Mike Zunino was selected by the Mariners with the third overall pick in the draft two weeks ago and today Baseball America named the University of Florida catcher their college player of the year.
Zunino hit .322 with a 1.069 OPS for the Gators, ranking fourth in the country with 19 homers, 10th with 67 RBIs, and 11th with a .669 slugging percentage. He also received praise for his leadership and defense behind the plate.
He hasn’t signed with the Mariners yet because the Gators were only recently eliminated from the College World Series, but the slot amount for the No. 3 pick is $5.2 million.
UCLA pitcher Trevor Bauer was Baseball America‘s college player of the year in 2011 and the 21-year-old right-hander is already at Triple-A after being selected third overall by the Diamondbacks. Other winners during the past five years are Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg, Buster Posey, and David Price.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Monday that the Angels have received inquiries from multiple teams concerning starter Hector Santiago. He adds that the club is willing to listen to offers. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Marlins are among the teams that have inquired.
Santiago, 28, has pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 47 walks in 110 1/3 innings. Sabermetric statistics such as FIP, xFIP, and SIERA think the lefty has pitched even worse than his ERA indicates however, pitting 2016 as his worst performance to date.
Santiago is earning $5 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility going into 2017.
We also learned earlier that, in an effort to bolster their starting rotation, the Marlins have also shown interest in Wade Miley of the Mariners and Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies.
The Rangers placed DH Prince Fielder on the disabled list last week due to more neck discomfort. On Friday, Fielder met with Dr. Drew Dossett, who performed spinal fusion surgery on Fielder in 2014 for a herniated disk in his neck. Dossett has recommended another procedure, so Fielder will undergo season-ending surgery this week, Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports.
Fielder was having a rough season, batting .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 370 plate appearances. He played in only 42 games in 2014, but returned in 2015 looking more like his old self. Unfortunately, neck and back issues are notoriously difficult to fix. Hopefully, this upcoming procedure does the trick for Fielder.
Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, with the Tigers paying $6 million of it per season.