Yasmani Grandal Rumors

Reds Acquire Latos For Alonso, Grandal, Volquez

The Reds wanted to boost their rotation this winter and the club wasn't afraid to part with a great deal of talent in order to get their man in Mat Latos.  The Reds acquired Latos from the Padres this afternoon for Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger.

Latos turned 24 just over a week ago, but already has more than two full seasons under his belt.  From 2010-11, the right-hander accumulated a 3.21 ERA, 8.9 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, and a 43.7% groundball rate.  Both FIP (3.09) and SIERA (3.33) like Latos quite a bit, and he's not arbitration eligible until after the 2012 season.  The promising young hurler will pair with Johnny Cueto atop the Reds' rotation.

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Alonso, who turns 25 early next season, turned heads with an explosive showing toward the tail end of 2011. He hit .330/.398/.545 down the stretch, albeit in a small sample size of 98 plate appearances. The Reds took Alonso seventh overall in the 2008 draft, and he's ranked in Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects each of the past three seasons. He's trended in the wrong direction, however, ranking 35th, 45th, and 73rd, respectively, from 2009-2011. In 192 Triple-A plate appearances, he owns a .296/.364/.478 triple slash line.

It's unclear as of yet where the Padres view Alonso fitting in, as they also have Anthony Rizzo as a first base option. Rizzo, 22, is considerably younger than Alonso, so it's possible that his struggles in the Majors have the Friars convinced he could use a full season of work in Triple-A, or he himself could become a trade chip. San Diego could also slot Alonso into a corner outfield spot, although scouts agree he's better suited for first base.

Volquez, 28, broke out in his first year with the Reds in 2008 but has not enjoyed the same success since that season.  Thanks to an elbow injury in 2009 and a 50 game suspension for performance enhancing drugs in 2010, the right-hander logged just 112.1 big league innings during that two-year span.  Last season, Volquez turned in a 5.71 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 across 20 starts.  Volquez is arbitration eligible for the second time and will be a free agent after the 2013 campaign.

Grandal, who turned 23 last month, shot up the charts this season by hitting .305/.401/.500 and reaching Triple-A as a 22-year-old. Baseball America ranked him fourth among Reds prospects heading into 2012, writing that he projects as an above average offensive catcher with solid defense. "He has a balanced approach, controls the strike zone and uses the entire field… [he] still has work to do on his receiving and could use a full year in Triple-A."While it's difficult to give up a catcher with that kind of minor league production, the Reds also have Devin Mesoraco, and likely felt they were dealing from a position of depth.

Boxberger ranked 10th on the Cincy farm, according to BA. He struggled with his command all season but still posted a 2.03 ERA in 62 minor league relief innings. He walked 4.1 per nine innings but posted a whopping 13.5 K/9. BA writes that if he can control his pitches like he did in the Arizona Fall League this year, he projects as a setup man and possibly a closer.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first tweeted that Latos was headed to Cincinnati in a deal involving Alonso.  Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweeted that Volquez was also headed to San Diego in the deal.

Photo courtesy of Tony Medina/Icon SMI.


NL Central Rumors: Lee, Soriano, Cardinals, Brewers

The latest on several NL Central teams…

  • The Reds are talking about a lot of trade possibilities and talking about a whole range of players, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.  It is a possibility the Reds use Yonder Alonso as a trade piece to fix other needs, manager Dusty Baker told Jim Bowden on MLB Netowrk Radio.  Baker indicated the Reds will keep prospects Yasmani Grandal and Devin Mesoraco, as well as star first baseman Joey Votto.
  • The Reds outrighted lefty Jeremy Horst, dropping their 40-man roster count to 39, according toMLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
  • ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that the Astros are letting teams know Carlos Lee is out there.  Lee, 35, is owed $18.5MM for 2012 and has ten-and-five rights.  A source close to the Astros' ownership tells Stark interim GM David Gottfried has autonomy to make trades this week.
  • Speaking of mistakes from the 2006-07 offseason, the Cubs are getting a bit of interest in left fielder Alfonso Soriano, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.  Soriano, 35, is owed $54MM through 2014 and has a full no-trade clause.  I think the Cubs would have to eat over $40MM to move Soriano.
  • World Series revenue is not a game-changer for the Cardinals, owner Bill DeWitt Jr. told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the team's payroll is expected to remain around $110MM.  The Cardinals have about $80MM committed to eight players under contract for 2012.
  • The Brewers are in on everyone at several positions, including shortstop and third base, but are not down the road at all on any of them, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.  The Brewers are also known to be actively seeking relief help.

