The Reds will have until 5pm EST on Friday to reach agreement with second overall pick Hunter Greene. As MLB.com’s Jim Callis explains, he’s among a few top picks who have yet to agree to terms, but is still expected to do so. Indeed, as Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer further explains, it’d rate as quite a surprise if Greene doesn’t take a record-setting bonus offer to turn pro before the deadline.
Here’s more from the NL Central:
- Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein warned today that outside additions won’t solve the club’s woes, as Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com was among those to report. Epstein says the defending World Series champs “can’t force anything” at the trade deadline. Whatever changes to the roster are ultimately made, he says, the organization’s “biggest fixes are inside the clubhouse.” That hardly establishes (or even really suggests) that Chicago won’t look to improve at the deadline, of course. And it certainly doesn’t hint that Epstein lacks in confidence in the existing talent. Indeed, he also says he expects the club to return to the high level of play it has carried over the past two seasons. Caveats aside, Epstein did indicate that the Cubs aren’t exactly looking to structure any deadline blockbusters. “We’ll do what we can to look to augment that,” he said, “but there’s not going to be a fundamental shift in the player personnel that we have.”
- The Reds may or may not have much interest in dealing away 27-year-old reliever Raisel Iglesias, but other teams are surely eyeing the quality righty and his appealing contract. It’s unsurprising to hear, then, that the closer-needy Nationals have at least some degree of interest in Iglesias, as MLB.com’s Jon Morosi tweets. On paper, the fit is plenty clear. But it remains to be seen what kind of asking price the Reds will place on Iglesias — who is currently sitting on a 1.59 ERA while maintaining a jump in velocity this year — and whether the Nats will be willing to offload significant prospects to get him.
- Similarly, rival organizations are surely wonder whether the Pirates have any inclination to take offers on righty Gerrit Cole. There’s nothing definitive in that regard, but Jon Heyman of Fan Rag writes (among many other National League notes) that the Bucs are giving indication that Cole isn’t likely to be traded. Perhaps an overwhelming offer could shift the thinking, but it seems clear that Pittsburgh isn’t itching to cash in on Cole with two more years of arbitration control remaining — particularly with his value perhaps tipping down somewhat. While he has been healthy, Cole has had the roughest year of his career thus far, allowing 1.59 home runs per nine and carrying a 4.43 ERA over 107 2/3 frames.