Sources told ESPN’s Keith Law that University of Oklahoma right-hander Jonathan Gray, who was widely expected to go at the top of the first round in Thursday’s MLB draft, sampled positive for Adderall during a predraft test.
One source with MLB that the positive test won’t result in a suspension, but will result in additional testing after he begins his pro career. Only those players with a prescription and a waiver are allowed to use Adderall in the majors and minors, and Gray reportedly had neither.
Expectations were that the Astros would take either Gray or Stanford right-hander Mark Appel with the first pick in Thursday’s draft and that the other would go to the Cubs second overall. However, that has changed in recent days; many now believe the Astros will go with a position player at No. 2 and that either Gray or Appel could slide to Colorado with the third pick or Minnesota with the fourth pick. If teams choose to shy away from Gray because of the news, he could slip to the Red Sox at No. 7 or the Pirates at No. 9.
Gray, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound Junior, is 10-2 with a 1.59 ERA and a 138/22 K/BB ratio in 119 innings for Oklahoma this year. He’s expected to face LSU in regional play this weekend.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.