Reds To Sign Yasmani Grandal

The Reds will sign first-round catcher Yasmani Grandal to a major league deal worth $2.99MM, according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. Jon Heyman of SI.com also hears that Grandal will sign for $2.9MM (Twitter link). The University of Miami product becomes the first 2010 draftee to sign a major league deal and will receive a 40-man roster spot.

Grandal, still just 21, played on the 2009 USA Baseball national team. The Red Sox drafted him in the 27th round of the 2007 draft, but he did not sign.

Now 14 first-round picks remain unsigned.



Odds & Ends: Glaus, Orioles, Figgins, Papelbon

Links for Sunday, as Jeremy Hellickson aims for his third win in his third career start….


Reds Rumors: Grandal, Baker, Guillen

The Reds, who lead the NL Central by the slimmest of margins, are considering ways of improving the team now and in the future. Here's the latest:


Odds & Ends: Grandal, Red Sox, Salazar, Rockies

A few links to check out while we wait to see if the Rays can avoid falling out of first place for the first time in nearly two months…


Keith Law’s First-Day Draft Reactions

ESPN's Keith Law found yesterday's first round insane.  To fully understand why you should join ESPN Insider and read his piece, which I heartily recommend.  A few highlights:

  • Law found it interesting that the Brewers snagged high school righty Dylan Covey at #14, because they are a team in need of more immediate rotation help.  GM Doug Melvin explained to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that scouting director Bruce Seid deserves credit for not taking the easy path in the form of a college hurler.  On yesterday's conference call, MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith learned that Covey feels there's a "really good chance" he'll sign rather than attend the University of San Diego.
  • Law felt that the Reds took the best player available at #12 in college catcher Yasmani Grandal, and having strong catching depth in the system will not be a bad thing.
  • The Cardinals drew praise for landing college third baseman Zack Cox, who surprisingly fell to #25.
  • The Red Sox and Angels' many first-round picks were lauded by Law.  College righty Anthony Ranaudo was an intriguing choice by the Red Sox.  The Boras client was considered one of the draft's top talents before suffering a stress reaction in his forearm.  WEEI's Alex Speier has more on Boston's three picks.
  • The biggest surprise of the draft had to be the Cubs taking college righty Hayden Simpson at #16, who was not considered a first rounder by most draft gurus.  Cubs scouting director Tim Wilken told Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune he had it confirmed that other clubs would've taken Simpson before the Cubs picked again at #65.  The Yankees' selection of high school shortstop Cito Culver at #32 was another surprise.
  • The Dodgers took a very tough sign in high school pitcher Zach Lee, who has a commitment to play football at LSU.  Dodgers assistant GM Logan White insisted to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times that the team did not purposely take an unsignable player to save money.

2010 MLB Draft Results

Ever since the A's called Rick Monday's name 45 years ago, teams have relied on the MLB draft to stock their systems with talented young players. Today, teams have the chance to draft the next Joe Mauer (1st overall, 2001), the next Carl Crawford (52nd overall, 1999) or the next Albert Pujols (13th round, 1999). Or, they could end up with the next Matt Bush (1st overall, 2004).

Here's this year's draft order, from River Ave. Blues, to be updated after each selection (links go to MLB.com):

  1. Nationals – Bryce Harper
  2. Pirates – Jameson Taillon
  3. Orioles – Manny Machado
  4. Royals – Christian Colon
  5. Indians – Drew Pomeranz
  6. Diamondbacks – Barret Loux
  7. Mets – Matt Harvey
  8. Astros – Delino DeShields Jr.
  9. Padres – Karsten Whitson
  10. Athletics – Michael Choice
  11. Blue Jays – Deck McGuire
  12. Reds – Yasmani Grandal
  13. White Sox – Chris Sale
  14. Brewers – Dylan Covey
  15. Rangers – Jake Skole
  16. Cubs – Hayden Simpson
  17. Rays – Josh Sale
  18. Angels – Kaleb Cowart
  19. Astros – Michael Foltynewicz
  20. Red Sox – Kolbrin Vitek
  21. Twins – Alex Wimmers
  22. Rangers – Kellin Deglan
  23. Marlins – Christian Yelich
  24. Giants – Gary Brown
  25. Cardinals – Zack Cox
  26. Rockies – Kyle Parker
  27. Phillies – Jesse Biddle
  28. Dodgers – Zach Lee
  29. Angels – Cam Bedrosian
  30. Angels – Chevez Clarke
  31. Rays – Justin O'Conner
  32. Yankees – Cito Culver

Click here for the results of Compensation Round A, picks #33-50.


