Some rumblings out of both the AL and NL West divisions…
- The Mariners and Diamondbacks discussed a potential trade earlier this week that would’ve sent Mike Leake to Arizona, though in the words of FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (video link), these negotiations “never got serious.” As we heard on Thursday, Leake was never contacted about the trade, which would’ve been a necessary step since Leake has a no-trade clause in his contract. Given that the M’s have shown a willingness to eat money in trades of their veteran players, Leake could have been (and perhaps even still is) a particularly attractive option to a D’Backs team that doesn’t have a ton of payroll room. In Leake’s case, Seattle would also be sharing the financial burden with the Cardinals. As per the terms of the trade that brought Leake to the Mariners from the Cardinals, St. Louis was responsible for $9MM of the $36MM owed to Leake over the 2019-20 seasons.
- In the words of one Padres official, there is still an “outside chance” that the club could ink 23rd-round draft pick Maurice Hampton, Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes, despite Hampton’s commitment to play both baseball and football at LSU. Hampton reportedly wanted a $2.75MM bonus to begin his pro baseball career, and while the team believes this asking price may have dropped, it still represented a hefty enough demand that Hampton fell to the 23rd round despite a consensus top-50 prospect ranking in the eyes of draft evaluators. Since Hampton was taken beyond the top ten rounds, any contract he signs worth more than $100K would see that excess money subtracted from San Diego’s $10,758,900 draft pool, leaving the Padres with less money to sign their other picks. However, the team has been trying to create extra financial space within their pool — the Padres took four college seniors (who have less negotiating leverage) with their picks in the seventh thru tenth rounds, and saved almost $543K when sixth overall pick CJ Abrams agreed to a below-slot bonus.
- Yordan Alvarez enjoyed a dream debut in the majors today, going 1-for-3 with a walk and his first MLB home run, a two-run blast that proved to be the winning score in Houston’s 4-0 win over Baltimore. The young Astros slugger is considered one of the game’s most promising young bats, though there is far from a consensus on his overall value as a prospect, The Athletic’s Jake Kaplan writes (subscription required). Alvarez is largely seen as a bat-only player, with limited defensive value as a left fielder or first baseman despite some solid athleticism for a man of his size (6’5″, 225 pounds). “Any projection of Alvarez’s future value will take a hit by an evaluator who doesn’t believe he can stick in left,” Kaplan writes, and he speaks to several writers from sites such as Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, and MLB.com about why Alvarez received a pretty wide range of rankings.