Ray Ratto

Which MLB team failed to sign its first-round pick?

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Which MLB team failed to sign its first-round pick?

From Comcast SportsNet Tuesday, August 16, 2011
NEW YORK (AP) -- UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole was among 22 of 23 first-round draft picks beating the deadline to sign, with the top selection in June's amateur draft agreeing late Monday night to a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates that includes an 8 million signing bonus. "It's essentially the largest signing bonus ever given an amateur player," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. "Sometimes, it's more advantageous for a player to take a minor league contract with a bonus that can be spread over nine months than a major league contract that would be spread out over four years." Cole turned down an 8.5 million major league contract running through 2016. His agent, Scott Boras, said the pitcher projects to earn an additional 1.4 million under this deal. "We feel Gerrit is going to be in the major leagues in a year," Boras said. Only 10 first-round picks -- and just one among the first nine players selected -- had agreements with one hour left before the midnight deadline. By the end of the night, the only first-round pick without a deal was right-hander Tyler Beede, taken by Toronto with the 21st pick. Because he failed to sign, the Blue Jays will receive an extra-first round selection after the 21st choice next year. Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen, the No. 2 pick, agreed to an 8.5 million, five-year contract with Seattle that included a 6.35 million signing bonus. Dylan Bundy, a high school right-hander selected fourth by Baltimore, got a 6.25 million, five-year contract. Among the lower rounds, the Chicago Cubs agreed to a 1,275,000 signing bonus with California high school outfielder Shawon Dunston Jr., an 11th-round pick. His father was the No. 1 overall pick by Chicago in 1982. The Cubs also agreed to a 375,000 bonus with seventh-round selection Trevor Gretzky, the baseball-playing son of hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky. Dereck Rodriguez, son of the 14-time All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez, agreed to a 130,000 deal with Minnesota. D-Rod was a sixth-round pick. Boras was negotiating for the top pick for the third straight year after reaching agreements with Washington for pitcher Stephen Strasburg (15.1 million over four years) and outfielder Bryce Harper (9.9 million over five years). Three years ago, Cole decided not to sign after the Yankees selected him with the 28th overall pick. He was 6-8 with a 3.31 ERA for the Bruins as a junior, but the Pirates decided his potential outweighed his latest statistics. The deal was reached about 15 minutes before the deadline. "There was an ebb and flow to them all night," Huntington said. "At times, everything seemed to be going really well and then there would be times where we seemed to be moving apart." Pittsburgh also gave a 5 million deal to second-round pick Josh Bell, a high school outfielder from Dallas who had said he was committed to attending the University of Texas. "After the draft, we had the opportunity to sit down with Josh and his family and let him know what our organization is about and how we operate," Huntington said. "We made it clear that we would really like him to be part of our organization. We left with the idea that they were open-minded and that if we were able to reach a financial agreement that both sides were comfortable with that he would be willing to begin his professional career with us." Boras also negotiated a 7.5 million signing bonus for high school outfielder Bubba Starling with the Kansas City Royals, and a 7.2 million, four-year major league contract for Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon with the Washington Nationals, a deal that would be worth up to 10 million, including an option year. Starling was the fifth overall pick and Rendon sixth. Boras' son, California high school third baseman Trent Boras, failed to reach an agreement with the Milwaukee Brewers. Trent Boras, a 30th-round pick, will attend the University of Southern California. Scott Boras spoke with Brewers owner Mark Attanasio and general manager Doug Melvin in the hours before the deadline. "We made the decision long ago that we wanted him to go to college," Scott Boras said. "The Brewers gave us every courtesy of working with him."

If eclipse ends life on Earth, it's bad news for fans of one Bay Area team

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USATI

If eclipse ends life on Earth, it's bad news for fans of one Bay Area team

If the lunatic fringe of the lunatic fringe is right and the total eclipse of the sun is actually a harbinger of the end of life on earth . . .

- It’s good news for the Giants, who have been eliminated from the National League West race for less than 24 hours, or that they will not have to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers put their feet up on baseball for the first time in 28 years.

Besides, there won’t be any more years, so time becomes meaningless.

- It’s good news for the 49ers, who won’t have to endure a harsh week of practice from freshly irked head coach Kyle Shanahan, who finally saw exactly why the job came open for him in the first place.

- It’s good news for Raiders’ fans, who won’t see their team move to Las Vegas, and because they won't be soul-crushed if they can't beat the Patriots -- who will also die en masse despite Bill Belichick's entreaties to ignore the noise of seven billion terrorized shrieks.

