Yasmani Grandal Rumors
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:
- The team has not made progress with top pick Yasmani Grandal, according to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. GM Walt Jocketty predicts that "it'll probably go down to the wire." Click here to vote on which top draft picks will sign.
- The Reds have approached manager Dusty Baker about a possible extension according to Sheldon. Jocketty says he expects talks with Baker to pick up within a couple weeks.
- The club's front office has not yet discussed former Red Jose Guillen, who was just designated for assignment by the Royals, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
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...
- The Reds have made initial contact with the representatives for Yasmani Grandal according to John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer. GM Walt Jocketty said they will continue talks this week with 2010's 12th overall draft pick.
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier mentions that when Felix Doubront started for the Red Sox last night, he became the first Latin American player signed and developed by the Theo Epstein regime to reach the big league. ESPN's Jorge Arangure mentions (via Twitter) the Boston hasn't had a homegrown Latin American position player since the early 1990's.
- Meanwhile, MLB.com's Peter Gammons says (via Twitter) that only two teams were willing to take Manny Ramirez off Boston's hands two years ago even if they footed the bill: the Marlins and Dodgers. The Red Sox's requests for Mike Stanton and Andre Ethier were met with "no thank yous."
- MLB.com's Corey Brock, Brittany Ghiroli, and Gina Mizeli spoke to Oscar Salazar, who reflected on the trade that send him from the Orioles to the Padres last year.
- The Rockies will look at the middle infield market, but ESPN's Buster Olney tweets they're likely to just ride out Troy Tulowitzki's absence with what they have in house. He does however mention that Dan Uggla is one name to watch.
- Both Jhonny Peralta and Kerry Wood offered up the stock "it's out of my control" response when asked about the possibility of being traded, according to Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
- Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post says the idea of the Rockies' acquiring Cliff Lee is wishful thinking. The team would have to get back in the playoff race and show it can compete without Troy Tulowitzki before ownership would consider adding Lee's salary to the payroll.
- The Cardinals had interest in signing Ben Sheets this winter according to Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but the righthander's price was too high. “If he wants to prove his value here, we’d have interest,” said manager Tony La Russa. “It turns out he had value that wasn’t going to work.”
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.
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):
- Nationals - Bryce Harper
- Pirates - Jameson Taillon
- Orioles - Manny Machado
- Royals - Christian Colon
- Indians - Drew Pomeranz
- Diamondbacks - Barret Loux
- Mets - Matt Harvey
- Astros - Delino DeShields Jr.
- Padres - Karsten Whitson
- Athletics - Michael Choice
- Blue Jays - Deck McGuire
- Reds - Yasmani Grandal
- White Sox - Chris Sale
- Brewers - Dylan Covey
- Rangers - Jake Skole
- Cubs - Hayden Simpson
- Rays - Josh Sale
- Angels - Kaleb Cowart
- Astros - Michael Foltynewicz
- Red Sox - Kolbrin Vitek
- Twins - Alex Wimmers
- Rangers - Kellin Deglan
- Marlins - Christian Yelich
- Giants - Gary Brown
- Cardinals - Zack Cox
- Rockies - Kyle Parker
- Phillies - Jesse Biddle
- Dodgers - Zach Lee
- Angels - Cam Bedrosian
- Angels - Chevez Clarke
- Rays - Justin O'Conner
- Yankees - Cito Culver
Click here for the results of Compensation Round A, picks #33-50.
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.
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.
If this morning's round of draft-related links wasn't enough, here's some more reading material to prepare you for Monday....
- The Cardinals are targeting left-handed pitching, speed, and power in the draft, according to Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo hears that the Royals don't quite have an agreement in place with Yasmani Grandal yet, but that Grandal is still the favorite to go fourth overall to Kansas City.
- Rany Jazayerli outlines why he thinks the Royals' draft positions in recent years have been unlucky.
- Within Peter Gammons' MLB.com piece on the draft, one National League GM says that after the top three of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Jameson Taillon, "there's virtually no difference between the fourth and 44th picks."
