The Pirates made Daniel Moskos the fourth overall pick in the 2007 draft, selecting him ahead of Matt Wieters, Jarrod Parker, Madison Bumgarner and Jason Heyward, among others. Five years and 24 1/3 major league innings later, he’s now a member of the White Sox organization after being claimed off waivers.
The selection of Moskos was viewed by most as a mistake right off the bat. In their defense, the Pirates knew Wieters was a better prospect; they just didn’t want to pay the price for him. Instead, they went for what they felt was the best available college pitcher. Unfortunately, there was really no right answer with that strategy. Other than David Price, who went first overall, none of the college pitchers taken in the first round that year have been successes. Ryan Detwiler is the best of the bunch. The supplemental round had Cory Luebke go 63rd overall. Jordan Zimmermann went at the top of the second round.
Moskos ended up bouncing back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen in the minors. He surfaced in the majors as a reliever last year and amassed a 2.96 ERA in 24 1/3 innings. However, that came with just 11 strikeouts and a 1.56 WHIP. He didn’t make the team out of spring training this season, and he was viewed as the most expendable player on the 40-man roster when the Pirates needed to make an addition earlier this week.
In Chicago, Moskos will get to work with Don Cooper, who has helped turn fellow first-round disappointments Gavin Floyd, Matt Thornton and Philip Humber around. He probably has less to work with in this case, but the White Sox must see some potential in his left arm.
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reported over the weekend that the Cubs and reliever Pedro Strop agreed to a contract extension. He’ll remain with the Cubs through 2018 and the new deal includes a club option for the 2019 season as well. Per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, Strop will earn $5.85 million in 2018 and the club option is worth $6.25 million with a $500,000 buyout. The two sides already avoided arbitration earlier this month, agreeing on a $5.5 million salary for the 2017 season.
Strop, 31, has been a very reliable reliever for the Cubs over the last three years. He has a combined 2.65 ERA with 212 strikeouts and 69 walks over 176 1/3 innings in that span of time.
The Cubs replaced Aroldis Chapman with Wade Davis, so Strop and Hector Rondon will be bridging the gap to Davis this coming season.
Strop joined the Cubs along with Jake Arrieta in the July 2013 trade that sent Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman to the Orioles. That trade panned out well for the Cubs.
Sure, it may feel gimmicky to go around asking players to make predictions for the Academy Awards, but when it comes to the Athletics’ John Axford, he knows what he’s talking about. The right-hander has a proven track record of making near-perfect ballot predictions, getting 14 of 15 winners correct in 2013, 18 of 18 in 2014, 17 of 24 in 2015 and 17 of 24 again in 2016.
With a range of award-worthy films to choose from this year, Axford selected the crowd-pleasing (and record-breaking seven Golden Globe winner) La La Land for Best Picture, Manchester By the Sea‘s Casey Affleck for Best Actor and “the sweetheart of Hollywood,” Emma Stone, for Best Actress.
His full ballot was released to Twitter on Saturday, locking in La La Land for eight total Oscars. Going a perfect 24-for-24 might be a near-impossible feat, but if anyone can pull it off, Axford’s the one to do it.