INDIANAPOLIS—Couple of quick news and thoughts on what’s going on, when we’re not giving away awards or doing other Winter Meetings-related stuff:
• Sources with both the Yankees and Nationals have confirmed the Yankees acquired the rights to the first overall pick in Thursday’s Rule 5 draft from the Nationals for righthander Brian Bruney. The Yankees have only made a pick in the major league phase once in the last decade, when they took Josh Phelps as a DH/first baseman in December 2006, at a point when he’d already played parts of six seasons in the major leagues. There are similar players available in this year’s Rule 5, but it seems unlikely the Yankees would give up a pitcher like Bruney to acquire a veteran player, such as former Yankees righty Scott Proctor or Rockies infielder Omar Quintanilla, one of several young veterans available.
It’s also possible the Yanks could pull a Braves and pick one of their own players, as Atlanta did in 1988. New York did leave several attractive players off its 40-man roster, but this is pretty unlikely.
I spoke to one Yankees official via text message about the deal tonight, and his only reply was, "Who would you take?" We’ll work to find the answer the next two days.
• One of the Red Sox’s top prospects, 2008 first-round pick Casey Kelly, intends to give up hitting and playing shortstop to focus on pitching, according to news outlets such as WEEI.com and BA correspondent Alex Speier. Kelly’s coming to the conclusion that scouts have been saying he should pick all along, and his 2009 numbers back up the scouting reports, so it just makes sense.
• It was gratifying to go to the Awards Luncheon today to give the Phillies their Organization of the Year award, and to see what it meant to the members of that organization to win the award. Two tables worth of Phillies officials packed two tables in the banquet hall, and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. pronounced BA "the best baseball rag around." So that was fun.
• This year’s Scout of the Year awards include North Carolina’s Alex Cosmidis, of the White Sox; Gary Hughes now of the Cubs and previously with the Reds, Marlins, Expos and Rockies; and Gene Bennett of the Reds.
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