Shelby Miller Rumors
There may be a lot of NBA and NHL rumors and signings floating around today, but the MLB hot stove will only get hotter as we approach the trade deadline. Here are some items from around the majors...
- Scott Miller of CBSSports.com speculates that the Angels and Reds could join the Cliff Lee sweepstakes. Perhaps one of them could be the mystery team?
- Speaking of that mystery team and the possibility that it could be the Cardinals, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch thinks it would be a bad move for the Cards to deal prospect Shelby Miller.
- Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com reports that the Russell Branyan trade was "a very popular move in the Indians' clubhouse. Branyan was great with reporters, but he was not exactly up for team captain consideration by his teammates."
- Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com says trying to replace Chase Utley is Ruben Amaro Jr.'s "next big test" as Philadelphia's GM.
- Commenting on Tom Krasovic's item about Jayson Werth possibly being on the trade market, ESPN.com's Rob Neyer uses the "pretty far-fetched" rumor as further evidence that the Phillies erred with the Raul Ibanez signing.
- Washington manager Jim Riggleman is using the trade deadline as motivation for his team to play well enough that it doesn't get broken up, reports MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling.
- With the international signing period beginning tomorrow, Baseball America's Ben Badler ranks players by their projected signing bonuses. The story also provides links to other pieces breaking down what each team is looking for and scouting reports on various international players, though these stories are only available to Baseball America subscribers.
- Dan McNeil of the Chicago Tribune thinks Carlos Zambrano is a lost cause with the Cubs and can't believe that Jim Hendry defended Zambrano's contract extension.
- With Manny Delcarmen headed to the disabled list today, Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com thinks this will force Boston's hand in acquiring a reliever. If the Sox do get some bullpen help, don't expect them to give up any good prospects in return.
- Speaking of bullpen deals, Jon Weisman of ESPNLosAngeles.com cites the Josh Bell-for-George Sherrill deal as proof that the Dodgers should be very wary about another trade for a reliever.
Six years of Miller would be an impressive return for two-plus months of Lee, but the Cardinals would have to be intrigued by the possibility of having three aces in the rotation. Drafted out of high school, Miller is a few years away from the Majors but is said to have number one starter stuff. Since the Cardinals signed the first-round pick on August 17th of last year, he could only be traded as a player to be named later (named after a year has passed from the time of his signing).
MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo hears that Shelby Miller has agreed to sign with the Cardinals for $2.9MM. They selected him 19th overall in the June draft. Jim Callis of Baseball America reports that Miller receives the biggest bonus of any first rounder to sign so far this year. It's the second-biggest bonus in Cardinals history.
ESPN.com's Keith Law wrote last night that the Cardinals seem to be on their way to signing top pick Shelby Miller, who could receive top-ten money. Signing the righty would be "a huge coup" for the Cards, Law says. Here are the rest of his rumors:
- The Rangers and Matt Purke are still over $1MM apart so the club isn't optimistic about signing the first rounder.
- The Blue Jays have a good shot at signing third rounder Jake Marisnick, a high schooler who had first round potential heading into the spring.
- The Jays aren't likely to sign Canadian lefty Jake Eliopoulos.
More updates on the final day to sign draft picks...
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that top Cardinals pick Shelby Miller is in St. Louis for a physical. GM John Mozeliak says talks are "moving in a positive direction" and one official says the sides could end up agreeing on a deal worth about $3.25MM.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo hears that the Cards are making progress with Miller, but doubts they'll hand out $3.25MM.
- Mayo reports that first rounders Tyler Matzek (Rockies) and Matt Purke (Rangers) all have substantial gaps to overcome if they're going to sign today.
- Zack Wheeler and the Giants are now less than $1MM apart, Mayo reports.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America reports that the Yankees signed righty Caleb Cotham for $675k, which is more than four times the recommended limit for a fifth rounder.
- Callis reports that the Blue Jays signed 18th rounder Daniel Webb for $450k, triple the recommended ceiling for late round picks.
Here's a few looks at some clubs who are still working to sign their top picks...
- Ryan Divish reports that the Mariners have requested that first-round pick Dustin Ackley take a physical. Divish speculates that this could signal the two sides becoming closer to a deal.
