The Red Sox were involved with both of the compensation free agents who changed teams in the last week. The Mets signed Type A free agent Jason Bay away from Boston, which will receive a supplemental first-round pick and New York's second-rounder in return. (The Mets' first-rounder was protected because it falls in the upper half of the round.) The Red Sox signed Type B free agent Adrian Beltre away from the Mariners, who will get a sandwich choice.
Matt Holliday returned to the Cardinals, which leaves Jose Valverde as the lone Type A compensation free agent on the market. If he leaves the Astros, they'll get the top sandwich pick (No. 33 overall) as well as a selection from the signing club. The Tigers are the team most closely associated with Valverde these days, and they'd have to surrender their first-rounder (No. 19) to sign him.
Three Type B compensation free agents remain unsigned: Rod Barajas (Blue Jays), Brian Shouse (Rays) and Joel Pineiro (Cardinals). If they change addresses, their former teams will get sandwich picks, as laid out in the updated draft order below:
11. Blue Jays
13. White Sox
15. Rangers (for failure to sign 2009 first-rounder Matt Purke)
18. Angels (from Mariners for Chone Figgins, A)
20. Red Sox (from Braves for Billy Wagner, A)
29. Angels (from Red Sox for John Lackey, A)
31. Rays (for failure to sign 2009 first-rounder LeVon Washington)
Supplemental First-Round Picks
[Astros if Jose Valverde, A, departs]
33. Blue Jays (Marco Scutaro, A, to Red Sox)
34. Braves (Mike Gonzalez, A, to Orioles)
35. Red Sox (Wagner)
36. Angels (Figgins)
37. Red Sox (Jason Bay, A, to Mets)
38. Blue Jays (for failure to sign 2009 sandwich-rounder James Paxton)
39. Angels (Lackey)
[Blue Jays if Rod Barajas, B, departs]
40. Rays (Gregg Zaun, B, to Brewers)
41. Mariners (Adrian Beltre, B, to Red Sox)
42. Tigers (Brandon Lyon, B, to Astros)
43. Rangers (Ivan Rodriguez, B, to Nationals)
44. Cardinals (Mark DeRosa, B, to Giants)
45. Rockies (Jason Marquis, B, to Nationals)
[Rays if Brian Shouse, B, departs]
46. Tigers (Fernando Rodney, B, to Angels)
47. Rangers (Marlon Byrd, B, to Cubs)
[Cardinals if Joel Pineiro, B, departs]
50. Braves (from Orioles for Gonzalez)
54. Red Sox (from Mets for Bay)
69. Blue Jays (for failure to sign 2009 second-rounder Jake Eliopoulos)
76. Blue Jays (from Red Sox for Scutaro)
79. Rays (for failure to sign 2009 second-rounder Kenny Diekroeger)
Supplemental Third-Round Picks
110. Blue Jays (for failure to sign 2009 third-rounder Jake Barrett)
111. White Sox (for failure to sign 2009 third-rounder Bryan Morgado)
112. Angels (for failure to sign 2009 third-rounder Josh Spence)
Remaining Type A Compensation Free Agents
Jose Valverde, rhp, Astros
Remaining Type B Compensation Free Agents
(listed in order of team's draft position)
Rod Barajas, c, Blue Jays
Brian Shouse, lhp, Rays
Joel Pineiro, rhp, Cardinals
Yes, Chapman would rate ahead of Frazier as Cincinnati's No. 1 prospect if we revised our Reds Top 10. However, as I mentioned in the Sept. 28 Ask BA, Chapman's considerable upside is matched by a lengthy list of concerns. He may touch 102 mph with his fastball, but he's far from refined as a pitcher and most of the high-priced Cuban defectors have fallen short of expectations.
Chapman has one of the most electric arms in the world, and he'll be in the majors as soon as he adds some polish. There's no point in really setting any kind of timetable, because it should be obvious when he's ready. I don't think he'll start the season in the majors, but I also wouldn't rule that out if he throws strikes and shows dependable secondary pitches in spring training. My guess is he'll start 2010 in Double-A and make at least a cameo in Cincinnati before the end of the season.
