For the most part, the new draft system has reined in costs and pushed players to sign early, writes Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com. However, six first-round picks remain unsigned as the Friday deadline approaches. Of course, the draft pool limit should keep the drama in check as teams are unwilling to overspend to the point where they have to forfeit draft picks. The two most interesting teams to watch figure to be the Pirates (Mark Appel) and the Nationals (Lucas Giolito), Mayo writes. Links from around baseball as Wednesday turns into Thursday..
- If the Padres make Chase Headley available, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter) expects the Orioles to inquire on him. For his part, the third baseman has said that he would prefer to remain in San Diego.
- Phillies outfielder Hunter Pence might have the most trade value of anyone on the team, including Cole Hamels, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Pence, 29, should make close to $15MM through arbitration for 2013.
- It may seem like a no-brainer for the Phillies to have an all-out fire sale, but Richard Justice of MLB.com writes that it's not quite that simple. Philadelphia is leading the majors in attendance for a second straight year and their core players believe that they can still make a run in 2012. Regardless, one has to imagine that Ruben Amaro Jr. & Co. will make trades with the future in mind.