Things haven’t gone according to plan in Tampa Bay this season, but the Rays just made a huge splash for their future by signing Baseball America’s top-ranked international prospect for $2.95 million.
Today is the first day Adrian Rondon is eligible to sign because it’s his 16th birthday and the Rays moved quickly to add the right-handed-hitting shortstop from the Dominican Republic.
Tampa Bay must believe that Rondon is destined for stardom because Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that by going so far beyond their designated spending limits the Rays will be forced to pay a 100 percent tax on all international spending above $2 million and won’t be allowed to sign any prospects for more than $300,000 for a while.
But if Rondon turns into a stud 4-5 years down the road no one will remember any of those penalties.
(Check out Badler’s scouting report on Rondon by clicking here.)
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.