No. 1 pitching prospect Jason Groome ruled ineligible for violating transfer rule

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Jason Groome, considered to be the number one pitching prospect in the country and a potential first overall pick in the 2016 draft, has been ruled ineligible New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association for violating the transfer rule, Phil Anastasia of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Groome’s statistics for the 2016 season have also been wiped out.

Groome transferred from the IMG Academy in Florida back to his hometown in Barnegat, New Jersey.

Per Steve Politi of NJ Advance Media, NJSIAA spokesman Michael Cherenson said in a statement, “A student-athlete transferring from one secondary school to another must provide evidence of a bona fide change of residence.”

Groome was supposed to sit out the first 30 days but didn’t. As Politi points out, the transfer rule is easily worked around and Groome was punished because he didn’t try to game the system. Politi talked to an unnamed high school basketball coach, who said, “They should have told the state that the kid and his father were living in an empty beach house (in Barnegat). There’s your bona fide change of address.”

The Phillies have the first overall pick in the 2016 draft. Because Groome is from a nearby area, there is some thought that the Phillies would take Groome at no. 1. ESPN’s Keith Law, however, said in a recent chat that he doesn’t think the Phillies want to take a high school arm at no. 1.

Mariners sign RHP reliever Trevor Gott to 1-year contract

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SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners have begun the process of bolstering their bullpen by signing right-hander Trevor Gott to a one-year contract on Wednesday.

Gott appeared in 45 games last season with Milwaukee, going 3-4 with a 4.14 ERA. Gott had 44 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings and held opponents to a .204 batting average.

Gott’s signing helps fill a void created when Erik Swanson was traded to Toronto as part of the deal that brought slugger Teoscar Hernandez to Seattle earlier this month. Gott has also pitched for San Francisco, Washington and the Los Angeles Angels.

Last season with the Brewers, Gott saw significant drops in batting average against and walk percentage, while raising his strikeout percentage.

Seattle also made a front office announcement Wednesday with the promotion of Andy McKay to assistant general manager. McKay has been with the club since 2015, when he was hired as the director of player development. McKay was promoted to senior director of baseball development in November 2021.

In his new role, McKay will oversee baseball development at all levels of the organization.