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.

Rangers set ALDS rotation: Gallardo in Game 1, Hamels in Game 2

Yovani Gallardo

Setting their rotation for the beginning of the ALDS versus the Blue Jays, the Rangers announced that right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start Game 1 and left-hander Cole Hamels will start Game 2.

Gallardo posted a 3.42 ERA in 33 starts this season, but averaged just 5.6 innings per start and hasn’t completed six or more innings in a start since mid-August. Clearly the Rangers will be hoping for five or six innings from him before turning it over to the bullpen.

Hamels, on the other hand, averaged seven innings in his 12 post-trade starts for the Rangers, including tossing a complete-game against the Angels in the regular season finale. He’s obviously the Rangers’ best starting pitcher, but because Hamels was needed to clinch the division title in Game 162 he’s not available to start Game 1 of the playoffs.

Indians promote Chris Antonetti to President, name new GM

Chris Antonetti
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In the seemingly never-ending trend of front office officials getting new titles, the Cleveland Indians just announced that General Manager Chris Antonetti has been promoted to President of Baseball Operations and Mike Chernoff is now the GM.

Antonetti has been the Tribe’s GM for the past five years and is moving up in the wake of team president Mark Shapiro moving on to Toronto. Shapiro, however, also held business side responsibilities which Antonetti will not assume. Meaning, as before, he will be the top guy on baseball ops decisions, albeit with a grander title.

Chernoff has been an assistant GM for five years and has been with the organization for the past 12 years. As many new GMs these days he will, functionally speaking, still be an assistant when it comes to baseball decisions.