Rafael DePaula Rumors
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.
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.
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.
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.
Links for Monday, as Jason Heyward hits the DL...
- Top Dominican pitching prospect Rafael DePaula admitted to using a false name and lying about his age, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.
- Padres CEO Jeff Moorad confirmed something Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse reported last week. The Padres are interested in starting pitching and can spend to acquire it.
- Royals GM Dayton Moore is not yet thinking about manager Ned Yost's future, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel.
- MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince hears that Sal Fasano, who currently manages in Toronto's system, is an early candidate to replace Cito Gaston as the Blue Jays' manager in 2011. Fasano, 38, had an 11-year MLB career that included a stint with the Jays in 2007.
- Some GMs think the relatively small number of teams with money to spare will limit the trading we see this summer, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter).
- There's not a lot of optimism within the Dodgers' organization that the club will be able to add much payroll to improve its pitching staff, writes Olney (Twitter link). Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told MLBTR's Tim Dierkes that the team's ability to make a deal depends on many variables.
- Check out Will Carroll's top ten GM candidates in this Baseball Prospectus article (subscription required).
- Nolan Ryan may be about to hire former Astros GM Gerry Hunsicker away from the Rays, according to Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle.
- Former Astro Chris Burke is considering retirement, according to Michael Grant of the Louisville Courier-Journal. The Reds' Triple A club cut the 30-year-old over the weekend.
Some links on what promises to be one of the best days of the year...
- Chris Haft of MLB.com writes that the Giants' bench is lacking in right-handed bats, though he doesn't suggest they'll look to make a trade.
- The Red Sox have expressed reluctance in the past to sign pitchers to long-term contracts, but MLB.com's Ian Browne notes that Josh Beckett's extension means the club has four important starters under team control through 2014.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Beckett extension was directly motivated by the Red Sox' rivalry with the Yankees.
- Beckett told reporters that he focuses on the security that comes with his extension, not the money he could potentially have obtained on the open market, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
- The San Francisco Chronicle had some nice things to say about MLBTR in its business report. Check it out.
- The Mariners remain the favorites to sign Dominican pitcher Rafael DePaula, according to Jorge Arangure Jr. of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
- Michael Aubrey cleared waivers and was outrighted to the minors, according to an Orioles press release. The team designated Aubrey for assignment last week.
- Check out this two-sport star: the White Sox hired former Chicago Bulls GM Jerry Krause to oversee the team's scouting in the Dominican Republic, according to ESPNChicago's Bruce Levine.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette points out that the Pirates will have the lowest Opening Day payroll in baseball and asks when the future starts for the Pirates. His answer? Once Pedro Alvarez takes over third base at PNC Park. If all goes well for Pittsburgh, that could happen before midseason.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times has the Mariners' payroll at about $89MM, a little higher than USA Today's $86.5MM figure.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels tells Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that speculation that the Rangers are looking for reasons to fire manager Ron Washington is "silly."
- As Jeff Powalisz of the Boston Globe points out, Boston's free agent acquisitions are already contributing.
- Matt Stairs will become the first modern-day position player to suit up for 12 different teams when he takes the field for the Padres, as MLB.com's Corey Brock points out.
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.
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.
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.
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.