Robert Stephenson Rumors

Ohio Notes: Youkilis, Stephenson, Anderson

The Indians have a day off while the Reds begin a four-game series with the Rockies tonight at the Great American Ballpark.  Here's the latest baseball news from the Buckeye State…

  • Cincinnati native Kevin Youkilis told ESPN Boston's Joe McDonald that if he were to leave the Red Sox, he would enjoy playing for his hometown Reds.  Youkilis is under contract through 2012, with the Sox holding a $13MM option for 2013 on "the Greek God of Walks."  Youkilis will be 34 on Opening Day 2013, so while $13MM is a bargain for a player with Youkilis' production, it's possible Boston might explore a younger, cheaper third baseman like prospect Will Middlebrooks.  The Reds have Scott Rolen's contract coming off the books after 2012 and could have a hole at third unless Todd Frazier or Yonder Alonso catches on at the hot corner.
  • There is a "greater than 50% chance" that Reds first-round draft pick Robert Stephenson will attend the University Of Washington rather than sign with Cincinnati, tweets Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game USA.  Stephenson, selected 27th overall by the Reds, had already committed to Washington and is "an academic type," according to Rogers.
  • With Drew Pomeranz and Alex White shipped to Colorado in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian talks to several Indians executives about the pitching depth still left in the club's minor league system.
  • Perhaps one more young arm can be added to that mix — Baseball America's Jim Callis tweets that the Tribe have signed right-hander Cody Anderson, a 14th-round pick in the June amateur draft.  Anderson's bonus was worth $250K.  Callis describes Anderson as having "intriguing size (6-4/225) [and an intriguing] fastball" that clocks in between 92-96 mph.  Anderson had been committed to attend Texas Christian University. 

Law On Royals, Josh Bell, Dodgers, Mets

Draft junkies, you're missing out if you don't read Keith Law's latest chat at ESPN.  Insider is required to read it, and is well worth your money, but here are a few highlights.

  • With the fifth overall pick, Law sees the Royals taking a college arm or Dylan BundyLaw and Jim Callis of Baseball America projected them to take Matt Barnes or Gerrit Cole, respectively, in late May mock drafts.  MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo went with high school outfielder Bubba Starling in a mock draft published today.  Mayo mentions UCLA righty Trevor Bauer and high school shortstop Francisco Lindor as well, but Law says the Royals are not on Lindor.
  • One team that is in on Lindor is the Mariners at #2, as ESPN's Shannon Drayer tweets that they worked him out at Safeco Field.  However, Law says that while the Ms like Lindor and Starling, he doubts they'd pass on Anthony Rendon if the Pirates take someone else.
  • Law hears rumors that the Tigers and Red Sox are in on high school outfielder Josh Bell, a Boras Corporation advisee who sent a letter to the MLB Scouting Bureau saying he intends to honor his commitment to the University of Texas and does not want to be drafted.  Law hears a "widespread rumor" about the Tigers drafting Bell and offering $6MM, presumably with the #76 overall pick (their first).
  • The Red Sox don't know how the draft will change under the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement, so they intend to take advantage of this year's draft, GM Theo Epstein told Ian Browne of MLB.com. Boston will select four of the first 40 players under second-year scouting director Amiel Sawdaye.
  • Law hears high school righty Robert Stephenson "very strongly" for the Dodgers at #16.  He also hears that the Dodgers can't go over slot with any pick, so hopefully Stephenson is comfortable with $1.8MM or so.  High school shortstop Javier Baez and high school righty Taylor Guerrieri have been projected for the Dodgers in various recent mock drafts.
  • Derek Fisher, a high school outfielder with "light-tower raw power" according to Law, will be a tough sign with demands of $2MM or more.
  • Silly numbers like Danny Hultzen's reported $13MM demand "just get ignored," says Law.  To get to know the University of Virginia southpaw, check out Josh Barr's article for the Washington Post.  The article says Hultzen has visited with officials from only the first six teams picking in the draft, and told those clubs what he'll need to sign.
  • The Mets are leaning toward a college arm at #13, writes Law.  Mayo went with Vanderbilt's Sonny Gray in today's mock.
  • For a look at each team's picks within the first 90, click here.