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Taylor Jungmann Rumors
Here's the latest from some of baseball's central clubs, as the division-leading Tigers stage a comeback against the O's on the strength of a Miguel Cabrera three-run bomb …
- Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who signed a one-year extension through 2012 on Monday, won't retire even if his club goes deep into the postseason, two sources tell Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
- The Cubs knew within two hours of Carlos Zambrano's tirade that he wasn't serious about retiring, and the righty returned his belongings to his locker later that night, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Of course, these are the events that led to Big Z being added to the disqualified list earlier today.
- The Brewers probably won't reach agreement with their first-round picks, Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley, before Monday, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (via Twitter).
- Talks twixt the Indians and first-round pick Francisco Lindor (No. 8 overall) could also come down to the wire on Monday, writes Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Lindor, a shortstop, is represented by Sportsmeter, LLC, the same agency that brokered supplemental rounder Nick Castellanos' $3.45MM bonus with the Tigers last season, as Bastian notes. That sum was the fifth-highest among last year's first and supplemental rounders.
Let's check in with the latest from the middle of the MLB map….
- The Pirates are not interested in Twins right-hander Kevin Slowey, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. (Twitter link) We heard last week that the Bucs were looking at Slowey, who went to high school in Pennsylvania.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak is hoping to improve his team without moving a player from the Major League roster, but Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch hears that "to accomplish [their] trade goal," the Cards will have to deal at least one Major Leaguer.
- With the Cardinals aggressively pursuing starting pitching, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch roundtable discusses which pitchers would be available at the lowest cost to the Cards. I like the idea of St. Louis getting a second-tier arm like Chris Capuano, since the Cardinals' search for bullpen help means they won't be able to meet the asking price for both a top starter and a top reliever such as Heath Bell.
- Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star details the Royals' scouting and pursuit of Felipe Paulino, who has pitched well since being acquired from the Rockies in May.
- The Brewers are continuing negotiations with first-round draft picks Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid described the talks as "a work in progress," while GM Doug Melvin felt the draft picks' respective agents weren't approaching the talks with much urgency leading up to the August 15 deadline.
Paul Konerko homered for the fifth consecutive game tonight, which gives him a total of 21 on the season and a share of the MLB lead. Here are tonight's links from around the Major Leagues…
- Royals GM Dayton Moore told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he'll remain open-minded about trades that will improve the Royals in 2011 and put them in a better long-term position. Mike Aviles, Wilson Betemit and Melky Cabrera are among the Royals who could appeal to other teams this summer.
- MLB officials have had internal discussions about 15 team leagues with no divisions, but the idea hasn't been discussed in collective bargaining with the MLBPA, according to Yahoo's Jeff Passan (Twitter links). MLB is reluctant to push for such drastic change, but Passan hears that an NL team “will” move to the AL to even the leagues out at 15 clubs apiece.
- Brewers scouting director Bruce Seid told Adam McCalvy and Audrey Snider of MLB.com that Milwaukee has talked to top pick Taylor Jungmann since selecting him 12th overall and is prepared to continue negotiations in depth.
- Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest told Greg Stoda of the Palm Beach Post that he doesn’t want to speculate about Hanley Ramirez as a possible trade candidate. “We do say that some players are more or less likely to be traded than others, but we don't ever talk about anybody specific," Beinfest said.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that he wasn’t surprised to hear that Jose Reyes has decided against negotiating a possible deal in-season.
- Alderson added that the Mets’ record won’t necessarily dictate their willingness to trade Reyes (Twitter link). "Whether we’re winning or losing is a lot less relevant in Jose’s case,” he said.
Here are a few stray items of note as Mike Moustakas bashes the first homer of his career for the Royals:
- The Orioles might be wise to trade right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, writes Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun. Guthrie is eligible for arbitration this offseason before hitting free agency after the 2012 campaign. Last week, Tim Dierkes identified Guthrie as a potentially available starter prior to this year's trade deadline.
- The Giants need to acquire a catcher no matter how much they push Eli Whiteside, writes Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, but they're finding ways to win and shouldn't panic to fill their other holes.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin doesn't expect either of Milwaukee's first-round picks — college pitchers Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley — to sign soon, writes Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. Melvin said he encourages draftees to sign as quickly as possible in order to begin their development.
- Tigers manager Jim Leyland, one of three managers included in MLB's Special Committee for On-Field Matters, confirmed Saturday's report that realignment is under consideration, according to Jason Beck and Chris Vannini of MLB.com. Leyland expects some sort of change to come to pass, but he cautioned that these matters can be complicated with so many interested parties.
On this date three years ago, Ken Griffey Jr. hit home run number 600 off of Marlins lefty Mark Hendrickson. Slugger Jim Thome will resume his quest for 600 homers once the Twins activate him from the disabled list (Thome has 593 career homers). Here are today's links…
- The Mets are willing to eat some of Beltran's $18.5MM salary in order to get quality prospects in return, tweets SI.com's Jon Heyman. Approximately $11.4MM is still owed to him this year.
- Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers have signed second round pick Alex Santana (on Twitter). MLB's slot recommendation for the 73rd overall pick is approximately $500K.
- Orioles' scouting director Joe Jordan spoke to MLB.com's Britt Ghiroli about this week's draft, saying they "don’t expect" to set any bonus records for first rounder Dylan Bundy. You can see Baltimore's five largest amateur signing bonuses here.
- Danny Hultzen (Mariners), Taylor Jungmann (Brewers) and Tyler Anderson (Rockies) are among the 2011 draftees who could make an impact in the Major Leagues before long, according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.
- We’re looking forward to seeing pitchers like Hultzen in the big leagues, but building a rotation through the draft is harder than it seems, as Tom Verducci shows at SI.com. Even first rounders have a high rate of failure, Verducci explains.
- Former first rounder Scott Kazmir has a 15.15 ERA with a 13K/16BB ratio in Triple-A, so it appears that it's only a matter of time before the Angels release him, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times.
- Jim Bowden of ESPN.com explains that he would pursue a two-year, $30MM extension with David Ortiz if he were running the Red Sox. Big Papi's consistency, history of health and hot bat all figure in to Bowden's analysis. Ortiz has a .326/.394/.612 line with 15 homers.
Rival executives have wondered whether the Nationals will eventually shift top pick Anthony Rendon to second base, so ESPN.com’s Buster Olney constructs an impressive-looking 2013 Nationals lineup with Rendon at second and prospective free agent Prince Fielder at first base. Here are the rest of Olney’s rumors:
- The Mariners wondered whether Safeco Field would limit Rendon’s offense, but they’re confident that their second overall selection, left-hander Danny Hultzen, will be a good fit in their home ballpark.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin confirmed to Olney that it’s possible (though not likely) that top pick Taylor Jungmann could help them this year.
- Some executives tell Olney that top Orioles pick Dylan Bundy is the greatest pure talent in the draft. He's certainly looking to get paid like an elite talent.
- Olney wonders if Grant Balfour could be dealt to the Rangers, who could use relief help.
- Teams like the Braves and Phillies are looking for offense, so Josh Willingham could become a target if the 27-34 Athletics do become sellers.
In a draft considered by experts to be deep in pitching, six college right-handers possess the talent to rank within the top 20 overall for ESPN's Keith Law, Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein, and Baseball America.
Gerrit Cole, UCLA
Law has Cole going first overall to the Pirates in his most recent mock draft, while Baseball America has him falling to the Royals at #5. Getting Cole is the "dream scenario" for the Royals at #5, according to Law. Cole, who was drafted out of high school by the Yankees in '08, boasts a mid-90s fastball, power slider, and above-average changeup. Experts agree he has the ceiling of a number one starter, and Law says Cole "looks like he could pitch in the big leagues tomorrow if he'd sign soon enough to play." He has, however, struggled with his command at times and hasn't delivered results on par with his abilities. Cole is advised by the Boras Corporation. He has been stingy on providing interviews, but MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith spoke to him in March.
Trevor Bauer, UCLA
Law believes the Diamondbacks could consider Bauer at #3 if Danny Hultzen is gone, but projects him going to the Nationals at #6. Law does not expect Bauer to make it past the Indians at #8. BA went with the Nats in their mock draft. Bauer has been worked heavily and has unorthodox workouts and mechanics. He's said by BA to pattern himself after Tim Lincecum. Bauer comes with lots of strikeouts, good velocity, a plus-plus curveball, an above-average changeup, and a few other pitches too. MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo spoke to him a few days ago.
Taylor Jungmann, Texas
Law projects the Brewers taking Jungmann at #12, with the Mets an option at #13. BA guesses the Astros will take him at #11. Law says the 6'6" Jungmann sits at 91-93 with a hammer curveball and strong command. A few mild concerns have been raised about his delivery, and Goldstein questions whether he has "star-level upside."
Matt Barnes, Connecticut
Law notes that the Padres have interest at #10, which is BA's choice in their mock draft. Barnes draws praise for his fastball and curveball, while questions remain about his command, mechanics, and secondary stuff.
Alex Meyer, Kentucky
Law names the Athletics at #18, the Red Sox at #19, and the Nationals at #23 as possibilities for Meyer, while BA takes the Angels at #17. The 6'9" righty owns a mid-90s fastball and plus-plus slider, but Goldstein finds his performance inconsistent and all gurus say his command is lacking. There is number one starter upside here, says Law. Meyer, who turned down $2MM from the Red Sox as a 20th round pick out of high school three years ago, is advised by the Boras Corporation.
Sonny Gray, Vanderbilt
Gray could be Arizona's choice at their unprotected #7 spot, says Law, while the Padres could be a fit at #10. He's mentioned the Cubs at #9 previously. BA went with the Brewers at #15. Gray is 5'11", but he pitches at 91-94 with what Law describes as a "knockout breaking ball." The idea has been floated that Gray could end up a late-inning reliever. Talking to Ben Nicholson-Smith in February, Gray said he prefers to start but considers himself versatile and enjoyed his time in the bullpen.