Shortly after celebrating the signing of No. 1 pick Bryce Harper by hitting general manager Mike Rizzo in the face with a whipped cream pie, Nationals president Stan Kasten “reiterated his contempt for baseball’s current system for signing draft choices.”
Right now the majority of top picks wait until the last moment to sign, costing themselves development time and creating a logjam of mostly inevitable announcements like we saw before yesterday’s midnight deadline.
Kasten told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that he expects the system to change as part of the next collective bargaining agreement, calling it “silly to think the industry operates this way.”
Here’s more from Kasten:
There’s no reason for it. And the worst part? The worst part is we’ve now institutionalized taking young talent at their prime development age, and now we say, “Go sit on the shelf for this season.” That’s the worst thing of all. It doesn’t help the talent. It doesn’t help the teams. If nothing else, that law needs to be fixed.
Exactly. Players are drafted in June and then most end up signing within a few hours of each other before a midnight deadline in mid-August, giving them several months to essentially do nothing and leaving them little room to make a pro debut in the current season.
Things have gone from bad to worse for Red Sox’ outfielder Brock Holt, who was shut down “for the foreseeable future” on Friday after meeting with head trauma specialist Michael Collins. The Red Sox placed Holt on the 10-day disabled list in April after he began experiencing vertigo, the latest in a series of head injuries he’s sustained since last spring.
According to the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato, the outfielder was initially advised to attempt playing through his symptoms, but it quickly became apparent that the strategy wasn’t going to work. Now, the plan is to shut him down from any game activity in the hopes that he’ll be able to recover from all lingering symptoms before returning to the roster. Club manager John Farrell told reporters that the 28-year-old is still cleared to take batting practice and work on his defense, but won’t continue his rehab starts in Triple-A Pawtucket for the time being.
Holt had been making regular appearances for the Pawtucket Red Sox and was batting .209/.292/.372 with two home runs through 14 games this spring. This season marks his fifth run within the Red Sox’ organization. He experienced a bit of a slump at the plate in 2016 and slashed .255/.322/.383 after breaking out during his first All-Star year in 2015.
Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe suggests that the team’s concern for Holt extends past his setbacks at the plate. It’s still a long road to a full recovery, and while Farrell told reporters he believes the outfielder is on track to make a return sometime in 2017, he’ll need to make sure that Holt is both physically and mentally prepared to do so.
The Washington Nationals have acquired outfielder Ryan Raburn from the Chicago White Sox. Raburn had been playing at Triple-A Charlotte. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Syracuse in the Nats organization. The Nationals will send cash or a player to be named later to the White Sox to complete the deal.
Raburn has yet to play in the majors this season. Last year he hit .220/.309/.404 with nine homers in 113 games for the Colorado Rockies. The year before that he hit an excellent .301/.393/.543 in part time play for the Indians. Over the course of his 11 year career the 36-year-old has hit .253/.317/.436, which breaks down to an OPS+ of exactly 100, which is league average. Primarily an outfielder, Raburn has played every position except shortstop and catcher in his career. He’s even pitched twice.
The Nats plans for him aren’t entirely clear, but depth it depth.