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Rangers sign three draft picks

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The Rangers officially confirmed the signings of their top three draft picks prior to Friday’s game against the Mariners. First-round draft pick Chris Seise reportedly received a signing bonus of $2 million, per MLB.com’s Jim Callis, while the bonuses for fellow first-rounder Bubba Thompson and second-round draftee Hans Crouse have yet to be disclosed.

Thompson, a 19-year-old outfielder from McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, was the Rangers’ first selection. A multi-talented athlete and former quarterback, Thompson reportedly declined a baseball scholarship to the University of Alabama in order to pursue a deal with the Rangers and further his career track in professional baseball. His speed and power suggest that he’s best suited to center field, and his glove work has drawn praise as well.

High school shortstop Chris Seise, 18, was selected as a compensatory pick in the first round. He was ranked No. 38 by MLB.com with an average glove and a bat that showed power potential, though he has yet to develop into a potent hitter at this point in his career.

Crouse, 18, was taken in the second round at No. 66 overall. He profiles as a relief pitcher due to his relatively limited pitch repertoire, which currently features a sharp fastball and an unrefined curveball-slider combo and changeup.

Per MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, Thompson, Seise and Crouse have all been assigned to the rookie-level AZL Rangers.

Who are the candidates for the Cardinals managerial job?

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If you logged off over the weekend, you may not have heard that Mike Matheny was sacked as the Cardinals manager late Saturday night. I wrote about the reasons for this yesterday morning. Mike Shildt was named the interim manager and he will keep the job through the rest of the season. Between now and then the Cardinals’ brain trust is going to figure out who they want for the job full time.

Today Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch goes over a list of potential candidates. No, the Cardinals have not identified any officially, but Goold is a smart cookie and hears stuff and what wasn’t heard is informed speculation. At the very least, expect to hear many of the names he lists several times as the process goes on.

You gotta read his article to get the list, but there are a couple on there I want to talk about for a second.

The first one is Joe Girardi, who makes it because (a) he is the most prominent marquee manager who doesn’t have a job at the moment; (b) he played 16 games with the Cardinals in his final season; and (c) far more important than that is that he is tight with John¬†Mozeliak. But while Girardi seems like a perfect candidate for a club in win-now mode, I question whether he’s truly the right guy given that he left New York for many of the same reasons Matheny left St. Louis (i.e. not relating well with young players). We can’t overstate that, however, because Girardi is, by every other measure, a superior manager to Matheny, primarily when it comes to managing a bullpen, so his rapport with the kids is not the be-all, end-all.

Goold also mentions Mark McGwire. He’s obviously a legend in St. Louis and, unlike a lot of former players who talk about wanting to get into managing these days, McGwire has been putting in his time as a coach for a long, long time. He’s currently the Padres’ bench coach. I’d like to see McGwire get the job for petty, personal reasons: a lot of people would get really, really mad about a PED guy getting the gig, they’d say and write a lot of dumb stuff and that, for me, is the key to a lot of content. Not gonna lie about that.

A lot of other interesting names on that list too. And there will likely be a lot of people, beyond those who the Cardinals initially identify, who express interest in the job too. It’s a sweet gig with historic job security for a marquee franchise in a baseball city, so what’s not to like?