Signing Deadline Chat With John Manuel

 Q:  Brian from Alexandria, VA asks:
the Nationals deal with Jack McGeary the first of a new trend of
allowing a prep guy to attend school while at the same time playing
professionally? Or is this a one time thing?

John Manuel:
Hey everyone, thanks for stopping by. I’ll try to get to as many
questions as possible, and Jim’s going to do his best to pull a pop-in.

John Manuel:
Let’s hope it’s not a trend. I like McGeary as a prospect, because he’s
lefthanded, athletic and somewhat polished, plus he’s a Northeastern
kid, I like the Northeastern pitcher angle that Dana Brown likes to
play. That said, I hope it’s a one-time thing because for that kind of
bonus, I don’t think it’s too much to ask a person to work for you
full-time. I have a feeling (just a hunch, not inside knowledge) that
the Nationals expect him to become full-time by, say, 2009.

 Q:  Moose from Kansas City asks:
Now that the Royals have signed Moustakas, where will he begin his pro career and will it be at Shortstop?

John Manuel:
Part of the deal is they will give him a chance to play SS. They really
don’t have anything to lose by letting him try. I was on the conference
call Wednesday night (actually Thursday morning) and don’t see in those
notes where he’ll start, but this is a polished hitter with usable
power now thanks to his strength. He’s strong enough to repeat his
swing with a wood bat; you can’t say that about most HS hitters.

 Q:  Daniel from Pacific Grove, Ca asks:
how many players will hold out until august 15th next year? Will this
increase the # of pre-draft deals teams will try to make?

John Manuel:
Daniel, if financial considerations are at the top of a player’s wish
list, I don’t see why that player wouldn’t wait until the deadline. The
longer the player waited, the greater the likelihood he would receive a
bonus that was above the commissioner’s office slot recommendation.
Period. There are a number of ways to tweak the draft rules if MLB
wants to avoid that next year, too many to list here. My mind changes
on this subject every time I think about it, frankly, but for one, I’d
like to see an earlier deadline (Aug. 1 at least). Two, the more formal
the slots are (and if they are ever formalized in the CBA this is
especially true), there needs to be some trading of draft picks
allowed, to give the teams a chance to get some value to a pick if they
don’t want to pay top dollar.

 Q:  Greg from CT asks:
do the Mets have to be so cheap when it comes to over slotting? Second
straight year they let a top talent go just because they were afraid of
the commisioners office

John Manuel:
I’m surprised the Mets have been so compliant. They also keep drafting
relievers. It’s an odd, surprising trend, no doubt. Just because the
Yankees and Red Sox and Tigers spent doesn’t mean the Mets should
spend, but for me, teams should spend what THEY want to spend. Who
should decide the value of a player—your scouts and talent evaluators,
or the commissioner’s office? If I owned a club, I would want the
people I pay to make those determinations, not the commissioner’s

 Q:  Chad from Dallas asks:
you think the Orioles giving $6 million upfront to Matt Wieters is
worth it? Is it true that he is going to be better than Justin Upton?
After all he is going to get more money upfront than Upton and to me
this seems a tad ridiculous.

John Manuel:
I agree with the Orioles’ decision, because that’s what it was going to
take to sign Wieters, and they needed to get that done. The fact he’s
getting more up-front than Upton is kind of immaterial—that was 2
years ago for one, Upton was a two-sport guy so they could spread the
money out, it’s apples and oranges. In one way, Wieters could be said
to have more value because he switch-hits and plays a premium position.
That said, I don’t think he’ll be the offensive player Upton has proven
to be and was thought to be. Also, Wieters didn’t get a MLB contract;
in a small way, that’s a win for the Orioles, I guess. They clearly
were opposed to that or else they would have taken advantage of the MLB
contract and spread Wieters’ money out over a longer period of time.

 Q:  Jay from Tacoma, WA asks:
or false: Brackman has one of the top 5 highest ceilings of pitching
prospects in the minors, if healthywhen he comes back from TJS.

