Angels sign first-round pick Kaleb Cowart for $2.3 million

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There are going to be an absurd number of draft pick signings to announce today because midnight is the deadline for deals to be reached before teams cease controlling a player’s rights.
This morning there were 17 unsigned first-round picks, but that number if now 16 with the Angels convincing Georgia high school infielder and No. 18 pick Kaleb Cowart to pass up a scholarship to Florida State for a $2.3 million bonus.
Jim Callis of Baseball America lists Diamondbacks first rounder Barret Loux and Dodgers first rounder Zach Lee as the least likely first-round picks to sign before midnight. Loux because he failed a physical exam in July and Lee because it’s been assumed all along that he plans to play college football at LSU.
For the most part, though, expect the vast majority of high-round picks–including Bryce Harper–to come to terms at some point tonight.

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.