The deadline for signing draft picks is looming, and we have several guys coming down to the wire, although the Tigers deal with Rick Porcello -- going way over slot in giving him a major league deal and pretty close to what he was asking for -- could cause a ripple effect in terms of other players digging in on their demands.
Jim Callis says that the three remaining supplemental first rounders -- Neil Ramirez and Julio Borbon of the Rangers, and the Nats' Josh Smoker -- are all expected to sign by the deadline, and I'm guessing they are all going to end up getting above-slot money.
Callis also says Blake Beavan is supposedly asking for as much as $2 million, but that he's expected to sign as well, although several other first rounders could end up not signing. Mike Moustakas and Matt Wieters appear to be the two high picks most likely to go unsigned, and Wieters could end up presenting an interesting dilemma for the Rangers next year...
If Texas picks 5th or 6th, Wieters could conceivably be on the board. The Rangers did pretty well the last time they took a switch hitting Georgia Tech star represented by Boras who slipped a few slots because of signability issues.
On the other hand, they also just traded for a switch hitting catcher, and have several other catchers in the pipeline, although Wieters may, like Jarrod Saltalamacchia, end up changing positions.
Dave Sessions says Daniels is optimistic about signing all three remaining first rounders, and quotes Beavan's mother as saying that they are making progress.
Jim Reeves has a column up on the importance of signing draft picks, and seems to (reluctantly) acknowledge that Jon Daniels has gotten good reviews for both the June draft and his trade deadline deals.
Evan Grant has an analysis of where the Rangers are right now, and what they have to evaluate going forward. He calls Torii Hunter a "premier free agent" again (and quite honestly, I'm beginning to dread the coming offseason, out of a fear that we're going to end up signing Hunter to an albatross conrtact), but otherwise is dead on with most of what he hits on.
One of the things Grant hits on is whether Saltalamacchia's future is behind the plate or at first base. And that uncertainty, along with the catching coming up through the pipeline, makes me wonder if the Rangers might not look at flipping him this winter.
Pittsburgh, Boston, and the Yankees all supposedly were hot and heavy after Saltalamacchia at the trade deadline. If you could get Ian Snell from the Pirates, or Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester from the BoSox, in exchange for Saltalamacchia, isn't that something you'd have to think long and hard about?