- It’s bad news for A’s fans, who will never learn in what location their fabulous new franchise-saving stadium will not be built.

- It’s good news for the Warriors, who can say in their death throes that they were the last NBA champions ever, and that the Lakers will never get LeBron James.

- It’s good news for the Lakers because they cannot be found guilty of tampering with Paul George. It’s also good news for Jimmy Kimmel because he can’t lose a draft choice (some faceless F-list actor as a guest) as a result.

- It’s good news for the Kings, because they’ll never have to have the difficult meeting about Zach Randolph.

- It’s good news for the Chargers, because they won’t have to answer any more questions about why only 21,000 people were announced as the crowd for their second practice game, or to confront the very real possibility that they could become the NFL’s Washington Generals.

- It’s good news for the Jets, Mets, Nets and Knicks because the end of the planet is the only just solution for them all.

- It’s good news for Cal because it can stick its middle finger to the sky and say, “Here’s your $400 million debt. Try to collect it while we’re all dying.”

- It’s good news for Kevin Durant because he doesn’t have to slalom through the Internet trolls any more.

- It’s bad news for Roger Goodell, because he sure left a boatload of money on the table as he was hurtled into space like the rest of us.

- It’s bad news for Nick Saban because he will have never seen it coming. On the other hand, it’s good news for the people who cover Alabama football because they’ve endured their last journalism lecture from Prof. Nick on why they do their jobs so poorly.

- It’s bad luck for Jim Harbaugh because he will feel like a complete nitwit as he learns just what “an enthusiasm unknown to mankind” really means – the end of mankind.

- It’s bad news for all the sixth graders in America who are being offered scholarships that they will never be used by college coaches they will never meet. Of course, that would have been true even  if the world doesn’t end.

- It’s bad news for the hackers who have been spoiling Game Of Thrones because this is Game Of Thrones, only the dragon is the sun incinerating us all.

- It’s bad news for Kyrie Irving, because he will have died a Cleveland Cavalier.

- It’s good news for America, for the obvious reason that the planet will expire before our current political class can murder it.

- And finally, it’s good news for dignity, because the Mayweather-McGregor “thing” will never happen, and that alone means that even as we are torn asunder, we will know that the deity loves us all because both McGrogor and Mayweather are being torn asunder too.

Of course, if you’re reading this Tuesday, you’ll know the world didn’t end, and we’re just as screwed as we ever were. Oh well. Try to find your happy place, and drink like there’s no Wednesday.

Relationship between Goodell & NFL owners like Game of Thrones, only...

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AP

Relationship between Goodell & NFL owners like Game of Thrones, only...

The National Football League’s 32 bosses ruined all our fun speculation about Roger Goodell’s future by extending his future.

By extending his contract to 2025 – and, maybe more importantly, keeping his salary private so that we can’t use it as a club with which to continually brain him – the owners sent the message that, whatever the state of his petty feuds with allegedly powerful owners like Jerry Jones and Bob Kraft, they are unwilling to overturn the car to spite the roadway.

And he in turn takes great care to keep his supply lines covered, by keeping the majority of owners happy and well-insulated with barrels of cash. It’s Game Of Thrones, only less visually violent and more tactically prudent.

We mention this because as the Oakland Raiders slowly but surely transition to the Formerly Oakland Raiders, we remind you that Goodell’s two jobs are to provide the owners with what they want while making sure they provide him with what he wants. The commissioner doesn’t work for you, and he showed that when Mark Davis went looking for votes to leave, Goodell was giving him hints about what to do and not to do because, while the league might not have thought the Raiders were the ideal candidate to pry open access to the worlds of gambling and international high-rollers, they were the best available candidate.

And while you may want to be angry at him for not minding the needs of the Bay Area, he doesn’t work for you – never has, never will. He has his bosses, and you’re not them. It’s why, for all the criticism he takes – and maybe because he’s the one who takes it rather than his 32 bosses – he keeps his real constituency content, if not necessarily happy.

Now if you want to harm him, you can autocorrect “Goodell” for the names of the 32 owners. It’s clunky, and it unfocuses whatever your anger at the moment might be, but it would expose the real powers for whatever irks you at the time.

We’re not confident you’ll do that, too. Goodell makes a grand target – overpaid, slavishly devoted to oligarchs, willing to bend or deny reality to kick the liability can down the road – and that, too, is worth the money to them.