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Friday afternoon musings

  • With the deadline to sign draft picks passing Wednesday, we now have a clearer view of the draft as a whole. The new deadline and slotting system accomplished very little. The average value of bonuses to the top 5 (and 10) rounds actually went up. MLB's desire to force teams into a slotting system only succeeded in delaying almost all of the above slot deals to be announced in the waning hours before the deadline so as to not set precedent and effect other deals. For a more in-depth explanation of the Mickey Mouse game MLB was trying to play, read this USS Mariner piece.
  • So with all the bonus figures in, Baseball America published a list of the aggregate bonuses for each team's top 10 picks... The White Sox ranked 26th in bonus money handed out to their top 10 picks. It's a subscriber only list, but you can find it elsewhere if you know where to look ;)
  • Donny Lucy!!! In the '04 draft, the White Sox had 7 of the first 90 picks. One of those picks was sure to be a catcher to help fill an organizational hole. My memory is a little cloudy now, but I know I was in favor of drafting Kurt Suzuki, who (again going on memory) was named THT's college player of the year, and featured the best strength of schedule adjusted batting line from a draft eligible college player. In addition to the THT love, I recall Bryan Smith, then of BaseballAnalysts, now of SI, being a big Suzuki fan. I haven't followed the draft close enough to have many "we shoulda taken that guy" moments that can be classified as first guessing. Suzuki is really my first. So watching him light up the White Sox, while the 25 year old Donny Lucy looks like he could maybe, if everything goes right, be a passable backup in a couple years has a sting to it.

    Just for future reference, and to be completely honest. In 2005, I wanted Luke Hochevar (who was a Boras client and didn't sign) over Lance Broadway. In 2006, I thought that Ian Kennedy would be the Sox best bet at the end of the first round, but he didn't last that long. In the last draft, I liked two guys who didn't fall but projected to be on the board when the Sox picked; Matt LaPorta and the HS righty Tim Alderson in addition to the high bonus demanding Rick Porcello.

  • Boston traded Wily Mo Pena to the Nationals for a PTBNL in a move that seemed to be an attempt to get Clay Buchholz on the roster without making another move. Without knowing who the PTBNL is, it seems like Boston finally just wanted him completely off the roster, and that he didn't really cost anything. I know I would have rather had Wily Mo up at the plate this past series in the late innings with a lefty on the mound instead of Darin Erstad and Jerry Owens.
  • Tonight's start from Jose Contreras could be a very important one. Surprisingly, there's still a fair amount of interest in Contreras. The Mariners, Mets, Dodgers, and Rockies could all be possible destinations, and figure to have scouts in attendance. I saw a quote from El Duque earlier this week campaigning for Omar Minaya to go out and rescue Contreras. "I told (Minaya) to go get him. He can help me. He can help us."