asked MLBTR readers which team had the best draft. The top pick was the Cubs with over 1,100 votes (10%) out of the more than 11,000 cast while the Nationals brought up the rear with only 86 votes (0.78%).
- Steve hosted this week's chat.
- MLBTR contributor Marc Hulet updated the Prospect Rumor Roundup.
- Zach Links compiled the latest edition of Baseball Blogs Weigh In.
- There are many ways to enjoy MLB Trade Rumors. Here's a refresher on how to use MLBTR.
The Rays have announced they will promote Wil Myers on Tuesday and he will join the team in Boston. Adam Berry of MLB.com first tweeted the news of the call up. The Rays will clear a spot on the 25-man roster by optioning Ryan Roberts to Triple-A Durham, but a corresponding 40-man roster move is not necessary since they had one opening.
Rays' Executive VP of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman told reporters, including Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link), Myers is "going to fit right in and help us win games." Friedman says Myers' recent hot streak (hitting .354 with ten home runs, and 32 RBI's in his last 32 games) "accelerated the conversation" about being promoted and what stood out to him was how well the 22-year-old has improved defensively. (Twitter links)
Myers will play regularly, mostly in right field, according to Friedman. Manager Joe Maddon concurred with his boss, as quoted by Smith, "He's going to play a lot. Of course you don't bring somebody like that up to sit around."
Myers is the consensus choice as the game's fourth-best prospect as ranked by ESPN's Keith Law (Insider subscription required), Baseball America, and MLB.com. Law evaluates Myers as "a patient hitter who needs to work on bat control and might struggle to hit for average at first, producing via walks and power, with an eventual ceiling as a high-average, high-power player." Prior to the season, Baseball America wrote "Myers combines outstanding raw power with an advanced approach at the plate and excellent hand-eye coordination" and fits best defensively in right field. MLB.com says Myers "profiles as a run-producer in the middle of any big league lineup and he can drive the ball to all fields with the ability to leave the yard consistently."
Myers, hitting .286/.356/.520 in 289 plate appearances at Triple-A Durham after being removed prior to the third inning of the Bulls' game this afternoon, was the centerpiece of the James Shields-Wade Davis trade the Rays made with the Royals last December. The 2009 third-round draft pick will accrue 105 days of service time, if he remains with the Rays for the rest of the season, and is on the cusp of missing Super Two status based on the current projection. Nevertheless, the Rays will control Myers through the 2019 season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Royals made this a special Father's Day for 21 dads as the team invited the players' fathers to travel with them on their current road trip to Tampa and Cleveland. Dick Kaegel of MLB.com reports the idea was the brainstorm of the Royals' senior director of travel Jeff Davenport, who borrowed the idea from NHL teams, and was approved quickly by GM Dayton Moore and manager Ned Yost. The idea came as a shock to some of the dads including the father of infielder Elliot Johnson, Robert. "Elliot told me about it and I had to call him back three times to make sure I got this story right -- I said, 'You've got to be kidding me. All I have to do is get to Kansas City and they're going to put me on a plane and fly me along with you and not charge me anything? And I'm going to get in a hotel and eat with you guys and hang out with you?" The trip hasn't been without incident. Robert Johnson admitted he had an argument with Hall of Famer and new Royals batting coach George Brett over - what else - Elliot's hitting. In other news and notes from MLB's Central divisions:
- After struggling for most of the season, Yovani Gallardo has now tossed 14 consecutive scoreless innings. With the Brewers in last place and Gallardo controlled affordably through 2015 ($11.25MM in 2014 and a 2015 club option worth $13MM), the right-hander's name has popped up as a trade candidate (including by MLBTR's Tim Dierkes two weeks ago) and he has heard the talk. "We'll see what happens," Gallardo told reporters including MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. "It's definitely a little bit different. It's the first time I've been in a situation like this -- not to say that anything is going to happen." McCalvy reports Gallardo can block trades to ten teams, but Gallardo acknowledges even he doesn't know the identity of all of them.
- While the Brewers don't anticipate Corey Hart returning from offseason knee surgery until after the All-Star break, at the earliest, GM Doug Melvin will not rush first base prospect Hunter Morris to the Majors, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Melvin told Haudricourt service time considerations aren't part of the decision-making process, "He needs to play more at Triple-A. We just want to make sure he's ready before making a move like that." The Brewers entered the weekend last in the NL at first base with a .493 OPS and 14th with four home runs and a .275 slugging percentage.
- Twins GM Terry Ryan told Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio Josh Willingham, Justin Morneau, and Kevin Correia will be the most asked about players as the Trade Deadline approaches (Twitter link).
- Twins closer Glen Perkins will also be sought after by teams looking to bolster their bullpen, including the division rival Tigers. Ryan, however, told Bowden he has not had any conversations with Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski and would rather have Perkins pitch for him than against him (Twitter link).
- Yesterday, the White Sox announced the signing of seventh-round draft choice Trey Michalczewski. Today, Jim Callis of Baseball America tweeted the prep third baseman will receive a $500K bonus, which is $323.4K above the recommended slot (per Baseball America).