John Manuel:
At his best, true. It’s a mid-to-upper 90s fastball with a knockout
breaking ball and above-average athleticism. It’s a very enticing
package. When Brackman was a freshman, he was lights-out and was the
best pitcher at the ACC Tournament, dominating Miami in front of dozens
of scouts that were in to get a final look at ‘Canes starter Cesar
Carillo, and I had two scouts tell me later that Brackman was the best
amateur pitcher in the country at that time (May 2005). So his ceiling
is very high. That said, Tommy John has a good track record but it’s
not automatic. He’s going to have to do the hard rehab work. Brackman
also has had a hip problem in the past. I’m surprised he got that kind
of money considering he’s not going to pitch competitively until 2009.
The Yankees paid for potential, though, and he has potential like few
other pitchers.

 Q:  David S. from South Gate asks:
Why did they not sign Harvey? They ranked #29, or 2nd lowest only to
the Houston Astros, for lowest signing bonus’ handed out at a little
under $1.3 million. If they had inked Harvey, even at the $2 – $2.5
million he was asking, they still would have been in the bottom 10.
Was this decision made totally in regards the All-Star game in 2010
($$$$), as the commissioner still hasn’t announced the winner and had an article yesterday indicating that the Angels were the
favorite to be awarded the game.

John Manuel:
The Angels were prepared to go over slot though. If they offered the
mid-first-round money like they say they did, that would be
significantly over slot. I really can’t imagine MLB withholding an
All-Star Game because of an extra $1 million thrown a player’s way. The
Angels just apparently didn’t feel they needed to spend that much on
Matt Harvey.

 Q:  Brett from Buffalo, NY asks:
Thanks for answering our questions, John. Give me the top 5 teams that had the best drafts.

John Manuel:
I like what the Tigers did, and I like the Nationals’ draft a lot. They
weren’t active on deadline day, and their players haven’t gotten off to
boffo starts, but I still like how diverse the Blue Jays’ draft was. I
think Texas did pretty well and would probably throw the Yankees in
because they spent so much money, some of those guys have to hit,
though frankly their draft doesn’t blow me away.

 Q:  Chad from Dallas asks:
for the chat. I was impressed that the Rangers were able to sign their
top picks, especially Beavan. But I also was glad they signed Mitch
Moreland from Miss. St. What is your assessment of Moreland and the
Rangers signings overall?

John Manuel:
I was impressed as well by what the Rangers did in terms of who they
picked and who they signed. Borbon’s a good fit, and frankly I’d
discount his 2007 numbers at Tennessee, his ankle injury throws
everything off. Beavan and Mike Main is a great 1-2 punch of prep RHPs.
Moreland’s a good guy to take a chance on because he has lefthanded
power, and they didn’t break the bank for him, but I wouldn’t get too
excited. He was a good college player but not a great one. I can’t tell
you the last Mississippi State hitter who broke out in the big leagues.

 Q:  Daniel from Dallas asks:
I’ve heard Eric Chavez as a comparable to Matt Dominguez. Do you think that’s appropriate?

John Manuel:
Scouts make physical comps; sometimes readers mistake these for
performance comparisons. Dominguez probably is more of a physical comp
as an HS player than a performance comp, because Chavez as an amateur
was considered a mediocre defender if not a poor one, one who’d have to
move off 3B. The A’s and CHavez deserve credit for him being the basis
of a Dominguez comp, because Dominguez plays excellent defense. All
that said, Chavez probably is a pretty good performance comp, but of
course Chavez was supposed to develop into a better hitter than he has.

 Q:  Luke from Des Moines asks:
Where will Porcello rank among the top prospects in the game? Also, will Brackman need TJ?

John Manuel:
Porcello was the top prep pitcher available; with all the talent
graduating to the big leagues this year, I’d suspect he’s a top 10 (at
least top 20) prospect.

 Q:  Chad from Dallas asks:
Who will have the better major league career: Mike Moustakas or Matt Dominguez?

John Manuel: I’m a Moose guy, and not just because we’re both Greek-Americans.

 Q:  Dave from San Juan Cap, CA asks:
How did Borbon get a ML deal? He is good, but come on! Boras must have something on Daniels and Hicks

John Manuel:
How? Very easily—he asked, and the club gave him one. It’s just a
conceit to spread the money out for the club, and it’s a way for the
agent to get something valuable for his client without going too high
above the signing slot. It’s really not that big of a deal, for me.

