According to BA, the Pirates signed their 7th round pick yesterday, Brophy Prep HS (AZ) right-hander Trent Stevenson. The reason I note this is that Stevenson signed for $350,000, which is $200K above the recommendations of the commissioner’s office for anyone picked after the pick-by-pick slotting system stops after the 5th round. This might signal enough of a relaxation in the slotting system for others like Stevenson to sign above-slot deals that aren’t outrageously over slot. I’d still expect those that have hugely over slot deals to have to wait for the approval of the commissioner until at least the second week of August, but maybe this thaw will allow players looking for anything in the range of $100K-$250K over slot to ink their deals now and still get about a month of game time in before the minor league seasons end.
Looking at it from the Pirates’ side, I’m glad to see this deal get done, as Stevenson has major work to do with his huge potential. They’ll probably allow him to simply pitch out the rest of this season in the GCL, and I’m guessing he’ll get assigned there in a week’s time, and he’ll build up innings, probably starting with a relief role. By the time fall instructs come along, he might need some re-working of his mechanics, as that’s considered his major weakness, and it’s hurt his consistency and command. Looking at their draft class, this is a move in the right direction. They probably still have a large amount of money left in their budget, and getting Zack Dodson, Nate Baker, Zack Von Rosenberg, Colton Cain, and Joey Schoenfeld under contract, but I doubt all of them sign. I still think the Pirates will only sign one of Von Rosenberg and Cain, as either might command $1MM+ alone. However, yesterday’s signing of Stevenson is a move in the right direction without a doubt, and I’m glad to see the Pirates starting to whittle away some of the doubts about their draft.
On a scheduling note, the Cincinnati Reds are the subject of my next draft review, and I’m not sure when that will be up. I’m going to the Gwinnett Braves vs. Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs game tonight as part of the Salvation Army’s Christmas in July promotion there. Give to your local Salvation Army here. They need it. The matchup tonight will be John Halama against Carlos Carrasco, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for scouts. With Carrasco, Michael Taylor, and Lou Marson slated to play, it should be a fun evening. I’m a little sad that Jordan Schafer and Jason Donald are hurt, but I can catch them some other time. I’ll be updating via my twitter account on how Carrasco looks, as well as some thoughts about Taylor and Marson, especially Taylor, who is definitely in the middle of the Roy Halladay trade discussions. Hope you have a good evening and weekend.