Baseball America ranks Stephen Strasburg as the best draft prospect since 1989

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Baseball America executive editor Jim Callis has an interesting article today ranking the 20 best draft prospects since he joined the magazine in 1989.
He has Stephen Strasburg as the best at-the-time-of-the-draft prospect during that span, with previous “best college pitcher of all time” Mark Prior at No. 2 and “the Strasburg of the pre-internet era” Ben McDonald at No. 3. That those two guys combined for just 120 career wins says a lot about the nature of pitching prospects and why Strasburg should probably wait a bit before writing his Hall of Fame speech.
According to Callis, the top position players since 1989 are Justin Upton, who was the No. 1 pick in 2005, and Alex Rodriguez, who was the No. 1 pick in 1993. In looking over Callis’ entire top 20, what’s most striking is that there are no fewer than a half-dozen pitchers who can be classified as busts, yet not a single position players really fits that description. Or at least not yet.
Callis ranks this year’s presumed top pick, Bryce Harper, as the 15th-best draft prospect since 1989. For all the questions surrounding Harper’s makeup, he’s a decent bet to have at least a solid career simply by virtue of not being a pitcher. If you’re into prospects and looking forward to next month’s draft, Callis’ whole list and his comments are definitely worth checking out.

Spring training will be slightly shortened in 2018

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 15:  General view of action between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants during the spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The A's defeated the Giants 8-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.

Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.

The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.

While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.

Report: Rays trade Logan Forsythe to the Dodgers for prospect Jose De Leon

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 4: Logan Forsythe #11 of the Tampa Bay Rays waits in the dugout to get on deck to bat during the third inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals on August 4, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Update (7:05 PM EST): The Rays and Dodgers have both announced the trade.

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Update (6:57 PM EST): That was fast. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports the two sides have agreed to the trade. Forsythe for De Leon. An announcement is expected shortly.

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Dodgers and Rays are “deep into discussions” on a trade involving second baseman Logan Forsythe. Passan adds that the two sides have discussed pitcher Jose De Leon — the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect — as part of the return for Forsythe, but it’s unclear if he’s in the deal currently being discussed.

Forsythe, 30, hit a productive .264/.333/.444 with 20 home runs and 52 RBI in 567 plate appearances in 2016. He was even better the year before, finishing with an .804 OPS. Forsythe can fill the Dodgers’ obvious need at second base, but he also has experience playing third base, first base, shortstop, and corner outfield.

Forsythe is entering the second year of his two-year, $10.25 million contract extension with the Rays. He’ll earn $5.75 million in 2017 and his controlling team has an $8.5 million club option with a $1 million buyout for the 2018 season.