Posted on: June 7, 2010 7:11 pm

Officially official: Harper to the Nats

In the least shocking draft pick since, well, Stephen Strasburg went first overall a year ago, the Washington Nationals have finally selected Bryce Harper with the first overall pick in the MLB Draft.

Strasburg debuts for the National on Tuesday, while Harper and agent Scott Boras will begin their drawn-out negotiations.

Now things get interesting, with Pittsburgh and Baltimore decide between Texas prep pitcher Jameson Taillon and Miami high school shortstop Manny Machado.

Unlike Strasburg, Harper isn't a finished product. He's been a catcher in high school and junior college, but his future may lie elsewhere. The Nationals announced him as an outfielder when Bud Selig made the announcement. One thing's for certain, though, with Boras as his agent, he's not going to get a paycheck from the Nationals until Aug. 16, the deadline for draft picks to sign.

Posted on: June 7, 2010 6:03 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2010 6:29 pm

Some college players could be distracted

The MLB Draft begins at 7 p.m. Eastern, the same time as three NCAA Regional finals -- Alabama-Georgia Tech, Auburn-Clemson and Texas A&M-Miami. Two more games will have already started (St. John's-Virginia and Vanderbilt-Louisville) and two more will start after the draft begins (Washington State-Arkansas and Minnesota-Cal State Fullerton).

Think there may be some distracted players in those dugouts?

As the Mobile Press-Register's Gentry Estes points out , some, like Georgia Tech starter Deck McGuire won't have to worry about it -- because he pitched on Saturday. But others, like Alabama shortstop Josh Rutledge could be thinking about something other than who is covering second on a steal.

While the NFL and NBA drafts are done months after the conclussion of their season, the MLB Draft comes at an inopportune time for players thinking about their professional futures while playing in the most important games of their college careers.

Others playing tonight with a chance to get drafted are Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal, Arkansas third baseman Zack Cox, Arkansas outfielder/pitcher Brett Elbner and Minnesota catcher Michael Kvasnicka.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

Posted on: June 7, 2010 4:56 pm

Papelbon leaves Red Sox; Bonser activated

Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona said today that closer Jonathan Papelbon will be away from the team for three days on a bereavement leave. The reason was not disclosed.

Papelbon's departure created a roster spot to activate right-hander Boof Bonser from the disabled list. Bonser has been out since suffering a groin injury during spring training. He was on a rehab assignment for that injury when he experienced trouble with his surgically repaired right shoulder. Bonser will work out of the bullpen.

-- David Andriesen,

Posted on: June 7, 2010 4:37 pm

Reds' Bailey to make rehab start Tuesday

Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said today that right-hander Homer Bailey will start for Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday night as he prepares to return from the disabled list. Bailey has been out since May 25 with shoulder inflammation and tightness. Bailey will be on an 80-pitch limit.

"This is a tuneup," Baker said. "We'd rather have a tuneup there than a tuneup here."

-- David Andriesen,

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 7, 2010 2:28 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 4:15 pm

Indians recall Marte, option LaPorta

The Cleveland Indians have activated first baseman Andy Marte from the 15-day disabled list. To make room for him on the roster, they optioned Matt LaPorta to Triple-A Columbus.

Marte was placed on the DL on May 15 with one of the stranger afflictions to grace the transaction wire -- he had an infection from an ingrown hair on his stomach. He's a .215 career hitter and was batting .208 when he went on the DL, so his return doesn't figure to be a huge boost to the last-place Indians.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 7, 2010 2:14 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 4:15 pm

Morneau takes lead in All-Star voting

The latest batch of vote totals for the American League All-Star team was released today, and Minnesota's Justin Morneau was the only change at the top, passing the Yankees' Mark Teixeira to take the lead at first base. Morneau's teammate, catcher Joe Mauer , is the overall leading vote-getter with nearly 1.9 million votes.

Vote totals can be found here . The starting rosters will be announced July 4.
Posted on: June 7, 2010 2:05 pm
Edited on: December 4, 2011 9:29 pm

Brewers release Suppan

Jeff SuppanTom Haudricort of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Brewers have released Jeff Suppan , cutting ties with the 35-year-old right-hander even though it will cost more than $10 million to do so.

Suppan was in the final year of a four-year, $42 million contract. In 110 games with the Brewers, Suppan was 29-36 with a 5.08 ERA.

Replacing Suppan on the Brewers' roster is reliever Chris Smith , the closer at Triple-A Nashville.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 7, 2010 1:52 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:21 am

Time for Ibanez to go in Philly?

Raul Ibanez arrived in Philadelphia with a bang last season, rejuvenating his career and becoming a popular figure on a team that reached the World Series. But it looks like the dew is off the rose, at least for some fans.

The blog is calling for the Phillies, who have lost 10 of their past 14, to release the outfielder. And author Corey Seidman makes a compelling argument.

Since his huge first two months of 2009, when Ibanez batted .332 and locked up his first All-Star start, he has batted .234, including a .229 average and three homers in 2010. At age 38 with bad knees, he's also a poor defensive outfielder.

Meanwhile, the Phillies' top prospect, who happens to be an outfielder, is looking increasingly ready for the majors. Domonic Brown is batting .313 at Double-A Reading and leading the Eastern League with a .969 OPS.

It's tough to see the Phillies eating Ibanez's contract -- he's in the second year of a three-year, $31.5 million deal on which he is still owed roughly $17.5 million. And he has a full no-trade clause. As Seidman points out, however, there is precedent for Phillies GM Ruben Amaro cutting loose big contracts. The Phillies ate more than $17 million last season in releasing Geoff Jenkins and Adam Eaton.

Ibanez is the prototype "veteran clubhouse leader" and a popular figure in Philadelphia after the team's 2009 ride. But if the Phillies continue to underperform, they are going to face a difficult decision.

-- Evan Brunell
Category: MLB
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