 Q:  Craig from V ancouver asks:
How much has the Nats farm system improved with their draft and how surprised were you to see them get McGeary?

John Manuel:
It’s going to be closer to 1 than to 30 in the next Handbook, I think.
That system has had a great year, bringing in talent and having good
prospects having good years, such as Marrero, Balester, etc. I was
surprised not that they got McGeary but how.

 Q:  Freddy from Chicago, IL asks:
What position do you see Josh Vitters playing for the Cubs? And how long before he is in the big leagues?

John Manuel: For me, his best comp is Pat Burrell—amateur 3B, probable LF in pro ball, possible 1B.

 Q:  matt from detroit asks:
do you think of the Tigers signing Cale Iorg. Isn’t 1.5 million a
little steep for a guy who has not played in two years? What do you
think of the tigers overall draft?

John Manuel:
Detroit’s overall draft was a very nice haul, better than in recent
years in terms of depth. I like the Iorg signing in terms of getting
him done—he’s better than older brother Eli, more athletic, capable of
playing SS and hitting for some power. He’s a very high-ceiling talent.
How about Tennessee’s 2004 prep class, I’ll say this for the millionth
time, but they had David Price, Cale Iorg, Matt Spencer (Phils, 3rd
round this year), Kyle Waldrop (Twins first round in ’04), plus Zack
Cozart plus James Adkins. Ridiculous year of talent in Tennessee.

John Manuel:
Forgot to answer on the last Vitters question, his draft place was all
about polish and power as a hitter; he’s not well-rounded enough
otherwise to go so high. So he could be banging on the door to MLB in
2010, after 2 full minor league seasons.

 Q:  tommy from new york asks:
so many late signings, which players will likely make their debuts in
the Arizona Fall League this year? I’m saying 50-50 on Wieters and with
a slim shot at David Price, and long, long, longshots on Moustakas or

John Manuel:
I don’t expect to see many there; Andrew Friedman said the Rays will
not send Price to the AFL because he’s going to fall classes at
Vanderbilt. Wieters would seem more likely, and I could see some of
those types of guys going to the Hawaiian league instead, since it is a
bit lower level of competition. As we hear any of that news we’ll pass
it on, but I doubt there will be more than 2-5 ’07 draftees in the AFL.

 Q:  Ryan from Houston asks:
bad did the Astros do? Richard Justice said the Astros wouldn’t budge
from slot value, is this true? How much were Dietrich, Eibner, and
Jones asking for?

John Manuel:
I think they frankly did very badly. It’s a bad system that did not
help itself in the draft virtually at all. It does sound like, in their
defense, one or more of those players changed up on the Astros and
asked for more than slot money after agreeing earlier to sign for slot.
That puts the Astros in a tough spot. To me, though, clubs have to
recognize that this is about investments, and with such a low
investment up front ($500k on this draft), the Astros will be lucky to
have much in terms of future returns.

 Q:  David from Denver asks:
the Rockies get Kentrail Davis signed? I haven’t been able to find out
anywhere. If they did get him signed what’s his celeing? Any chance the
Monforts ever start drafting premium talent and spending the money to
sign them?

John Manuel:
He did not sign; he’s not in the MLB database to our understanding. The
Rockies have found talent without going over slot—Brad Hawpe is an
11th-round alumnus. Garrett Atkins was a 5th-round pick. It makes it
harder if you always toe the line, but it can be done with good
scouting. Also, the Rockies have been pretty good
internationally—Ubaldo Jiminez, Manny Corpas, and in the pipeline
they’ve got Franklin Morales and Hector Gomez, among others. Also, 2
years ago they took Troy Tulowitzki—is he not premium enough for you?

 Q:  Randy from Boston asks:
We’re hearing that, despite reports, Jaren Matthews did NOT sign with the Sox. Is this true? What happened?

John Manuel:
Matthews DID sign; he’s in the database at least. I’ve been in touch
with the Rutgers baseball office and they also are confused. This one
might take a while to sort out, but to our knowledge, he has signed and
is not going to Rutgers.