- ESPN.com's Keith Law tweets that the Brewers, Astros, Marlins, and Yankees are interested in right-hander Luke Jackson, who looks increasingly like a first-round pick.
- Continuing their three-part preview of Tampa Bay's draft, DRaysBay examines some players the Rays could target with their first few picks.
- Fanhouse's Frankie Piliere runs down the latest draft buzz he's heard and updates his predictions for the first 15 picks.
- Former Athletic Scott Hatteberg is helping out with the club's draft preparation, according to Joe Stiglich of the Oakland Tribune (via Twitter).
A few links to check out with the draft less than 60 hours away...
- The Pirates still don't know who they're going to select with the second overall pick according to The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Karen Price. "But it's not going to be one of those things where all of a sudden you're going to say, 'I didn't see that one coming,' " said head scout Greg Smith.
- Bernardo Fallas of The Houston Chronicle says that Derek Dietrich, Brett Eibner, and Chad Bettis all signed releases allowing the Astros to re-draft them. Houston selected all three out of high school in 2007 but didn't sign any of them, and a player has to consent to being re-drafted by a club. All three are considered top 100 prospects by ESPN's Keith Law (sub. req'd) and Baseball America. The Astros hold three of the top 33 picks.
- Law echoes the report of the Royals pursuing a deal with Yasmani Grandal, and says it could push Chris Sale to the Diamondbacks and give the Mets their choice of Zack Cox or Matt Harvey (sub. req'd).
- He also hears that Grandal going to Kansas City would put the White Sox back on college pitching, and that the Giants have interest in Yordy Cabrera for the 24th overall pick.
- Law also mentions that the Padres have narrowed their options for the ninth overall pick down to Michael Choice and Kolbrin Vitek.
- Zachary Levine of The Houston Chronicle looks at five of the best high school hitters available, as well as the Astros' top picks by decade.
- Meanwhile, Bob Brookover of The Philadelphia Inquirer reviews the Phillies' draft picks from the last decade.
The Royals are believed to have a deal in place with Yasmani Grandal for the fourth overall pick, industry sources tell Frankie Piliere of Fanhouse.com (via Twitter). Yesterday, an MLB executive told ESPN's Keith Law that Grandal is looking for "Buster Posey money". Posey received a $6.2MM bonus from the Giants.
Kansas City has been linked to the catcher since April when it was first rumored that they were looking at him as a candidate for the fourth overall pick. In his latest mock draft, Law has Grandal falling to the Reds at the 12th overall selection. However, he ranks the University of Miami product as the ninth best prospect in the draft.
Our own Mike Axisa recently took a look at Grandal, calling him the best all-around catcher in the 2010 draft.
The countdown is on for MLB scouting directors. The draft is just days away, so it's time for them to rank hundreds of players. Here are the latest links on the 2010 draft:
- The Rangers' ownership problems means the team will be focusing on easily-signable players, reports Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com.
- Steve Gilbert of MLB.com thinks the Diamondbacks will look to add pitching after spending most of their early picks in the 2009 draft on position players. He also doesn't think Arizona will pay above slot to sign a player.
- Lou Montanez, Matt Wieters and Nick Markakis tell MLB.com's Spencer Fordin what they remember about being drafted.
- Bryce Harper may have played his last amateur game and it's not just because the draft is approaching. He received a two-game suspension after being ejected, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale (Twitter link). MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has video of the ejection.
- ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill hears that the Mets are high on Drew Pomeranz and Josh Sale. The Mets' decision could come down to players' asking prices, however.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law says the Mets could have a shot at Manny Machado, since the clubs picking between Pittsburgh and New York haven't shown clear interest in the high school shortstop.
- Rival scouts and executives expect the Red Sox and Blue Jays to be big spenders in the draft this year, according to Law.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian that the Jays will not shy away from tough signs.
- An MLB executive told Law that catcher Yasmani Grandal is looking for "Buster Posey money." Posey received a $6.2MM bonus from the Giants.
- If you're wondering who your team might select, check out this mock draft by three Baseball America writers.