SUNDAY: Kershaw is seeking $225MM, but talks have gone on too long for people familiar with the discussions to suggest the sides are close to a deal yet, according to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman.
The left-handed Cy Young winner has long been thought as a candidate for an extension, with fellow aces Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander recently landing massive deals. According to Rosenthal, deals of up to twelve years and $300MM had been discussed, in addition to the seven-year contract currently being negotiated.
At just 25 years of age, Kershaw has the combination of age and pitching performance that could justify the record-breaking contract he is likely to receive. CC Sabathia (seven-year, $161MM) currently holds the record for largest contract for a pitcher in terms of new, guaranteed money.
Kershaw has pitched to a .271 ERA, 9.2 K/9, and 3.2 BB/9 in 1044 1/3 career innings. The Excel Sports Management client is currently in the second season of a two-year, $19MM contract, although he is still under team control for one more year.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
Here are Sunday's minor moves from around MLB:
- The Angels have signed right-hander Mike Ekstrom to a minor league contract and he will report to Triple-A Salt Lake, reports Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle confirmed the signing on Twitter after tweeting yesterday Ekstrom had a opt-out in his deal with the A's, which he exercised. The 29-year-old last appeared in a MLB game with the Rockies in 2012 posting a mark of 6.31 ERA, 5.2 K/9, 1.1 BB/9, and 12.1 H/9 in 15 2/3 innings (15 games). This year with Triple-A Sacramento, Ekstrom has marginally better numbers of 5.10 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, and 11.7 H/9 in 30 innings (20 games).
The Brewers have signed their top draft choice Devin Williams to a deal worth $1.35MM, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (via Twitter). The bonus is above-slot as the recommended value for the 54th overall selection is just over $1.017MM, per Baseball America. Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports part of Williams' bonus includes compensation for forgoing a scholarship to the University of Missouri, which is common practice in signing high school picks.
Williams, who is advised by Jason Wood of Arland Sports, was ranked as the 20th best prospect in the draft by ESPN's Keith Law (Insider subscription required) and number 43 by Baseball America. Law sees Williams as one of the top prep arms in the country, with an athletic build and delivery reminiscent of the Mariners' Taijuan Walker and a chance for three above-average or better pitches. Callis adds Williams has a loose arm and hits 91-95 mph with his fastball.
Williams touched 96 mph at a pre-draft workout for the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, according to McCalvy, but pitched mostly at 90-94 mph during his senior season at Hazelwood West Hight School near St. Louis, where he went 6-1 with one save and a 1.02 ERA, 93 strikeouts, a .102 opponents' batting average in nine games covering 48 innings.
Williams will report to the Brewers' Rookie League affiliate in Arizona tomorrow. The Brewers, who forfeited their first-round selection after signing Kyle Lohse, have now inked each of their first 11 draft picks.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
Yesterday we learned that the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw are making progress on a contract extension that will be worth at least $180MM. In fact, deals for up to 12 years and $300MM have been discussed, in addition to the seven-year deal already being worked on. Here's more on the Dodgers' star pitcher and other news out of L.A...
- The Dodgers have been waiting for the resolution of their TV contract situation wtih Major League Baseball before picking up talks with Kershaw in earnest, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (on Twitter). It initially appeared that the Dodgers' massive TV deal was going to be largely immune to revenue sharing, but they'll now have to kick in an additional $1B over the course of 25 years.
- In speaking with reporters, including Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter), Kershaw sounded upset with what he believed to be a leak from the organization and called it a "distraction".
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post recounted the bizarre story of how the Dodgers wound up signing Yasiel Puig, despite having very little intel on him. Within the story, Sherman writes that the Mets were never involved with him and the Yankees didn't make an offer.
- Not much of a surprise here, but manager Don Mattingly says that Puig will probably remain in the majors even if/when Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford return to action, tweets Hernandez.
SUNDAY, 12:06pm: Taylor will get a bonus of $750K, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (via Twitter). It's an under-slot deal for the left-hander as the suggested value of the No. 51 pick is just over $1.065MM.
FRIDAY, 5:56pm: The Pirates announced the signings of five more picks from their 2013 draft class, including second round pick (51st overall) Blake Taylor. Terms of the deal weren't announced, though the assigned value of Taylor's draft slot is a little over $1.065MM (hat tip to Baseball America for the list of slot values). Taylor is advised by Paragon Sports International.
A product of Dana Hills High School in Dana Point, California, Taylor is a 6'3", 220-pound left-handed pitcher described by MLB.com as needing to develop a changeup in order to succeed at the Major League level. That said, Taylor's curveball "has the chance to be an above-average breaking pitch" and he has touched the mid 90's with his fastball, throwing it "with ease" in the low 90's on a regular basis.
Taylor was ranked as the 40th-best prospect of this year's draft class by ESPN's Keith Law (Insider subscription needed) and was also ranked 55th by Baseball America and ranked 61st by MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.
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