Zach Lee Rumors

NL West Notes: Lee, Upton, Pena, Street, Denorfia

We've already checked out some Giants and Rockies rumors today, so let's look around the rest of the NL West…

  • The Dodgers won't trade top pitching prospect Zach Lee for a rental player like Ryan Dempster, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link).  We heard earlier today that Los Angeles had made the Cubs an offer for Dempster.  
  • Though the Diamondbacks and Pirates have had trouble connecting on a trade match for Justin Upton, the outfielder remains "at or near the top" of Pittsburgh's search for a hitter, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
  • The Diamondbacks have signed 16-year-old Dominican outfielder Ismael Pena, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America.  Badler describes Pena as "a 6-foot-3, 175-pound lefty with a sound swing, a good approach and a hit-first, power-second profile. He's an average runner with a 45 to 50 arm on the 20-80 scale."
  • Huston Street was "aggressively" pursued by the Mets last winter, a source tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter link), but through the Mets are searching for bullpen help now, they don't think the Padres will move the closer.  We heard earlier today that the Padres were looking to propose long-term extensions to Street and Carlos Quentin before the trade deadline.
  • Street and Chris Denorfia have drawn more trade interest than Quentin, reports Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
  • Also from Center, the Pirates and Orioles are "among the teams pushing hardest" for Chase Headley.  Center added the Mariners to the long list of Headley's suitors.  The third baseman himself says he has heard "between six and 10 teams" have shown interest.  

Dodgers, Astros Discussing Trade

10:11pm: The Dodgers asked about Lowrie, but he's not in the current talks, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com.  A source says that there's a 50-50 shot that Carlos Lee accepts a deal to Los Angeles for pitching prospects.

9:57pm: Dodgers‬' talks with ‪Astros‬ involve Carlos Lee, not Jed Lowrie, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).  Lee would need to a approve deal and has the right to block a deal to the Dodgers.

9:02pm: The Dodgers are talking to the Astros about a trade that would send Jed Lowrie to the Dodgers with minor-leaguers Zach Lee and Garrett Gould headed to Houston, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter).  One source place the odds of the deal taking place at about 50-50 right now, Olney tweets.

Sources also say that others could be involved in the talks, according to Olney (via Twitter).  Lowrie would provide the Dodgers with options at shortstop and third base to go along with a power bat.  The 28-year-old has a .262/.350/.492 slash line with 14 homers in 68 games this year.

Lee, 20, was the Dodgers' first-round pick in 2010 and signed with the club over attending LSU on a football scholarship.  The right-hander was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga earlier this week after turning in a 4.55 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 12 California League starts in 2012.

Gould, also a right-hander, was the club's second-round pick in '09 out of Wichita, Kansas.  The soon-to-be 21-year-old has made 12 starts and three relief appearances in the California League this year, posting a 5.12 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9.


Draft Notes: Bundy, Bradley, Lee

Baseball’s amateur draft takes place in exactly three weeks. Here’s the latest on some of the top draft prospects and one 2010 draftee who is thriving six appearances into his pro career…

  • Teams are hearing that the asking price for Dylan Bundy is $30MM for six years and that it will cost $20MM over five years to sign Archie Bradley, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (Twitter links). No draft deal has ever been worth $20MM, so the high schoolers' asking prices are sure to scare away less serious teams. 
  • MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes introduced us to Bradley earlier today.  
  • Dodgers right-hander Zach Lee is adapting well to the mental side of the game, Kevin Baxter writes in a piece for Baseball America (subscription required). Lee, who signed last year for a Dodgers-record $5.25MM, chose baseball over football and the results have been good for the 19-year-old. He has a 1.17 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in six starts at Class A.
  • Click here to read Q&As with some prominent members of this year’s draft class.


Dodgers Sign Zach Lee

10:59pm: The Dodgers signed Lee, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (on Twitter). Lee will leave LSU and focus solely on baseball, according to the team. Lee will get a $5.25MM bonus to be spread over five years, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (on Twitter).

8:26pm: The Dodgers are "on the brink" of signing first-round pick Zach Lee, according to Yahoo's Steve Henson (on Twitter). The prep right-hander, who turns 19 next month, was considered a tough sign, partly because he has committed to playing quarterback for LSU's football team. The Dodgers selected Lee 28th overall, a slot for which MLB recommended a $1.134MM bonus a year ago.

Here is the complete list of first-round picks to sign.


LSU Coach Discusses Zach Lee

Louisiana State head football coach Les Miles seems to think the Dodgers will not be signing their first-round pick Zach Lee this year.  In a statement on the LSU football website, Miles said:

"Zach wants to come to LSU, get a degree and play football and baseball for the Tigers.  I met with Zach and his parents today and I think that they are looking at LSU as a great opportunity both academically and athletically.  Zach is an outstanding student and he's excited about the college experience."

Lee begins summer classes today, though the Dodgers technically have until the August 16th deadline to sign him.  Dodgers assistant GM Logan White told Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times on Monday that he's cautiously optimistic about signing Lee and the team did not purposely select an unsignable player to save money.  ESPN's Keith Law wrote recently that the "rumor of the day had the kid saying $6 million wouldn't get him signed."


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.