 Q:  Ace from Detroit, MI asks:
Is Mike Moustakas really the best HS hitter since AROD or was that Scott Boras speak?

John Manuel:
Actually, Boras called Moustakas the best high school power hitter
since A-Rod. That claim can be made considering Moustakas set the
Calif. single-season and career home run records. But for me, I’d give
that distinction to either Prince Fielder or Delmon Young. Moustakas
clearly belongs in the discussion, however.

 Q:  Tim from Philadelphia asks:
John, What were the reasons behind Cleveland’s unsigning of LHP Cole
St. Clair? And what are the Astros thinking by not signing their high
draft picks (Dietrich and Eibner) Thanks

John Manuel:
Sounds like St. Clair was very motivated to go back to school and had a
very, very high price tag considering the injury-plagued junior season
he had. The Astros were thinking about their bottom line rather than
their minor league system, unfortunately for them.

 Q:  Kevin from San Diego asks:
Padres are usually very thoroughcareful with their early picks. What
happened to Tommy Toledo? Did he raise his price after being drafted?
Really disappointing considering he was one of the few high schoolers
they took. Also, could you comment on Christian Colon and if they even
came close on him?

John Manuel: trying to do a lightning round . . .

John Manuel:
I think the Padres were thorough, but their value on Toledo was
different from the player’s value. Colon wanted third- to fourth-round
money. It sounds like Colon really wanted to sign but didn’t get the
offer he wanted. The Padres had a solid draft anyway, I think, even
though they held the line. This is another system on the way up,
perhaps just as significantly as the Nationals and also without
spending as much money.

 Q:  Will Smeltzer from Tucson,Az asks:
What major league player would you compare Matt Weiters to?
How long do you think it will take him to reach the majors?

John Manuel:
Will, any relation to Sky Smeltzer over at Yavapai? Say hey for me . .
. Wieters is tough, 6-foot-5 switch-hitting C’s don’t grow on trees.
It’s almost like he’s Jason Varitek with a bit more offensive talent
perhaps but lesser makeup. That’s no knock on Wieters’ makeup, but he’s
not the vocal, strong leadership guy that Varitek is.

 Q:  Ace from Detroit, MI asks:
Will the Tigers fast-track Rick Porcello? Where does he start- rookie ball, A-ball?

John Manuel: They kind of have to with that MLB contract, Ace.

 Q:  Ace from Detroit, MI asks:
Based on their near-miss with Mike Moustoukas, will the Royals change their draft strategy to go for only signable players?

John Manuel:
Another one for Ace . . . The Royals are 2-for-2 with getting Boras
clients signed, not sure why they’d change, though right now, Hochevar
is not working out tremendously well.

 Q:  Joe from MInnesota asks:
Welcome to the SIGING Deadline Chat! Will Harvey be the Friday starter at UNC?

John Manuel:
Good point Joe, though the deadline has passed . . . no, Harvey will
not be the guy because there’s Alex White, who’s a returning starter,
and also Adam Warren is in that mix after pitching well in Omaha and
going 12-0, 2.17 for the year.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
Was Hunter Morris ever close to signing, or were his intentions different than Boston’s?

John Manuel:
Sounds like he put out a big number early, and the Sox protected
themselves by drafting similar players (power-hitting 1Bs) later.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
Project David Price’s career path for the next year, if you could.

John Manuel:
I think he’ll be in Tampa next year. Holding out hope he pitches for
Durham in the International League playoffs (if not him, how ’bout
Jacob McGee or Wade Davis? Make it happen Andrew!).

 Q:  Ben from Leland Grove asks:
the 2008 BA Handbook were published today, would Moustakas be KC’s # 1
prospect, or would it go to Hochevar? Also, how quickly do you think
Moose could see the Show?

John Manuel:
I’ll take Moustakas by a hair; Luke’s season is a bit better than a
though in K-BB ratio. Moustakas could move quite quickly, still
wouldn’t expect him before 2010.

 Q:  Ben from Leland Grove asks:
How would you rate Savory’s overall mechanics? Could he one day surpass Carrasco in terms of ceiling?

