All-Stars Jonathan Lucroy, Carlos Gonzalez and Jay Bruce spent their All-Star media day answering awkward questions about trade rumors, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick writes. “Trade rumors?” said Lucroy to a reporter. “You’re the seventh person to ask me about that. But that’s OK. We’ll go over it again.” Bruce, meanwhile, was practical about the prospect of heading elsewhere. “It behooves [the Reds] to take a look into every situation where they can possibly improve the franchise,” he said. “I’m 29 and all of a sudden I’m not so young anymore. Every player that plays wants a chance to win a World Series, and I think the Reds are a couple of years away from being in that picture again.” Here’s more from the National League.
- Pirates Comp Round A pick Nick Lodolo looks likeliest to be the highest unsigned pick in this year’s draft, MLB.com’s Jim Callis tweets. Lodolo, a lanky high school lefty from California, has a commitment to TCU. Via MLB.com’s draft signing and bonus tracker, three picks above Lodolo remain unsigned — seventh overall pick Braxton Garrett (Marlins), 12th overall pick Jason Groome (Red Sox) and No. 31 pick Anthony Kay (Mets).
- Part of Nationals All-Star Wilson Ramos’ breakout this year might be due to the LASIK surgery he had last offseason, but Ramos also cites his offseason training, writes Mark Zuckerman of MASN. Significantly, Ramos was able to train in the US with his family last winter. The Nationals front office helped Ramos acquire visas for several members of his family, and Ramos was able to spend the offseason free from worry about himself or his family being in the midst of the instability of his native Venezuela (where Ramos himself was kidnapped several years ago). “The other offseasons, as soon as the season would finish, I would go back to Venezuela, try to spend time with my family. And the resources down there are obviously not the same as we have here,” says Ramos. “[H]aving them here, I’m able to do both, work and focus on my job at hand as well as enjoy time with my family, which has made a big difference. I just feel more relaxed and more comfortable having them around.”