The Blue Jays announced the signing of Type B free agent Darren Oliver today, a move that gives the Rangers a supplemental first-round pick. Oliver originally was designated as a Type A, which would have sent Toronto's first-round pick at No. 17 to Texas, but he was reclassified as part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The updated draft order is below, along with the list of the eight remaining compensation free agents. The only free agents left who could affect the first round are Prince Fielder (Type A) and Ryan Madson (modified Type A).
13. White Sox
17. Blue Jays
19. Cardinals (from Angels for Albert Pujols, Type A)
22. Blue Jays (for failure to sign 2011 first-rounder Tyler Beede)
24. Red Sox
31. Red Sox (from Phillies for Jonathan Papelbon, Type A)
Supplemental First Round
32. Twins (for Michael Cuddyer, modified Type A, to Rockies)
33. Padres (for Heath Bell, modified Type A, to Marlins)
34. Athletics (for Josh Willingham, modified Type A, to Twins)
35. Mets (for Jose Reyes, Type A, to Marlins)
36. Cardinals (for Pujols)
37. Red Sox (for Papelbon)
38. Rangers (for C.J. Wilson, Type A, to Angels)
39. Astros (for Clint Barmes, Type B, to Pirates)
40. Twins (for Jason Kubel, Type B, to Diamondbacks)
41. Cubs (for Aramis Ramirez, Type B, to Brewers)
42. Padres (for Aaron Harang, Type B, to Dodgers)
43. Pirates (for Ryan Doumit, Type B, to Twins)
44. Rockies (for Mark Ellis, Type B, to Dodgers)
45. Athletics (for David DeJesus, Type B, to Cubs)
46. White Sox (for Mark Buehrle, Type B, to Marlins)
47. Reds (for Ramon Hernandez, Type B, to Rockies)
48. Blue Jays (for Frank Francisco, Type B, to Mets)
49. Dodgers (for Rod Barajas, Type B, to Pirates)
50. Cardinals (for Octavio Dotel, Type B, to Tigers)
51. Rangers (for Darren Oliver, Type B, to Blue Jays)
52. Blue Jays (for Jon Rauch, Type B, to Mets)
53. Blue Jays (for Jose Molina, Type B, to Rays)
55. Padres (for failure to sign 2011 sandwich-rounder Brett Austin)
56. Athletics (for Willingham)
64. Padres (for Bell)
65. Mets (from Marlins for Reyes)
66. Twins (for Cuddyer)
76. Rangers (from Angels for Wilson)
89. Yankees (for failure to sign 2011 second-rounder Sam Stafford)
Supplemental Third Round
119. Mariners (for failure to sign 2011 third-rounder Kevin Cron)
120. Marlins (for failure to sign 2011 third-rounder Connor Barron)
121. Rockies (for failure to sign 2011 third-rounder Peter O'Brien)
Remaining Compensation Free Agents
Brewers: Prince Fielder (A).
Cardinals: Edwin Jackson (B).
Cubs: Carlos Pena (B).
Phillies: Ryan Madson (A*), Raul Ibanez (B).
Pirates: Derrek Lee (B).
Red Sox: Dan Wheeler (B).
Reds: Francisco Cordero (B).
A* indicates modified Type A free agent.
When I listed my personal overall Top 50 in the 2012 Prospect Handbook, I had Brett Jackson at No. 28, Javier Baez at No. 31 and Rizzo at No. 42, so that would put Rizzo third on an updated Cubs list. I like Rizzo's power potential and think he's the third-best first-base prospect in baseball (behind the Astros' Jonathan Singleton and the Padres' Yonder Alonso), but Jackson and Baez are up-the-middle players and Baez has the bat to be an impact player if he moves down the line.
None of Chicago's other acquisitions would crack the Top 10. There's depth in the farm system, so if I were updating the Cubs Top 30 I wrote for the Handbook, I'd put Torreyes, Cates and Sappelt (in that order) in the back half of that list. Torreyes is a career .364 hitter in the lower minors, but he's also 5-foot-7 and lacks a second standout tool, so he's really going to have to max out what he has to make it as a big league regular. Cates has a strong arm but is relatively new to pitching and has a lot of work to do, while Sappelt looks like a fourth outfielder who's overmatched in center field.
In our preliminary system rankings in the Handbook, we put Chicago at No. 14. When we release our final rankings this spring, the Cubs' moves will push them up a spot or two.
As for Volstad, I thought he was a nice pickup in the Carlos Zambrano trade. Chicago might have released Zambrano if it couldn't have traded him. Though the Cubs had to eat $15 million of Zambrano's $18 million salary for 2012, they got a young, durable starter. Volstad may not be more than a No. 4 starter because he doesn't miss enough bats, but he'll help Chicago more than Zambrano would have.
While I'm not in love with the return White Sox GM Ken Williams got in his trades of Sergio Santos, Carlos Quentin and Jason Frasor, I did like the idea of buying low on Simon Castro. Castro's mechanics fell apart after he started the 2010 Futures Game, but he still has a quality arm and got back on track late last season. He recorded a 2.53 ERA and a 35-5 K-BB ratio in his final seven Double-A starts.
Castro will be 24 this season, and he still has a 92-94 mph fastball that touches 96. He flashes a hard slider and throws strikes. Chicago pitching coach Don Cooper has a master touch with reclamation projects, such as Santos and Matt Thornton. Cooper now has another one in Castro, who will rank No. 3 on our upcoming White Sox Top 10 Prospects list.
The Yankees have gotten much more conservative about trading prospects than they were in George Steinbrenner's heyday. I'll give you two lists, one based on how players were regarded at the time the Yankees traded them, and the other based on how players have produced in the majors, and neither is overflowing with talent.
I'm only counting players who still had prospect/rookie status when they left New York, which is why Nick Johnson, Ian Kennedy and Ted Lilly aren't included. First, based on status at the time of the trade:
1. Drew Henson, 3b (July 2000 to Reds)
Went to Cincinnati in Denny Neagle trade, came back eight months later.
2. Austin Jackson, of (December 2009 to Tigers)
Yankees also sent Kennedy to Diamondbacks, got Curtis Granderson from Detroit.
3. Jose Tabata, of (July 2008 to Pirates)
Part of a four-player package for Damaso Marte, Xavier Nady.
4. Arodys Vizcaino, rhp (December 2009 to Braves)
New York rues giving up Vizcaino to get Javier Vazquez a second time.
5. D'Angelo Jimenez, 2b (June 2001 to Padres)
Brought back Jay Witasick, who got shelled in the World Series.
Jackson, Tabata and Vizcaino all could have productive careers. To this point, the Yankees haven't been badly burned by any prospect they've traded this millennium. Here are the five guys who've been the most productive big leaguers:
1. Jake Westbrook, rhp (June 2000 to Indians)
Acquired from Expos in a Hideki Irabu trade, dealt for David Justice.
2. Damaso Marte, lhp (June 2001 to Pirates)
Stolen as a minor league free agent, given away for Enrique Wilson.
3. Ramon Ramirez, rhp (July 2005 to Rockies)
Traded four more times since Yankees used him to get Shawn Chacon.
4. Tyler Clippard, rhp (December 2007 to Nationals)
Future all-star was shipped out for Jonathan Albaladejo.
5. Austin Jackson, of (December 2009 to Tigers)
His two big league seasons are better than Jimenez's eight.