John Manuel:
I like ’em, always likened them to Mark Mulder, and Mulder was durable
for six years. He could surpass Carrasco, I’m quite the Savery fan, Jim
and I disagree on the Phillies’ draft, I like it better than he does.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
was the reason for the delay of the announcement of Vitters’ signing
until the last second? He wasn’t considered to be a tough sign.

John Manuel:
Seemed like they were waiting for Moustakas to announce; hard to come
down on the Cubs for going over slot if Moustakas got $4 million, but
at the same time, the Cubs wouldn’t have given Vitters $3.2 million had
Moustakas signed for the $3.15 million slot that was assigned for No. 2.

 Q:  Michael from Sacramento, CA asks:
appears the Giants signed the vast majority of their drafted players?
How does this draft project for them in the next few years—-any future
All Stars?

John Manuel:
The Giants helped themselves, and I’m a Tim Alderson fan as well as a
Madison Bumgarner fan. The Giants haven’t had success developing
players like Wendell Fairly in the past, so you’ll forgive me if I have
my doubts about him. Nick Noonan was also a nice get, but otherwise,
it’s more of a solid effort rather than future all-stars.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
Sorry for going off-topic, but I’d like to get your thoughts on the sudden promotion of Maybin.

John Manuel:
One more for jaypers . . . love it in a way, consistent with Jim
Leyland, who favors talent over experience. Gotta love that about Jim
Leyland. On the other hand, I was hoping Matt Joyce, my favorite
Detroit sleeper prospect, would get the call, but Maybin is the more
talented guy. It wouldn’t shock me in the least if he matched Justin
Upton’s start.

 Q:  Rameses from Chapel Hill, NC asks:
Padres talked a lot about their 10 million draft budget and how 2007
represented an almost historic chance to remake their minor leagues.
They spent 5.7 million on the class of 2007, just over 7 million if you
count D&Fs from 2006. They failed to sign Toledo, who didn’t appear
to be asking for the moon. What gives?

John Manuel:
Don’t forget the Padres got Matt Latos. Tommy Toledo shouldn’t be
considered such a damaging loss to the Padres; I think Padres fans are
over-reacting. I’d rather have Latos than Toledo. Reaction to Toledo
was quite mixed, he’s 160 pounds, small-bodied, some teams didn’t think
he offered much projection. So I’m wondering, what gives with all the
gnashing of teeth on Tommy Toledo?

 Q:  robert from LA asks:
how good can carmen angelini be?

John Manuel:
Sounds like Aaron Hill is a fair comparison, solid all around, maybe a
better chance to play shortstop than Hill as a big leaguer.

 Q:  Bob from Hanover, PA asks:
all of the fanfare going to Wieters (don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy
he signed), I was wondering what type of player Arieta project as?
Would his ceiling be a solid 3rd man in a MLB rotation?

John Manuel:
I like Arrieta as a middle-of-the-rotation starter but he had a pretty
mediocre season. He’s big, physical, could be an innings-eater, but he
was pretty much 88-90 or 88-91 all year, not the velo he showed last
summer with Team USA.

 Q:  Brian Daniels from Kennesaw Mountain Landis, Georgia asks:
wondering if Kyle Russell shot himself in the foot going back to Texas
or do you think it was a wise move? Also, Jason Heyward the real deal?
or what?

John Manuel:
It’s hard to imagine Russell matching the season he had, but clearly he
has holes in his swing with wood—showed that in the Area Codes three
years ago, showed that in the Cape, showed that this summer in the
California Collegiate League. I think he will be hard-pressed to change
scouts’ minds by playing with metal again at Texas. I’m a fan of
Heyward, his athleticism is hard to find.

 Q:  Doug from Richmond, Va asks:
What happened with Fields? Why didn’t he sign with the Bravos?

John Manuel:
Sounds like Fields really believes he can be Casey Weathers and go in
the first round even as a senior next year. It’s certainly possible. He
wanted more than slot and the Braves didn’t agree.

 Q:  Bob from Winthrop asks:
John and thank you for doing this draft. Do the Red Sox get any
compensation next year for not signing their second round pick? As
always thank you.

