Dodgers selected Stanford left-hander Chris Reed with the 16th overall pick in the 2011 draft.
Reed has served as Stanford’s closer this season but will get a chance to start in the Dodgers organization. He’s a solid left-hander with three good pitches, but it’s fairly clear the Dodgers opted for signability here as opposed to raw talent. He was not projected to go in the first round by many draft services and could wind up back in the bullpen.
Angels picked Utah first baseman C.J. Cron with the 17th pick.
Cron also played some catcher for the Utes, but the Angels are expected to keep him at first base. He won Player of the Year honors in the Mountain West twice and posted an .803 slugging percentage this season in 198 at-bats. The 21-year-old has serious offensive updside — maybe the most of anyone in this year’s draft pool.
The A’s took Vanderbilt right-hander Sonny Gray with the 18th pick.
Gray is a bit small at 5’11”, but he has a very good one-two punch in his low-90s fastball and slider, and if his changeup comes, he could be a No. 2 starter someday. He’s not as polished as most of the college pitchers taken ahead of him.
The Red Sox took Connecticut right-hander Matt Barnes at No. 19.
Barnes, the second UConn player to go in the first round, throws 91-94 mph and has an excellent slider. He has a long way to go before he’ll be ready to help as a starter, but some think he could come quick as a reliever. Maybe he’ll go the Justin Masterson route.
Rockies picked Oregon left-hander Tyler Anderson with the 20th selection.
Anderson doesn’t have dominating stuff, but he’s a smart left-hander with great control and a highly developed changeup. The 21-year-old doesn’t have the highest ceiling, but he has the tools to become a reliable member of the Colorado rotation and could move quickly.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.
The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.
Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.
The Dodgers last owner, Frank McCourt, was a mainstay of the gossip pages. The new administration has been pretty drama free since taking over five years ago. That is, until now.
Multiple outlets, ranging from the New York Post to the Wall Street Journal, have been reporting on a scandal brewing at Guggenheim Partners, the multi-billion investment firm led by Mark Walter, its CEO. Walter is also the head of Guggenheim Baseball Management, the offshoot of the firm which owns the Dodgers. Walter is the Dodgers’ named owner — the “control person” — as far as Major League Baseball is concerned.
The scandal does not directly relate to the baseball team. Rather, it involves allegations that Walter bought a $13 million Pacific Palisades home for a younger female executive named Alexandra Court:
In the past 24 hours, the company has pushed back on multiple reports that CEO Mark Walter will step down; its chief investment officer has claimed on CNBC that there’s “no tumult” at the company; and Guggenheim has denied reports on a real-estate blog and in the New York Post that Walter bought a California mansion for a younger female executive at the company.
The denial regarding who bought the mansion is a bit too cute, though, as the company only denies that Walter bought it or owns it. In fact, the mansion is owned by a holding company that also bought Walter’s personal residence in Malibu. Billionaires don’t go to closings at title company offices, of course. They buy houses through companies and LLCs and trusts and stuff. As such, the claim that Walter didn’t buy the house may be technically and legally true but entirely misleading all the same. For what it’s worth, The Wall Street Journal has reported that Walter and Court have a “personal relationship.” Walter, who is married, and the company deny this. Court is on an extended leave of absence.
Walter and Guggenheim are denying that Walter is going to step down as CEO. That remains to be seen. The question for our purposes is whether, if he steps down from Guggenheim Partners, he would necessarily have to step down from Guggenheim Baseball Management and thus relinquish control of the Dodgers. I suspect not — they’re distinct legal entities, and his departure from Partners would be unrelated to stuff having to do with the baseball team — but you never know. It’s not like he put up $2 billion of his personal dollars for the team. There are likely a lot of strings attached and contingencies involved to the arrangement.
Something to watch.