MLB’s attempts at holding down draft pick bonuses again resulted in a wave of signings announced just after the midnight deadline. This year, all but one first-round pick, the Blue Jays’ Tyler Beede, got a deal done.
Top overall pick Gerrit Cole of the Pirates was one of 23 first-round picks to sign just prior to the deadline, agreeing to a deal with an $8 million bonus. Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen, the No. 2 overall pick by the Mariners, did just about as good, getting a major league deal worth $8.5 million over five years.
The Orioles’ Dylan Bundy received a four-year major league deal worth $6.25 million. He was the fourth overall pick. No. 5 pick Bubba Starling, an outfielder who had the option of playing quarterback for Nebraska, received a $7.5 million bonus from the Royals. No. 6 pick Anthony Rendon got a major league deal worth $7.4 million from the Nationals.
(Trevor Bauer, the third overall selection by the Diamondbacks, was the only top-nine pick to sign prior to Monday’s deadline. He got a major league deal worth about $7 million on July 25.)
The biggest surprises Monday were that the Pirates managed to sign 61st overall pick Josh Bell and that the Nationals got a deal done with their third-round pick, Matt Purke. Bell, who told teams not to draft him because he was planning to go to the University of Texas, was viewed as a mid-first-round talent. He got a top-10-type bonus of $5 million. Purke, a first-round pick by the Rangers out of high school, entered 2011 as a likely top-five overall pick, only to slip because of arm problems. He fell in the draft, too, but the Nationals inked him to a major league deal worth $4.4 million.
Besides Beede, the 21st overall selection, only one other top-60 pick failed to sign. That was supplemental first-rounder Brad Austin, a catcher taken 54th by the Padres.
Major League Baseball just announced the broadcast schedule for both Games 6 and 7 (if necessary) of the NLCS and the entire World Series.
There are no surprises here. The World Series games are all on Fox. The pregame show starts at 7:30 and the games themselves start just after 8pm Eastern Daylight Time, regardless of whether it’s Chicago or Los Angeles representing the National League. For some reason Game five of the World Series, scheduled a week from Sunday if it comes to pass, starts seven minutes later than all of the other games. Maybe something super exciting will happen then.
David Ortiz had a whale of a final season with the Red Sox. It was so good that he was asked, many, many times, if he was thinking of reversing his retirement decision and coming back for 2017. Ortiz always said no, he was still retiring, occasionally making mention of his aching feet and the physical grind his 40-year-old body was undergoing.
We now know just how much of a grind it was. Indeed, it was extreme. We know this because Dan Dyrek, the Red Sox’ coordinator of sports medicine services, tells it to Rob Bradford of WEEI. Dyrek says that the injuries to Ortiz’s feet, which were often referred to as achilles tendon problems, were way, way more complicated than that, affecting every muscle, bone and tendon in his feet in chain reaction fashion. Dyrek:
“He was essentially playing on stumps. Instead of having this nice, flexible, foot, ankle, calf mechanism to act as a shock absorber, he was playing on stumps. And you can do that for only so long. He was in warrior mode trying to play through this. Once we diagnosed him and saw what was going on and started explaining things to him, there was actually a sense of relief because now he had an explanation of what he was in such excruciating pain.”
That Ortiz was able to even walk through what Dyrek describes is pretty amazing. That he was able to put up a near-MVP season with all of that pain is incredible.