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Tyler Matzek Rumors
The rise of Pirates call-up Gregory Polanco from a virtually unknown international signee to a top prospect has been quite rare in recent history, writes Alex Speier in an ESPN Insider piece. Slowly but surely, the 22-year-old tightened his skills to match his raw tools, and his now-obvious upside emerged.
Here’s more from the National League:
- While Polanco is undoubtedly an exciting addition for the Pirates, the team should nevertheless be prepared to sell over the summer, opines Paul Swydan of ESPN.com (Insider link). Russell Martin and Francisco Liriano are among the pieces that the team could consider moving, he says. Meanwhile, the Mets and Padres are other NL clubs that Swydan says should look to move pieces.
- While Swydan does not discuss their situation, the Phillies also seem like possible sellers, though it is hard to know the club’s thinking. Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com discusses the trade-worthiness of several of the team’s possible deadline chips.
- The Mets‘ struggles this year are bad enough that they have shifted the team’s seemingly promising trajectory, writes Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. The team’s key cog, third baseman David Wright, says that he remains committed to the Mets and has no desire to be dealt. (Of course, that seems a rather unlikely outcome regardless.) “I knew that when I signed my extension, I knew that things were not going to be easy,” he said. “If I wanted the easy way out, I would have signed somewhere else. The challenge of it, the loyalty to the organization, the direction I think we’re going, yes, we’ve gone through some rough stretches … but that is the process.”
- The Rockies, who dropped their ninth of ten games tonight, are now dealing with another spate of bad injury news. In addition to placing recent top prospect call-up Eddie Butler on the 15-day DL after his first big league start, the team learned today that it will be without two key veterans for some time. Star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez will undergo exploratory surgery on the left index finger that has bothered him this year, reports Nick Groke of the Denver Post (via Twitter). And right fielder Michael Cuddyer has suffered a fracture of the glenoid socket in his right shoulder, which will keep him out for at least six to eight weeks, as Cody Ulm of MLB.com reports on Twitter. Now well off the pace in the NL West, the Rockies would need a quick turnaround to position themselves as contenders as the trade deadline approaches.
- In need of arms, the Rockies will call up 23-year-old lefty Tyler Matzek to start on Wednesday against the Braves, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports on Twitter. Once a top-25 prospect league-wide and the 11th overall choice in the 2009 draft, Matzek has climbed through the minors even as his prospect shine has dimmed somewhat. After opening the year rated 12th among Colorado prospects by Baseball America, which noted that struggles with consistency and command could push him to the bullpen, Matzek has worked to a 4.05 ERA in his first 66 2/3 innings at the Triple-A level. More importantly, perhaps, he has worked to a career-best 4.2 BB/9 at Colorado Springs while also racking up 8.2 K/9.
- ESPN.com’s Keith Law has posted his round-up (Insider link) of the draft haul from National League clubs. He says that the Diamondbacks brought back an impressive haul across the board, and casts some doubt on some of the Cubs‘ early-round selections while noting that the team went after high-upside arms further down.
Here are a few items of note out of the NL West, where only 7.5 games separated the first- and last-place clubs entering Tuesday's action:
- Padres first baseman Anthony Rizzo may be called up as soon as Wednesday, according to a baseball source, writes Corey Brock of MLB.com. Friars GM Jed Hoyer said that Rizzo is "close to ready," tweets Brock.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers is making all the right moves, writes Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic. Chiefly, Towers has improved the Snakes' bullpen and bench, cut down on the lineup's strikeouts, and improved the clubhouse, according to Bordow.
- The Rockies stayed true to tradition by selecting a left-handed pitcher in the first round, writes Jack Etkin of Baseball America (subscription needed). The Rox were thought to be on a position player but instead opted for college southpaw Tyler Anderson out of Oregon. Previously, they took Christian Friedrich and Tyler Matzek in the first rounds of the 2008 and '09 Drafts, respectively.
Some links to peruse this morning:
- Joel Sherman at the New York Post asked seven top team executives who they'd rather have manning second base over the next five years: Dustin Pedroia or Robinson Cano? Click over for the results.
- Bill Center at the San Diego Union-Tribune hears that the the Padres are interested in keeping impending free agent backstop Henry Blanco.
- The Rockies' newly-signed lefty phenom Tyler Matzek said a "gut feeling" led him to ink his $3.9MM deal with the team with only 10 minutes left till deadline, forgoing his career at the University of Oregon, according to the Associated Press. My gut says that $3.9MM is kind of a lot of money, but that could be just me.
The Rockies agreed to terms with 11th overall pick Tyler Matzek, according to Tracy Ringolsby of Inside the Rockies. His signing bonus is worth $3.9MM. The Rox obviously went well over slot, but they were able to sign the high school lefty without committing to a Major League deal. Click here to see Matzek's MLB.com scouting report.
In his latest blog post at ESPN.com, Peter Gammons says that there "are rumblings that the commissioner's office wants to hold off the announcement of some of the bigger deals so they do not impact others." He hears the following deals are done according to GMs:
- Padres and first rounder Donovan Tate at $6.7MM, which had been done for five days
- Tigers and first rounder Jacob Turner at $6.7MM
- Tigers and second rounder Andy Oliver at $1MM
Gammons also says that the Giants and first rounder Zack Wheeler are close to a deal at $3.4MM, and that there are "conflicting reports" on Colorado signing Tyler Matzek and Texas signing Matt Purke, both first round picks. The Indians and Alex White are deadlocked, but the Tribe could go near $2MM.
I think we're in the eye of the draft storm, because things suddenly got quiet…
- Baseball America's Jim Callis reports that the Red Sox have signed ninth rounder Kendal Volz for $550K. Volz was considered a first round talent coming into the year, but a down season at Baylor dropped his stock.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post notes that Rockies first rounder Tyler Matzek didn't attend classes at Oregon today, an indication that he's interested in signing. Renck says it's hard to believe he'd sign for less than the $2.875MM Shelby Miller got from the Cardinals.
- The Mets are "still haggling" with top pick Steven Matz, according to SI.com's Jon Heyman.
- The Diamondbacks signed seventh rounder Matt Helm for $500,000, according to Callis.
- Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus writes that there is "very little optimism right now coming out of clubs with unsigned picks." He estimates that we're looking at as many as six first rounders going unsigned by the midnight deadline.
- Make sure you check out our list of the first round picks who have signed to stay up to date with all the goings on of the draft.
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More updates, as the deadline approaches…
- Baseball America's Jim Callis reports that the Brewers signed third rounder Brooks Hall for $700k. Hall was a two-way player in high school, but he'll focus on pitching as a pro.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com points out that the Red Sox, who didn't draft any Scott Boras clients, have spent aggresively on players who fell because of perceived signability issues.
- DJ Bean of WEEI.com shows that the Red Sox have a history of drafting and spending aggressively under Theo Epstein. However, they are able to "draw a line in the sand" when necessary.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post hears that the Rockies and Tyler Matzek are still far apart in their negotiations, though that doesn't mean they won't agree to a deal.