Zack Wheeler Rumors
Mets owner Fred Wilpon offered some revealing comments about his players and his finances in recent interviews with the New Yorker and Sports Illustrated. Here’s the latest on the Mets, including more fallout from Wilpon’s words:
- Carlos Beltran told Newsday’s David Lennon that he’s not an incomplete player, as Wilpon suggested (Twitter link). "I'm not 65 or 70 percent,” Beltran said. “I'm 100 percent."
- Mets ownership has chosen a preferred bidder to buy a minority stake in the team, according to Josh Kosman and Lenn Robbins of the New York Post. The Mets are in advanced talks with a group led by former commodities trader Ray Bartoszek and investor Anthony Lanza, according to the Post.
- The Mets' front office has not yet provided manager Terry Collins with guidelines for using Francisco Rodriguez, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. If the closer finishes 55 games, a $17.5MM option vests for 2012, something the Mets would surely like to avoid.
- Sherman can only see a team trading for Rodriguez as a setup man or part-time closer.
- Giants prospect Zack Wheeler told Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group that he’s happy in the Giants organization, but finds it flattering to hear himself mentioned as possible trade bait for players like Jose Reyes. "It is a compliment, but also you're with a really good franchise right now that treats pitchers really good and they're good at developing pitchers," Wheeler said.
Now that top prospects Eric Hosmer and Jose Iglesias are in the majors, Jon Heyman of SI.com examines the minors’ top prospects. Mariners infield prospect Dustin Ackley, the second overall pick behind Stephen Strasburg two years ago, is "over-rated'' and without a clear defensive position in the opinion on one NL executive. Here’s Heyman’s latest from around the league:
- The Giants and Mets don’t appear to be talking about Jose Reyes at the moment, but the rumors won’t stop until the calendar flips to August or another team acquires the shortstop. Heyman hears from one person who believes the Mets would “have to” send Reyes to San Francisco if they could get pitching prospect Zack Wheeler in return.
- MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes suggested Wheeler as a possible target for the Mets last week.
- In off-field news, Heyman reports that the Mets are getting more interest than expected from buyers interested in a minority stake in the team.
- The Rangers hope Cuban outfield prospect Leonys Martin, who signed last week, can help them in 2011.
- The Reds were among the teams that bid on Martin, according to Heyman.
The Giants signed sixth overall pick Zack Wheeler for $3.3MM, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America. BA has slot at about $2.34MM for that position. Wheeler will make his pro debut in 2010, says Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. Wheeler is a high school righty from Georgia; click here for MLB.com's 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.
A final round of updates for the draft, which is now just half an hour away...
- Baseball America's John Manuel confirms Jon Heyman's report that the deadline for signing draft picks has been bumped back two days to August 17th.
- Steve Melewski of MASN.com reports that the O's are interested in Zack Wheeler and Matt Hobgood with the 5th pick.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law says the Orioles would take Hobgood if the Padres choose Wheeler.
- Mark Bowman of MLB.com says it's a shame that Wheeler will likely be off the board by the time the Braves select 7th.
- Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post says the Rockies, picking 11th, have interest in Hobgood and Bobby Borchering, a favorite of the D'Backs.
- Paul DePodesta will blog about each Padres selection from an insider's perspective.
Some more links in anticipation of this evening's draft...
- Jon Heyman of SI.com says the signing deadline has been pushed back to August 17th because the 15th is a Saturday. The Nats' negotiations with Scott Boras will probably go down to the wire regardless, so it barely matters. If anything it's bad news for the Nats, as they'll have less time to prepare their probable selection, Stephen Strasburg, for a late-season cameo.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic says the D'Backs could choose two hitters with their 16th and 17th picks. They like Bobby Borchering, but he may not be available to them.
- Nolan Ryan expects the Rangers to select a pitcher when they pick 14th, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.
- MLB.com's Doug Miller rounds up major leaguers' responses to this question: Has any prospect ever received more hype than Strasburg?
- And here's the final projection MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo will make. He has Dustin Ackley going to Seattle, Donavan Tate going to San Diego, Tony Sanchez going to Pittsburgh and Zack Wheeler going to Baltimore.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law has the same five players going in the same order. Interestingly, Law has Aaron Crow and Tanner Scheppers out of the first round, in large part because they're expected to demand lots of money.
Ed Price of MLB FanHouse has a new article up, with notes on the draft and around the Majors.
- Price writes, "'The bottom line is there is a consensus,' said an industry source who monitors the draft closely, 'and that consensus is: There's no consensus after [Stephen] Strasburg.' The source said he has counted 63 players who could be taken in the 32 choices of the first round."
- Price also gives us an industry insiders "educated guess on the top five: Strasburg to Washington, [North Carolina's Dustin] Ackley to Seattle, Vanderbilt lefty Mike Minor to San Diego, former Missouri right-hander Aaron Crow to Pittsburgh and Georgia high-school right-hander Zack Wheeler to Baltimore."
- Due to free-agent compensation picks and "the rule that gives a team that fails to sign a high choice a corresponding pick the next year", the White Sox have 3 of the first 61 picks. Arizona has 7 of the first 64. Colorado has 3 of the first 34. The Angels have 5 of the first 48.
- The Mets first pick is 72nd overall. The Phillies first is 75th.
- The first three rounds of the draft are this Tuesday, with the first round on MLB Network.
- The Astros are not in "dump mode," says Price. Quoting a person familiar with Drayton McLane, "'His track record is when everybody says you should dismantle [he doesn't]," the person said. 'He's been so lucky.'"
- With Jed Lowrie returning and the ballclub winning, the Red Sox are not looking to add a bat and instead can wait to see if David Ortiz improves.
- The Giants want a bat, but they won't give up premium young pitching.
Some non-McLouth, non-Glavine links to start your Thursday off...
- On draft day, the Orioles, who pick fifth, will have an ordered list of their top five players and will choose the highest ranked player remaining regardless of position according to Jim Hunter of MASN.com.
- Roch Kubatko of MASN.com would like to see the O's use their pick on a high school arm: either Zack Wheeler or Jacob Turner.
- The D'Backs will have a bigger draft budget than usual, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. They could spend "in the neighborhood of $10MM," since they have seven of the first 64 picks. Not bad, considering the Mets won't have picked once by then.
- The Yankees don't get anything if they can't sign the player they choose 29th overall so, as MLB.com's Brian Hoch reports, signability is a factor.
- Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post wonders if Garrett Atkins could be in line for a demotion to Triple A.
- Jose Lima's making a comeback! MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports that Lima visited the Dodger Stadium press box last night.
- Jorge Says No! chatted with Garry Templeton, Lima's manager, about the 36-year-old pitcher. Apparently he still throws 90 mph.
- Check out this clip of David Ortiz's visit with Torii Hunter on Hanging with Mr. Hunter.