When we were putting together the talent rankings for the 2010 Prospect Handbook, I rated the Reds' farm system as the 17th-best in baseball but our official consensus put them at No. 23. We'll revise the rankings to reflect subsequent trades and signings this spring, and Cincinnati should move up at least five spots.
I have a couple of questions about Chapman myself. If he got $30 million, does that make him twice as greedy and his agents (Alan and Randy Hendricks) twice as evil as Stephen Strasburg and Scott Boras were portrayed when the No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft held out all summer? And why is MLB fine with the Reds spending $30 million on a Cuban defector, when the commissioner's office would explode if the team used that money to sign 15 additional first-round talents at $2 million each in the next few drafts? Just asking.
David brings up an interesting point. Many of expensive draft mistakes result at least in part because a club tries to cut costs and forgets that it usually gets what it pays for. But with my all-bust draft team for the 2000s, where I picked the biggest mistake in each of the first 10 draft slots, only four of the players were signability choices.
Matt Bush (Padres, No. 1, 2004) became the worst No. 1 pick in draft history after San Diego general manager Kevin Towers told owner John Moores that the team's intended target, Stephen Drew, wasn't worth his asking price. That led the Padres to local product Bush, who signed on the day of the draft for $3.15 million, roughly half of what they thought it would take to sign Drew.
Adam Johnson (Twins, No. 2, 2000) was part of a signability-heavy draft in which 10 of the top 11 picks had agreed to financial parameters before the draft. The Royals saved a few hundred thousand with Chris Lubanski (No. 5, 2003), though the consensus talent pick (Ryan Harvey) wouldn't have worked out any better. Ownership pushed the Orioles and then the Rays to save money by taking Wade Townsend with the No. 8 choice in the 2004 and 2005 drafts.
The rest of the players on the all-bust draft team went where they did mostly on merit. The Twins explored taking Dewon Brazelton (Rays, No. 3, 2001) with the No. 1 overall pick before opting for Joe Mauer. Adam Loewen (Orioles, No. 4, 2002) set a draft-and-follow record when he signed the next spring for a $3.2 million bonus as part of a $4.02 million big league contract. The Expos (Josh Karp, No. 6, 2001) and Royals (Colt Griffin, No. 9, 2001) also went over slot to sign their busts.
The Matt Harrington (Rockies, No. 7, 2000) saga is famous enough; suffice it to say Colorado knew it wasn't saving money with that choice. The Rangers passed on the more expensive Scott Kazmir to take Drew Meyer at No. 10 and sign him for an under-slot $1.875 million in 2002, but that was strictly a talent decision. Scouting director Grady Fuson didn't want to take a high school pitcher (Kazmir) that high in the draft and loved Meyer more than the industry consensus.
There has been little concrete news since the Cardinals voided the franchise-record $3.1 million bonus they had given Mateo. St. Louis had concerns about Mateo's vision and terminated the deal on Sept. 22.
In late October, Mateo participated in the World Wood Bat Association World Championship and the Bo Jackson Five-Tool Championship in Jupiter, Fla. In the latter event, he drilled a couple of tape-measure homers. One reportedly struck the window of Cardinals scouting director Jeff Luhnow's office in the building behind the right-field fence at Roger Dean Stadium, and another landed on the structure's roof.
This past weekend, Mateo participated in the Power Showcase, a home run derby for high school-age players at Tropicana Field. Bryce Harper became a YouTube sensation with his performance at the event last year. Mateo wasn't as fortunate, as he failed to hit a home run and struggled to square balls up.
Ben Badler, BA's international guru, continues to keep his ear to the ground but hasn't heard anything to indicate that a deal is imminent. The Giants showed a lot of interest in Mateo before he signed with the Cardinals, but San Francisco hasn't made a move to sign him since he went back on the market. It's unclear what he'll sign for or who might be interested in landing him.