Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pedro the Pirate

The Pirates and #1 draft pick Pedro Alvarez have agreed to a contract worth $6M (he was slotted at $3.5M), and they'll pay his tuition to finish college. It's a minor league deal, so he's not on the 40 man roster - yet.

He hit .317 with 15 doubles, nine homers and 30 RBIs this year, missing 23 of the first 24 games with a broken hamate bone in his right hand. Alvarez hit .357 with 40 homers and 132 RBIs during his first two seasons at Vanderbilt.

You can catch up on Pedro's bio on this draft post: El Matatan - Pedro Alvarez.

And we can't help but think that if Scott Boras would have floated that offer on draft day that Pedro would have a few weeks of Class A ball under his belt already. Still, bringing in a left-handed batter with some thunder in his stick is just what the doctor ordered for the run-challenged Buccos.

Pedro highlight reel from You Tube. Do ya think he and PNC are a good match?

RHP Tanner Scheppers didn't sign. Apparently he felt he deserved first round money - reportedly $2M, although his slot value was $800K - and the Pirates felt like he was damaged goods. He still couldn't throw a curve ball earlier in the week, but decided to pass up the security of a contract to roll the dice next year.

"Despite the quality efforts of both parties, it became clear that Tanner's financial expectations were not in line with the risks presented by Tanner's current status as a pitcher in the early stages of a rehabilitation program following an injury to his throwing shoulder," Neal Huntington said.

The Bucs will get the third pick of the 2nd round as compensation for him in next year's draft. Maybe he'll be there again.

Not all the first rounders signed on the dotted line. The Nationals failed to sign #9 pick Aaron Crow. The Nats were at $3.3MM and Crow's agents at $4MM, but the most head-banging seemed to be over a major-league contract. Crow signed with an indy minor league team.

The Yankee's pick at #28, Gerrit Cole, decided to go to UCLA. Who woulda thunk the Bucs could pay the ante while the Bronx Bombers couldn't? Actually, it wasn't the money in Cole's case - he's a Yankee fan, but just wanted to experience college.

Seattle's #1, Joshua Fields, drafted 20th, finished his senior season at Georgia and can negotiate with the Mariners up until a week before next year's draft. All three unsigned players are pitchers, which bodes well for next year's draft.

The Pirates signed eight of their top 10 picks, and 32 in toto. Scheppers and 10th-round pick Andrew Gagnon were the two top-tens who didn't sign. Gagnon, just out of high school, decided to pitch for Long Beach State next year instead of turning pro.

And Bob Nutting surely put his wallet where his mouth was this year. The Bucs spent something like $10M in draft bonuses in an effort to restock the minors. Between the draft and the recent deals, next year's Pirates prospect list will look a whole lot different than this year's did. And a whole lot better.

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