- The Cardinals are still optimistic that they'll reach a deal with first-rounder Shelby Miller, according to Matthew Leach from MLB.com. The commissioner's recommended slot is $1.386MM for the 19th overall pick, but it's clear that Miller will receive more than that, Leach says. Miller himself was quoted, saying: "Right now, I'm definitely looking to sign a contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. It feels good." Sounds like good reason to be optimistic to me. UPDATE: B.J. Rains tweets that Miller is on his way to St. Louis for a physical as well.
- Jason Beck writes that the Tigers have 21 picks that remain unsigned, including first-rounder Jacob Turner and second-rounder Andrew Oliver. Both Turner and Oliver are being advised by Scott Boras, which could complicate the signings. Turner was rumored to be seeking a deal similar to Rick Porcello's $7.285MM deal before even being drafted by the Tigers. Oliver is coming off a rough season which dropped him to the second round. Beck writes that he could raise his stock by returning to Oklahoma State for another season.
- The Rangers are "doing everything they can" to sign first-rounder Matthew Purke, says T.R. Sullivan. Purke passed his physical, and has met with club president Nolan Ryan. According to Sullivan though: "all indications from both sides are there is still a substantial gap to bridge before a deal gets done."
... you've gotta ask yourself a question: "Do I feel linky?" Well, do ya, punk?
- According to MLB.com's Matthew Leach, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said "I would say there's optimism on both sides," when asked about negotiations with top pick Shelby Miller.
- Richard Justice of The Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros have signed 18-yr old Ruben Alaniz for $160K as an undrafted free agent. A Texas high schooler, Alaniz "slipped through the cracks as teams prepared for the draft," but the Astros found him in a tryout camp recently and outbid at least two other teams for his services.
- Maury Brown at The Biz of Baseball takes a look at Stephen Strasburg's value by comparing him to last year's crop of arbitration eligible pitchers.
When the Red Sox designated John Smoltz for assignment earlier today, it was only a matter of time before we started hearing if clubs were interested in his services or not. Matt Baker at The News Leader caught up with Cardinals GM John Mozeliak, who said "Right now I would say no, but things can change,” when asked if he had interest in the future Hall of Famer.
St. Louis added $6.6MM to their payroll with their deadline acquisitions, but the Red Sox would be on the hook for all but the pro-rated portion of the minimum should he be released. Perhaps more importantly, Smoltz would have to decide to continue his career first.
Mozeliak also said that he's "very optimistic we’ll get something worked out" with top pick Shelby Miller, who remains unsigned.
Some more links for the evening...
- MLB.com's Mark Bowman wonders if Jeff Francoeur might end up with the Marlins after all. He can imagine a Francoeur-Jeremy Hermida swap. Personally, I don't see the Marlins making that deal.
- Adam Kilgore of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are set to sign their second round pick, pitcher Alex Wilson.
- MLB.com's Matthew Leach reports that the Cardinals agreed to sign their second rounder, Robert Stock, and 31 other players they drafted.
- The Cards haven't reached an agreement with first rounder Shelby Miller yet, and, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, that's no surprise.
- As Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports, Boston's director of player personnel, Mike Hazen heard Clay Buchholz's comments and remains sure that the righty wants to help the Red Sox win titles.
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle says the Giants could really use a power bat.
Let's round up some reactions to day one of the draft before day two gets underway...
- There's not much buzz surrounding the players remaining, but, as MLB.com's Matthew Leach points out, Albert Pujols was drafted in the 13th round a decade ago.
- So which impact players have yet to be picked? Baseball America says Max Stassi, Sam Dyson and Zack Von Rosenbuerg are the best available.
- Baseball America's Conor Glassey reports that Stassi could go to UCLA if teams don't like his asking price.
- Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun says Orioles first rounder Matt Hobgood looks like a young Sidney Ponson.
- Red Sox first rounder Reymond Fuentes told David Laurila of Baseball Prospectus that his cousin, Carlos Beltran, phoned to congratulate him last night in the midst of the Mets-Phillies game.
- Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the Mariners see Dustin Ackley as an outfielder.
- In this MLB.com press release, GM Neal Huntington says signability was not the "primary factor" when the Pirates selected Tony Sanchez fourth overall.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law was among those who thought the Pirates could have done better with that pick.
- Law praises the Rockies, Cardinals and Twins for picking Tyler Matzek, Shelby Miller and Kyle Gibson, respectively. Law says all three pitchers have high-impact arms.