Rafael DePaula Rumors

AL East Links: Rays, Epstein, O’s, Eveland, DePaula

Blue Jays prospect Anthony Gose stole second, third and home all during the eighth inning of the Jays' 3-2 win over the Red Sox today in Grapefruit League action.  The young outfielder will begin the season in the minors but he's definitely drawing attention — Baseball America named Gose as baseball's 39th-best prospect in its preseason rankings.

Some news from around the AL East….

  • With B.J. Upton and Sam Fuld starting the season on the DL, the Rays are looking for outfield help, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
  • The Red Sox and Cubs seemed to have completed the compensation package for Theo Epstein's move to Chicago earlier today, but Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald hears from a team source that the Sox aren't quite satisfied.  Chris Carpenter underwent elbow surgery on Wednesday and while the Red Sox believe the Cubs gave up Carpenter with no knowledge of any injury problems, Boston "is weighing its options" about whether the matter should be revisited.
  • Dan Duquette told reporters (including Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun) that before Spring Training ends, the Orioles "have a few player contracts we need to resolve in camp, and we have had some tertiary trade discussions.”
  • Connelly thinks Duquette will try to trade Dana Eveland (designated for assignment earlier today) if the Orioles think the southpaw will get claimed on waivers.  Eveland, for his part, tells Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (Twitter link) that he will accept a minor league assignment if he clears waivers and the O's wish to keep him.
  • Rafael DePaula passed his physical and his Yankees contract is now official, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America.  The right-hander initially signed a $500K deal with New York in November 2010 but his attempt to get a visa was delayed since DePaula used to play under a false identity and was suspended by Major League Baseball in 2009.

DePaula Obtains Visa; Yankees Deal Still In Place

Rafael DePaula is finally on the verge of beginning his professional baseball career. The pitching prospect agreed to sign with the Yankees for $500K in November, 2010, but hasn’t had a visa until now, so the deal hasn’t been completed. Agent Charisse Espinosa-Dash told MLBTR today that DePaula has his visa and that the original deal is expected to go through once the Dominican right-hander passes a physical.

MLB suspended DePaula in 2009 and he later confessed to using a false identity. The 6'2" right-hander had a sharp breaking ball and a plus fastball that touched the mid-90s at the time that he signed, according to Baseball America. DePaula, who turns 21 this month, had been working out at the Yankees' Dominican academy.

Yankees Likely To Sign DePaula

The Yankees are expected to sign Dominican right-hander Rafael DePaula for about $700K later today, according to Melissa Segura of SI.com (on Twitter). He reappeared on the market a week ago after facing age and identity fraud questions for a year. MLB suspended him in 2009 and he later confessed to using a false identity. 

If not for the suspension, DePaula would likely have signed for more, according to Segura. He turns 20 soon, so the Yankees may fast track his path through the minor leagues. (Twitter links).

Rafael DePaula Is Back On The Market

Dominican pitching prospect Rafael DePaula is once again attracting interest from teams, tweets Jorge Arangure of ESPN the Magazine.  The right-hander has been dogged by questions about his age and identity for more than a year. 

DePaula was first eligible to sign back in 2008 when he presented himself as a 16-year-old.  He was later found out to be a year older and was suspended by MLB.  In June, after serving his suspension time, he confessed to using a false identity.  He used the name Rafael DePaula Figueroa but admitted to actually being Jose Rafael DePaula, born March 24, 1991.

The 6"3' hurler was clocked in the 91-93 mph range last year in the Dominican Prospect League but according to Arangure, he has been known to throw as hard as 97 mph.  The Yankees, Red Sox, Mariners, and Padres have all reportedly had interest in DePaula in the past, but Arangure tweets that he doesn't know what teams are currently involved.  Arangure also points out that the pitcher could have trouble obtaining a visa.

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Odds & Ends: DePaula, Padres, Yost, Fasano

Links for Monday, as Jason Heyward hits the DL…

Odds & Ends: Giants, Beckett, DePaula, Aubrey

Some links on what promises to be one of the best days of the year…

Third Team Pursuing Rafael DePaula

A third team has joined the Yankees and Mariners in pursuit of 17-year-old Dominican righty Rafael DePaula according to MLBTR contributor Blake Bentley. He reports that DePaula is scheduled to pitch in front of Padres' scouts and senior executives next week.

DePaula worked in the 92-93 mph range during a workout a few weeks ago, and reportedly has an offer from the Mariners in hand. Standing 6-foot-3, he is considered the equivalent of a first round draft pick and is in line for a seven-figure deal.

Rafael DePaula May Sign Soon

17-year-old righty Rafael DePaula may sign soon, reports MLBTR contributor Blake Bentley on the scene in the Dominican Republic.  Bentley sees a two-horse race between the Yankees and Mariners, with a bonus in the $1.5-2MM range possible.

DePaula threw a showcase yesterday, working in the 92-93 mph range.  You can view Bentley's video of that here.  ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. reported in January that DePaula's birth date was verified as April 1, 1992 by Junta Central, "the Dominican's official registrar."  Previously MLB had suspended DePaula for a year on the belief that he lied about his age.

Rafael DePaula Mulling Over Mariners’ Offer

ESPN's Jorge Arangure tweets that 17-year-old Dominican righty Rafael DePaula is currently mulling over an offer from the Mariners. DePaula hit the market last month after serving a one-year suspension because he apparently lied about his age. The Yankees and Red Sox are also known to be interested in the righthander.

In a separate tweet, Arangure mentions that DePaula has changed agents, going from Pa'Lante Agency to Kuki Acevedo. The three parties reached an agreement in which Pa'Lante will receive some commission on whatever contract he ends up signing (another Twitter link). 

The 6'-3" DePaula has hit 97mph with his fastball in the past, and is in line for a seven-figure payday. He's considered the equivalent of a first round pick.

Odds & Ends: Prospects, Livan, Cardinals, Damon

Some links for Wednesday night…

  • MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo released his list of the top 50 prospects in the game. Jason Heyward and Stephen Strasburg rank one-two.
  • Livan Hernandez sent a contract proposal to Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo back in December, but he never received a response according to a tweet from MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
  • MLB.com's Matthew Leach reports that Cardinals' GM John Mozeliak confirmed that any pickups from here on out would be on the offensive side of the roster.
  • Scott Boras said that "The Yankees never even made an offer to me regarding Johnny Damon during the entire process," according to a tweet from Tyler Kepner of The New York Times. In a second tweet, Kepner says Boras indicated that the two-year, $14MM offer the team reportedly made was conditional on whether or not Nick Johnson would sign. 
  • ESPN's Jorge Arangure reports that 17-year-old righty Rafael DePaula is back on the market after being suspended for a year by MLB after lying about his age. His agent hopes to have him signed within the next 15-20 days, and Arangure mentions that both the Yankees and Red Sox are interested.
  • Pirate relievers Anthony Claggett and Steven Jackson both cleared waivers according to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch, and have been outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis. Claggett was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Octavio Dotel, Jackson for Ryan Church.  
  • Astros' GM Ed Wade said that signing Wandy Rodriguez to a long-term deal would become a "front-burner discussion for us" if he repeats his 2009 success in 2010, reports MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. Wandy had a 3.02 ERA with an 8.4 K/9 in 205.2 innings last season.
  • Craig Calcaterra of NBCSports.com says that the Braves have discussed Johnny Damon recently, but came up with three reasons why he wasn't a fit.
  • David Murphy of The Philadelphia Daily News lays out the Phillies' payroll commitments for the next four years. As of right now, the team stands to shed almost $70MM off the books following the 2011 season.