Tanner Scheppers Rumors
11:43pm: Great news for Pirates fans - they've signed Alvarez to a $6MM minor league deal. So much for Boras demanding $10MM.
11:41pm: The Bucs failed to sign pitcher Tanner Scheppers, who slipped to the second round due to a shoulder injury. Scheppers was looking for $2MM, and his audition wasn't great. GM Neal Huntington issued a statement on the Scheppers situation.
4:59pm: Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette weighs in on the Pedro Alvarez negotiations. He believes the Pirates have an offer on the table, and are open to a Major League deal. However, Kovacevic says there is no chance of the Pirates approaching a $10MM Mark Teixeira-like contract. The Pirates and Scott Boras have six hours to find a compromise.
Some draft notes for the morning...
- The Reds are still negotiating with Yonder Alonso.
- Boston's first round pick, Casey Kelly, was seen wearing a Red Sox cap and hanging out around the team recently. However, negotiations have yet to begin and Kelly hasn't decided between baseball and football. Baseball America says the Red Sox hope to develop Kelly as a pitcher if he signs, but Kelly appears to lean toward shortstop.
- Pirates pick Tanner Scheppers will undergo medical exams in Pittsburgh later this month. The results on his shoulder should guide negotiations. Meanwhile, the Bucs are expected to sign 16 year-old shortstop Jonathan Barrios on the international front.
- 16 year-old Dominican righty Michel Inoa turned down a $5MM Major League deal from the Reds and a $5.2MM bonus from the Rangers to sign for $4.25MM with the A's. It takes more than just money with these international free agents. Reds and Rangers fans should at least be pleased with the effort. By the way, the A's are encouraging Inoa to go by Michael instead of Michel.
Here's the latest draft pick signing info.
- The Cardinals are close to signing their top pick, Brett Wallace. The bonus is expected to be around $1.85-2MM. What position is he going to play long-term? Does left field make the most sense?
- The Pirates are negotiating with Pedro Alvarez, but both sides are staying mum on the details.
- The Bucs are also talking with Tanner Scheppers. They're still trying to gauge his health.
The draft is just four hours away. We'll be live-blogging it here at MLBTR. Here are today's draft links.
- Baseball America's brand new top 30 projections.
- According to Keith Law, Mariners doctors gave the thumbs up on Tanner Scheppers and the team could take him at #20.
- Law says the Nationals seem to be debating between Kyle Skipworth and Aaron Crow at #9.
- Law adds that first baseman Yonder Alonso has an $8MM rumored asking price, which could cause him to drop. Alonso is roughly the 11th-best player in the draft, combining various expert rankings.
- Speaking of huge demands, Buster Posey's people are floating $12MM. Perhaps for that reason, the Rays will go with Tim Beckham.
- The Pirates seem a near-lock to take Pedro Alvarez at #2.
- Jonathan Mayo is "fairly certain" the Reds will take Gordon Beckham at #7.
- Nick Piecoro tosses out some possibilities for the D'Backs at #26.
- Tom Haudricourt has three names for the Brewers at #16.
All kinds of draft links today.
- Baseball America explains the basics in their How The Draft Works column.
- Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein gives his take on each of the first twelve picks.
- Keith Law: the Nationals invited Zach Collier to work out, the White Sox are eyeing Brett Wallace, the Marlins may like Eric Hosmer, and Tanner Scheppers is getting a second opinion.
- Jim Callis names high schoolers/Boras clients Hosmer and Gerrit Cole as possible wild cards who could head to college. Callis also talks about Casey Kelly as a possibility for Cincy.
- Derrick Goold on the Cardinals' "signability board."
According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Rangers "would love to take a high upside college pitcher who could shoot through the system" with their 11th overall pick this June. Sullivan suggests Shooter Hunt, Tanner Scheppers, and Christian Friedrich as possibilities. Scheppers may be out of the picture given the stress fracture of his shoulder.
ESPN's Keith Law ranked his top 60 for the draft on May 10th, and he considered the top college pitchers to be Aaron Crow, Brian Matusz, Scheppers, Friedrich, Josh Fields, and Hunt. In their May 16th mock draft, Baseball America picked high school first baseman Eric Hosmer for Texas.
By the way, check out the June Amateur Draft link. This will remain on the sidebar until after the June 5th draft takes place.
MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo reports that Fresno State righthander Tanner Scheppers will be sidelined with a stress fracture in his shoulder. Mayo suggests that the serious injury is likely to drop Scheppers out of the top ten picks. The risk is increased, but now Scheppers will drop and could become a steal.
By the way, bookmark Mayo's new blog, Geeking On The Draft. I am pretty sure we have some draft geeks in this crowd.
Here are today's links.
- Dave Cameron notes Nelson Cruz's video game numbers in Triple A and suggests he deserves another shot.
- Japanese catcher Hayato Doue was expected to join the Red Sox organization, but visa problems have gotten in the way.
- Buster Olney notes that Rafael Furcal will test free agency if he can't hammer out an extension with the Dodgers by midseason.
- Shigetoshi Hasegawa denies the notion that he pushed Hiroki Kuroda toward the Dodgers.
- Athletics Nation sees Billy Beane targeting pitcher Tanner Scheppers if he's available with the 12th pick. Also, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has an overall look at the '08 draft class.
Kiley McDaniel reports rumors of Scott Boras' asking price for '08 draftees Pedro Alvarez and Eric Hosmer. He's hearing a $9.5MM big league deal for Alvarez and a $7MM bonus for Hosmer - steep demands.
Hosmer, a high school first baseman, has been compared to Casey Kotchman by Baseball America. He's a top ten pick. Alvarez, one of the top talents in the draft, plays third base for Vanderbilt but may end up at first. He figures to go within the first four picks (Rays, Pirates, Royals, Orioles) for sure.
By the way, the Reds have the seventh pick, and BA's Jim Callis thinks they'll go for a pitcher. He names Shooter Hunt, Tanner Scheppers, and Tim Melville as the main candidates.
The Giants have the fifth overall pick in the June draft. It's a shame teams can't trade picks, because the San Francisco's needs don't really match up with the likely best available talent.
Jim Callis provided interesting speculation in issue 0808 of Baseball America's print magazine. Callis suggested that the Giants may lean toward pitching in June even though the best available talent will be at first base. This is because top prospect Angel Villalona is moving from third to first and the Giants may not want to create a future logjam.