The MLB General Manager Meetings have come and gone. We have seen a free agent signing or two, and other developments continue. This week, we will hit the deadline for teams to set their 40-man rosters to protect players from December’s Rule 5 draft. We have some speculation about how the Detroit Tigers might handle that responsibility, as well as a look at the minor leagues, and potential amateur draft targets for the team with the No. 1 overall pick.
Rule 5 decisions
Rule 5 decisions are due soon, and with seven spots currently open on the 40-man roster, the Tigers have some decisions to make. Evan Woodbury of MLive takes a look at who the Tigers might add to their 40-man to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. He states what he believes to be two obvious choices in Isaac Paredes and Daz Cameron right off the bat. Beyond those two, there is room for speculation, and Woodbury has 13 names that slot somewhere on the list of potential candidates. He closes with the seven he thinks the Tigers will choose to protect, but with so many to consider, it’s hard to say how it will shake out.
Tarik Skubal is a guy
If you’re interested in what’s up with pitching prospect Tarik Skubal, head on over to Baseball America where our friend Emily Waldon has the rundown on Skubal’s 2019 season and what he brings to the table. Highlights include comments from scouts that project him as a possible front of the rotation arm, and some of the different grips and pitches he is toying around with. Skubal came on as a big surprise in 2019, and the combination of him, Matt Manning, and Casey Mize in the rotation bodes well for the future on the mound.
Now go get some bats.
When you are following a team holding the first overall pick in next year’s MLB draft, it’s never too early to start speculating, and Lynn Henning has his speculating shoes on for The Detroit News. Henning begins with the caveat that anything could happen between now and draft day to change things, but the consensus remains the same; this is a three-horse race. The names, much like Led Zeppelin’s song, remain the same: first baseman Spencer Torkelson, infielder Austin Martin, and pitcher Emerson Hancock. I imagine the focus should be on Torkelson or Martin due to perceived organizational needs, but Henning utters the name of Emerson Hancock in the same breathe as those of Gerritt Cole and Justin Verlander, which has me talking myself into why another power arm isn’t a bad idea.
Minor league elimination rumors
The plan for reorganization of the minor leagues by Major League Baseball marches forward, and with the most recent news of teams who will find themselves unaffiliated, there is a sobering dose of reality to it. The two teams within the Detroit organization who stand to lose here are the Connecticut Tigers and the Erie SeaWolves. Check out the whole list here, and for more detailed information about the restructuring and the status of the renegotiation between the present agreement between the minor and major leagues, read this informative piece by our own Rob Rogacki.
Those thieving Astros
It hasn’t been a good couple months to be the Houston Astros. The most recent entry in their front-office troubles is the alleged sign-stealing program implemented by the team in 2017. The latest development in this saga is an email from special assistant to the general manager, Kevin Goldstein. The email was sent to several club scouts exploring the possibilities of using cameras to steal signs, and is very straightforward regarding what is being asked of the organization’s employees. There are many lessons to be learned here. One of them is a reminder that email is a bad way to communicate things that you would prefer people not find out about some day.
Around the horn
In news that is unsurprising to most, The Kansas City Royals don’t have much money to spend this offseason. Why Nick Castellanos might not return to the Cubs even though they both like each other. The best athlete in all 30 farm systems. In Detroit, it’s Parker Meadows. USA Baseball fails to clinch a spot in the 2020 Olympics at WBSC tournament.