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Shelby Miller Rumors
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.
The updates keep flowing in as the countdown to the draft continues…
- Baseball America's Jim Callis reports that Tyler Matzek and Shelby Miller are among the players with large- even historic- demands.
- Bill Shaikin of the LA Times reports that Angels scouting director Eddie Bane does not expect the Angels to see any of the players they draft make it to the majors this season.
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star says "predraft buzz" has the Royals linked to college shortstop Grant Green.
- MLB.com's Jen Langosch is "beginning to believe" the Pirates will select Boston College catcher Tony Sanchez with the fourth pick. Keith Law says they're considering him.
- As Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, Sanchez wants to start playing and says he won't demand a large bonus.
- Theo Epstein told Adam Kilgore of the Boston Globe that fans on the street will tell him who to draft. It may not be the NBA or NFL draft, but the MLB version is gaining prominence.
- Epstein is proudest of selecting Jonathan Papelbon, back in 2003.
- Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are willing to spend on the draft and aren't afraid of choosing high school pitchers.
- The Rockies, with three of the first 34 picks, "need to hit a home run" if you ask Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. Tracy Ringolsby of Inside the Rockies says the team appears to be leaning towards pitcher Matt Hobgood.
What happens after the Nationals select Stephen Strasburg? It's becoming a little clearer. Dustin Ackley is considered the best college hitter available, and scouts like the abundance of arms in the first part of round one. Here are some more details:
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports that Bobby Borchering "could be the choice" for the Marlins, who have the 18th pick in the draft.
- The Rangers are willing to take a high-ceiling arm with their 14th pick, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Shelby Miller and Matthew Purke are a pair of Texas high schoolers who "are possibilities" for the Rangers.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo places Dustin Ackley on a list of five players who could make an impact in the majors soon after being drafted.
- High school lefty Tyler Matzek will almost certainly be among the first ten selections, according to Baseball America's Dave Perkin. Matzek, who can throw 97 mph, is a "distinct possibility" for the Mariners with the second pick and will be scooped up soon afterwards if the Mariners pass.
- Here's a name to keep an eye on: Perkin calls Henry Owens a "future first-round" pick.
- The Dodgers, picking 36th, believe they can obtain the same sort of player that would be available with a 20th overall pick, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
The draft's a week away and here's what some teams are thinking as the big day approaches.
- The Braves will take the best available player with their seventh overall pick, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com. It's the earliest pick they've had since 1991, but they'll have to wait until 87th for their next turn. Zack Wheeler, a Georgia high school pitcher, could be available when the Braves select.
- MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports that the Reds would like to add catching depth and left-handed pitching in the draft, which they say could be deepest in rounds 2-6. Cincinnati has the eighth pick of the first round, when high school lefty Tyler Matzek could be available.
- As MLB.com's Jason Beck reports, the Tigers are looking for pitching with the ninth pick. Pitchers Jacob Turner and Shelby Miller have caught the Tigers' attention.
- MLB.com's Thomas Harding points out that no one on the current Rockies roster was drafted in the last three years. This time around, they'll draft 11th.
- The Royals say they'll take the best available player with the 12th pick, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel. This is the first time in four years that the Royals don't have a top-three pick.
- MLB.com's Mychael Urban reports that the A's agree with many teams: this year's first round is littered with power arms. The A's don't know what options they'll have with their 13th pick, however.
In a video by The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Indians director of amateur scouting Brad Grant says he sees the draft as "pitcher heavy" and could very well take an arm with the 15th overall pick. Here are some more highlights:
- The Indians will address organizational need, not major league need.
- Signability is a factor.
- Cleveland has a budget for the draft, but could go over-slot on a first round player.
- Grant admitted he'd love to draft Stephen Strasburg and is visibly in awe of the righty's talent.
The Indians likely won't have the chance to draft high school pitcher Shelby Miller, but as MLB.com's Daniel Paulling reports, the Texan has drawn tons of interest. Between 30 and 40 scouts regularly appear at Miller's games to see a fastball that's clocked in the upper 90s. He figures to be selected within the first ten picks of the draft.
ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill has an update on some of the most coveted draft-eligible players:
- Stephen Strasburg left his Wednesday night start holding his back. The San Deigo State staff reported a "minor back cramp." Strasburg still managed to strike out six, allowing only four baserunners in 7.2 innings.
- Vanderbilt lefty Mike Minor pitched well yesterday and though he's projected to go after the first round now, he could improve his standing.
- Dustin Ackley hit two home runs against Duke and he has now "all but cemented himself as the No. 2 overall prospect in the draft." The Mariners have the second overall pick.
- Texas high schooler Shelby Miller pitched a four-hit shoutout in front of a number of scouts and Rangers President Nolan Ryan. Miller is expected to be selected within the first five picks.
For the hottest prospects already with a major league organization, check out Baseball America's Prospect Hot Sheet.