Trevor Gretzky, son of The Great One, has picked the Cubs over San Diego State, that according to Aztecs coach Tony Gwynn.
“We heard he signed with the Cubs on Monday,” Gwynn told the Toronto Sun on Thursday.
The Cubs have yet to confirm the signing, which is sure to be for considerably more than slot money. MLB is often hesitant to improve such deals until just before the Aug. 15 deadline.
The largest bonus given to a seventh-round pick so far this year was $200,000 from the Mets to first baseman Cole Frenzel. The Cubs might be in that same neighborhood with Gretzky.
Of course, unlike a lot of draft picks, Trevor Gretzky doesn’t really need the money. As a first baseman at Oaks Christian in California, he wore the same number 99 his father did throughout his hockey career. Since finances weren’t an issue, many thought he would choose college over the pros.
“Our scouts conveyed to him this wasn’t a PR move,” Cubs GM Jim Hendry told the Chicago Tribune last month. “There can be a burden having a famous father but we won’t make him feel like he’s Wayne Gretzky’s son. He’s his own young man. We wanted Trevor. Our scouts had him going a few rounds higher.”
At 6-foot-4, Trevor Gretzky gets pretty good reviews for his power potential, but he’s even more of a project than most high schoolers. He probably won’t be assigned to a full-season league until 2013.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.