Storylines: Rodriguez settles legal matters
A-Rod has finally resolved his legal issues, and is eyeing a return to the field in '15.
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Friday, June 20.
- One of the best players left in Cuba — outfielder Yasmani Tomas — has defected and will pursue a contract in Major League Baseball, Baseball America's Ben Badler reported.
- A spokesperson for Alex Rodriguez told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that all legal matters pertaining to A-Rod have been resolved. Rodriguez fully plans to play in 2015, the spokesperson added.
- Prior to Friday's game against the Tigers, the Indians promoted right-hander Vinnie Pestano from Triple-A Columbus and optioned starter Zach McAllister to the same affiliate. Cleveland, which does not require a fifth starter until July 1, now has nine relievers in hand.
- According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, Nick Swisher's game-winning grand slam on Thursday marked the 74th walk-off home run in Progressive Field history (1994-present). That is by far the most by any Major League team over that time period. In that same span, the A's rank second with 56 walk-off home runs at the Coliseum. The Dodgers (51) and Red Sox (49) rank third and fourth, respectively.
News and Notes:
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports stated that he feels this will finally be the year that the Rays deal David Price, as they can receive max value for him by dealing their ace to a team that can use him for two playoff pushes. He also added that he expects the Rays to move Ben Zobrist, even though his price tag is affordable, simply because the demand for Zobrist will be so high.
- Hanley Ramirez's poor glove is perhaps the main reason that he and the Dodgers have yet to agree to an extension, Rosenthal also wrote. He wondered how much that flaw will impact Ramirez's value on the open market at a time when teams are placing a higher premium than ever before on defense. He added that if Ramirez does stay in L.A. and shift to third base in the long-term on his next contract, the team may have to trade Juan Uribe and his $6.5 million 2015 salary.
- Looking at other Dodgers issues, Rosenthal wrote that many executives around the league expect that it will ultimately be Matt Kemp who is traded to clear the team's outfield logjam, though it likely won't happen until the offseason. He added that the Dodgers are likely to be in the market for a starting pitcher after the news that Chad Billingsley is out for the season, as Josh Beckett and Dan Haren are tough to rely on down the stretch.
- Grady Sizemore officially cleared release waivers yesterday and became a free agent, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported. Now that he's on the open market, multiple clubs are interested, making it unlikely that he would sign a minor league deal and head to Boston's Triple-A affiliate, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports added that the Phillies, among other teams, have reached out. Meanwhile Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN told one of his followers that the Twins haven't reached out to their former AL Central rival.
- The Diamondbacks announced that they designated righty J.J. Putz for assignment and reinstated outfielder Ender Inciarte from the seven-day disabled list.
- The Cubs promoted top prospect Kris Bryant from Double-A to Triple-A Thursday, but as MLB.com's Carrie Muskat wrote, president Theo Epstein doesn't feel the 2013 No. 2 overall pick's development is complete yet. Despite Bryant's tremendous minor league success, Epstein told reporters, including the Daily Herald's Bruce Miles, that he doesn't expect Bryant to be promoted to the Major Leagues this season.
Draft Signing Updates:
- As noted by Baseball America earlier this week, the White Sox have $6.58 million that they can spend on top pick Carlos Rodon without losing future draft picks. Chicago's situation with Rodon is somewhat similar to the one the Mariners faced with Alex Jackson, with whom they agreed to terms earlier this week. Both Rodon and Jackson are advised by Scott Boras, and both teams signed picks 2-10 prior to dealing with their first-rounder. Because picks beyond the 10th round don't count against a team's bonus pool (unless a team gives a bonus of more than $100,000 in rounds 11-40), that basically places a firm limit on what type of bonus they can offer. If anything, Jackson may have had more leverage as a high school player. MLB.com's Jim Callis recently noted that he fully expects Chicago to sign Rodon, though he added that the Sox haven't inked a notable Boras draftee since Alex Fernandez back in 1990.
- While the Mets and top pick Michael Conforto are in agreement on a signing bonus in the range of $2.987 million, as reported earlier in the week, there does appear to be a bit of work left to do before the deal becomes official, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports wrote. It isn't clear exactly what the holdup is at this time, he added, stating that it could be an issue of language within the contract. Whatever the issue, his signing bonus doesn't appear to be a factor anymore.
- The Diamondbacks officially announced a deal with first-round selection Touki Toussaint. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reported that a deal was close. His bonus is expected to exceed the $2,338,200 slot allocation that came with the 16th overall pick, though precise details remain unknown.
- Cardinals third-rounder Trevor Megill decided to return to college for his senior season rather than sign with St. Louis, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. Megill's draft stock plummeted after he required Tommy John prior to his junior season at Loyola Marymount. MLB.com's Jen Langosch noted recently that Megill would likely require an over-slot bonus or would return for his senior year.