Padres agree to deal with first-round pick shortstop Trea Turner

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The Padres announced yesterday that they have agreed to terms with each of their first three draft picks, including first-round pick shortstop Trea Turner.

Turner was selected No. 13 overall out of North Carolina State earlier this month. John Manuel of Baseball America reports that he’ll receive a $2.9 million bonus, which is $177,000 above the slot value.

Jim Callis of MLB.com writes that Turner “has the tools to become a dynamic leadoff hitter with his top-of-the-line speed and his ability to control the strike zone,” though there are questions about his bat. Listed at 6-foot-1 and 171 pounds, the 20-year-old should be able to stick at shortstop, but Callis writes that he needs to improve his consistency.

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.