Draft Links: Ruffin, Pomeranz, Grandal, Wolters

The draft is underway, and we've got another round of links.

  • Mayo hears that the Indians will take Drew Pomeranz and the D'Backs will take Barret Loux (Twitter link).
  • Heyman hears that the Nationals will take Harper, the Pirates will take Jameson Taillon and the O's will take Manny Machado (Twitter link).
  • The White Sox could take Grandal if he's available when they select 13th overall, according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo (via Twitter).
  • In what would be a surprising move, the Reds appear ready to take Chance Ruffin 12th overall, according to Law.
  • Law hears that Pomeranz is sliding and that teams are having "uh-oh" moments because they didn't discuss him enough (Twitter links).
  • Padres executive Paul DePodesta explains that the draft has slowed down over the years. That gives teams the chance to breathe a little more easily between selections.
  • An Orioles official told Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun that the team will likely pick Manny Machado third overall.
  • It looks like the D'Backs will take a college pitcher with their first round pick, but Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic hears they aren't likely to take lefty Drew Pomeranz.
  • The Indians have topped the Royals' predraft offer of $2.9MM to Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal, reports Frankie Piliere of AOL Fanhouse.  Piliere still believes the Royals will take Grandal at #4, but the original agreement is off.  ESPN's Keith Law, meanwhile, heard that the Royals and Grandal had not even discussed money as of Saturday evening.  Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star tweets that the Royals prefer Grandal but are "taking a hard look" at Florida Gulf Coast lefty Chris Sale.  Law has the Royals taking Sale, in a recent chat comment
  • Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein tweets that high school infielder Tony Wolters is in play for the Angels, Blue Jays, and Braves in the late first round or the first compensation round.  Piliere sees the Braves at #35.
  • Goldstein tweets that high school outfielder Drew Vettleson looks like a potential first-round pick, maybe to the Dodgers at #28 (matching the prediction of Baseball America's Jim Callis).  Law has heard Vettleson as a possibility for the Dodgers, Rays, and Yankees.
  • FanGraphs' David Cameron explains that Bryce Harper doesn't necessarily have more value as a catcher than an outfielder.
  • Cameron's colleague Bryan Smith looks at recent draft picks that were questioned at the time they were made.
  • Alex Speier of WEEI outlines Boston's shift toward drafting for impact players starting in '06.
  • SI's Jon Heyman names the biggest booms and busts in draft history. 

Draft Links: Cox, Nats, Tigers, White Sox, Mets

As Mike Rizzo recently suggested, for baseball's general managers and scouting directors, the Super Bowl isn't eight months away — it's tomorrow. Here are a few more links in anticipation of the 2010 draft….

  • Zack Cox is looking for "[Pedro] Alvarez money" which could cause him to slip in the draft, multiple sources tell Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (via Twitter).  Alvarez, taken second overall by the Pirates in 2008, signed a four-year deal worth $6.355MM.  On top of that, Cox is said to be seeking a major league deal, tweets ESPN's Keith Law.
  • The Nats will take Bryce Harper No. 1, barring any drastic changes, GM Mike Rizzo told MASN's Debbi Taylor.  If they do take Harper, Washington will move him to the outfield, according to a baseball source who spoke to Bill Ladson of MLB.com.
  • Despite not having a first round pick, the Tigers are confident they can find talent in the later rounds, writes MLive.com's Steve Kornacki.
  • The Pirates have narrowed their choices to include Manny Machado, Jameson Taillon, or a college pitcher, writes Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.
  • Don't be surprised to see the White Sox draft a college pitcher with the 13th pick, writes MLB.com's Scott Merkin.
  • MLB.com's Bill Ladson spoke with Rizzo, who once again said that they know who they'll select first overall. Rizzo says the player doesn't know he'll be selected, though it's tough to see them passing up consensus top pick Bryce Harper. Rizzo says the second through fifteenth rounds will determine the strength of a draft, and the Nats are "fired up" about it.
  • The latest updates from Fanhouse's Frankie Piliere include the Mets' and Yankees' first-round targets, and more details on the deal the Royals are working toward with Yasmani Grandal. Industry sources tell Piliere it'll be worth "upwards of" $3MM.
  • The Rangers own four of the top 50 picks in the draft, but they'll be on a budget, says Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
  • With the sixth pick, the Diamondbacks could be the wild card of the draft, according to ESPN.com's Keith Law (Insider-only). Their top two choices appear to be Barrett Loux and Chris Sale, who MLBTR's Mike Axisa profiled last week.
  • A potential first-round pick could have already been a Phillie, writes Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Karen Smith of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review conducts a brief Q&A with Pirates director of scouting Greg Smith.