Some links for Friday morning…
- Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports that the Rays are nearing deals with several top draft picks, including first rounder LeVon Washington.
- Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle doesn't expect the Astros to lower their 2010 payroll by more than about 15%, though attendance is declining steadily.
- Just like old times. As Adam Kilgore of the Boston Globe reports, David Ortiz is struggling again.
- How does a 22nd round pick sign for $1MM? Cameron Coffey showed improved stuff this spring, but even he had no intention of signing until the Orioles came at him with a $990k offer recently, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America.
- As Callis notes, the Rangers signed fifth round righty Nick McBride for $325k, which nearly doubles MLB's recommended bonus for his slot.