-- In an article written by La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, Freddy Sanchez is the Twins Plan B if they can't land Oakland shortstop Orlando Cabrera.
"If the Twins don't deal for Cabrera, there are indications that the Twins haven't ruled out another push for Pittsburgh second baseman Freddy Sanchez. Sanchez is making $6.25 million this year and is on pace to have enough plate appearances to trigger an $8 million option for 2010. Although the Twins are willing to add some salary, they might be debating whether to take on that much."-- According to John Perrotto of Pirates Report, the Pirate pitcher drawing the most interest is *tada*...Ian Snell. Teams that have asked about him in recent days are the Yankees, Mets, Angels, Dodgers, and Tigers. Of course, none have offered diddly squat, so the suits have no reason to move him quite yet.
-- The Sporting News has selected good ol' PNC as the number #2 ballpark in all the realm. Top reason? The ghost of Roberto Clemente.
-- Trent Stevenson, the high school draft pick the Bucs signed yesterday, has the honor of getting the contract most over-slot so far, according to Baseball America.
-- Keith Law of ESPN reports that "The (Pirates) are close to a deal with their eighth-round pick, Colton Cain, for a high six-figure bonus, and are still negotiating with sixth-rounder Zach von Rosenberg."
Both are highly-regarded high school players. Cain is a LH first baseman with a scholarship to Texas, and von Rosenberg is a RHP with a free ride to LSU.
-- And you thought the negotiations for Pedro Alvarez were nuts? Dejan Kovacevic of the Post Gazette broke the latest on Miguel Sano's now completed MLB investigation:
He is who he says he is, he might be 16 or he might be 17; he needs to pass the US Visa test for age to leave the Dominican Republic; he's a month or two away from getting said visa; and his agent apparently doesn't share his love for the Pirates. Stay tuned.
-- Some things never change, according to Jeff Wilson of the Dallas Morning News:
"The agent for Tanner Scheppers, who was selected by the Rangers with the No. 44 overall pick, said the right-hander wants to sign as quickly as possible. But there has been little progress in negotiations. He is seeking a signing bonus above his draft slot, which is under $1 million. The Rangers hold his rights until next year's draft, after which he can enter the draft next season for a third time, or he could consider playing in a foreign market."As you may recall, the Bucs drafted him last year and let him go because they couldn't agree on contract terms.