The latest from around the League...
- It's Draft Day! Well, it's First-Round-Of-The-Draft Day, anyway. While the MLB Draft doesn't carry quite the same excitement as the NFL or NBA Drafts (for fans of those leagues, that is), the MLB Draft remains an exciting exercise, and one full of more surprises than other drafts. That could be especially true this year, with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement imposing a number of changes on the landscape we once knew, including a relative limitation on the amount of money teams can spend on draft picks. Yahoo's Jeff Passan explains the CBA changes and how they impact teams in different kinds of markets (and I put together a review of those changes, more from a Chicago Cubs perspective). A couple of the more recent mock drafts from Jim Callis at Baseball America and Keith Law at ESPN each have the Houston Astros taking Stanford pitcher Mark Appel with the first overall pick (and the Cubs taking high school outfielder Albert Almora at number six). Jim Bowden has also reported that the Astros will select Appel, though that report has been disputed. The first round of the Draft begins tonight at 6pm CT.
- Buster Olney makes a great point as we start to approach rumor/trade season: an amazing 25 of 30 teams are still within 6.5 games of a playoff spot at this point. It's going to be hard for many of those teams to justify selling when they're still in a race. That could make this year's quite the seller's market.
- Cuban prospect Jorge Soler, who is now, finally, a free agent, will be signing soon, as his agent says they'll be accepting offers until June 7. And then he went on to say something about teams bringing "Soler power" to their organization, and my eyes rolled so far back in my head that couldn't read the rest of the article.
- Chase Utley, who's missed the first two months of the year with knee problems, will start a rehab assignment today, in extended Spring Training with the Phillies. There is still no timetable for his return.
- Adam Jones, the recent recipient of a huge extension from the Orioles, needs an MRI on his right wrist, which has apparently been bothering him weeks.
- Bill Maher - yes, that Bill Maher - has purchased a minority stake in the New York Mets, who've been looking for infusions of cash for quite some time.