John Manuel: You’re welcome. The Red Sox do get compensation, pick 84A next year.

Moderator: Well, Jim Callis is now reporting that Jaren
Matthews WILL be going to Rutgers, and did not sign with the Red Sox.
More to come shortly.

 Q:  BL from Bozeman asks:
John, thanks for the chat… any early reaction from management or the
commissioner’s office on bonus payments that escalated during this
draft? Any thoughts on how did the new draft parameters affect bonuses?

John Manuel:
Our call(s) haven’t been returned yet, but Bill, the whole system’s
kind of broken, kind of FUBAR. This year was all about the law of
unintended consequences. Teams don’t go over slot unless they really,
really like the player. Without MLB interfering, the teams pretty much
police themselves, without MLB’s help.

 Q:  tiffythetitan from Oakland, CA asks:
Is JaMarcus RussellRaiders the next JD DrewPhillies situation?

John Manuel: Ask John Clayton, not John Manuel.

 Q:  Dan Ryan from Nashville asks:
Were you surprised the Dominic de la Osa of Vanderbilt was not drafted higher and that he did not sign a professional contract?

Also, who do you think will be the #1 draft pick in 2008?


John Manuel:
Not really, he sort of came out of nowhere this year, teams were
skeptical about his swing, and he had a mediocre summer. His teammate,
Pedro Alvarez, is the favorite to go 1-1 next year as he significantly
outperformed Justin Smoak with Team USA this summer, Smoak didn’t hit a
homer after the summer’s first seven games and slumped to .223.

 Q:  Bustah Posey from FSU asks:
Did my stock drop this summer?

John Manuel:
Not really, Buster hit .281 in the Cape, well above the league average,
and was an all-star who defended fine. Buster Posey is a potential
first three rounds guy next year. Always been a Buster fan.

 Q:  Bill from South Carolina asks:
do you think of Wynn Pelzer’s decision to sign, and if he comes back
healthy where do you see him ending up in the next year or two?

John Manuel:
Curious decision, not a huge Pelzer fan, heard he was throwing well in
the Cape but the knee injury obviously set him back. Just a reliever
for me.

 Q:  amfox1 from asks:
Jaren Matthews. BA and others reported that he has signed, but there is some question whether that is true. What’s the deal?

John Manuel:
Matthews was in the MLB database as having signed; that’s why we
reported him as having signed. Now Jim Callis is telling me that he has
not signed. My information from Rutgers is that there was a verbal
commitment, and Matthews subsequently changed his mind. Clearly, this
story is still developing, but that’s the information that I have.

 Q:  Casey from Tupelo, MS asks:
How do you think Oakland did with their signing and the ones that they didnt sign? Did they help to beef up their weak system?

John Manuel:
I think they did, I like their draft, good college player draft, big
Grant Desme and Josh Horton fan, and Sam Demel later was a good get.
I’m a Sean Doolittle fan as well, so for what they did (lower ceiling,
college-oriented), the A’s did well.

 Q:  Andy from Rego Park asks:
How did the Yankees not sign Carpenter, Peavey or Venditte(sp)?? Absolutely inexcusable

John Manuel:
Wow, really Andy? Carpenter has a 5+ college ERA in about 90 innings. I
like him, but he’s far from a proven commodity and has had elbow
trouble (TJ) in the past. He has leverage and could be a first-rounder
as a redshirt junior next year. And Peavey, well, the Yankees offered
him a significant six-figure deal and he still turned it down, and many
scouts I know consider him a reliever. Venditte is a special case, but
not signing him is far from inexcusable.

 Q:  Andrew from Fresno, CA asks:
How disappointed were the Angels that they didn’t sign RHP Martin Viramontes (Bullard HS, Fresno)?

John Manuel:
I think they will be, he’s in the top 10 Calif. Collegiate League
prospects (coming next week), and he’s got a chance, hard-throwing,
projectable RHP. Now he’s off to Loyola Marymount.

 Q:  Gerry from Scranton, PA asks:
Phillies draft question – who are the legit prospects besides Savery? I like Spencer – what do u think? THANKS

John Manuel:
I like a lot of the Phillies’ picks from the West Coast—Michael Taylor
has upside out of Stanford (though his poor start is discouraging);
Justin DeFratus has a big arm; Julian Sampson has projection and
athletic ability. Nice draft.

 Q:  John Vincent from Los Angeles, CA asks:
What was Devin Fuller’s asking price, and what didn’t make him an elite pitcher, he has a good frame and power?

John Manuel:
His track record’s shorter than other pitchers’ track records. He was
primarily a football linebacker prior to this spring, and his velo
jumped. Just not as long a history on him, harder to pay top dollar
when you haven’t seen him in a national showcase against other top

 Q:  Gary from NJ asks:
Your gut feeling. Was Brackman a good pick and sign for the Yankees?

John Manuel: My prodigious gut says “I’m hungry,” then also chimes in, “no.”

 Q:  TJ from Miami asks:
Marlins took Michael Stanton in the 2nd round. He is big enough for
1B,but hear he wants to play CF. The Marlins already have a number of
good young CF(De Aza,Jai Miller,Greg Burns) What will they do in
regards to where he plays??

John Manuel:
He’s athletic enough to be an OF, and if they think that, they’ll play
him there, TJ. There are three spots after all, plenty of room.
Miller’s year deserves mention, he showed very few signs of life in
A-ball but has had a nice year in Double-A and has really filled out
his lithe, athletic frame. He’s got a chance.

 Q:  J.V. from Sherman Oaks, Ca asks:
How do the Dodgers not sign Kyle Blair, who evidently wanted to sign, for 1.1 $ mil. as opposed to his original 1.5$ mil.?

John Manuel:
Blair contends that he wanted $1.35 million and it sounds like he did
turn down $1.1 million. How do they not sign him? They put a value on
the player and the player thinks he’s worth more. You guys make it
sound so simple . . .

 Q:  Ben from Carlsbad, CA asks:
this ridiculous draft, can we PLEASE start allowing the trading of
draft picks? If the lesser teams in the league can’t afford a guy like
Porcello, shouldn’t they at least be given some consideration from the
guys that can????

John Manuel:
I finally have come around to the idea of trading picks; used to be
opposed but with slotting I have come around. I still think the real
solution to all this is teams deciding they want to build through the
draft and committing resources to the draft. Then draft who you want,
pay what you want and forget all this other mess. Let your GM and
scouts decide how much to pay players, not Bud Selig (wow, it DOES
sound simple).

Jim Callis: On Jaren Matthews: He agreed to
terms, deal got submitted (you don’t sign the physical contract until
drug test, etc), hbe got home and changed his mind.

John Manuel: (Yes, it was that simple apparently.) So Rutgers fans celebrate, Red Sox fans, you can start gnashing teeth . . . now.

 Q:  tj from naperville, IL asks:
What do you think of the cubs draft overall, and is it possible for vitters to make it to the bigs in less that three years?

John Manuel:
It’s solid, nothing extravagant, good college players, big Josh
Donaldson fan and have really come around on Darwin Barney, just a
winning player.

 Q:  Tom from Tampa, Fl asks:
getting overpaid is nothing new, the fact that many teams followed the
commish advice just to see several teams blow him off is what has some
upset. Your thoughts please! Thank you

John Manuel:
I think you have a point there. The fact 25 teams played along and five
didn’t (BLT on Wieters, NYY, DET, BOS and WAS), that would bother me if
I were one of the 25 teams.

 Q:  tim from boston asks:
hey, what happened with Randy Boone from UT – he was a solid talent…

John Manuel: Seniors are still eligible to sign, not affected by the deadline, not a free agent, still controlled by the Blue Jays.

Moderator: OK, everyone, 2 hours, 10 minutes is going to have
to do. I actually have other work to do (summer college leagues,
helping run a magazine, etc.). Thanks to everyone for coming to the
chat, hope you enjoyed it, and special thanks to Jim Callis for his
coverage of the signing deadline, this was a great week for us here at
BA. You can also get more signing deadline thoughts on our podcast this
week, Alan Matthews & I opined for 20 minutes. Thanks for coming