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2014 Baseball Draft: TV Coverage, Order and More for Major League Event

Major League Baseball will welcome a plethora of future superstars to the mix this coming weekend at the 2014 MLB draft, officially known as the first-year player draft. 

All 30 clubs will choose from the top eligible high school and college stars in an effort to build for the future and ultimately contend for a World Series title in the coming years.

With the first round set to get underway on Thursday night, here you’ll find a complete breakdown of television coverage and the full draft order. 


When: Thursday, June 5 through Saturday, June 7

Watch: MLB Network,



Prospects to Know

Brady Aiken, LHP, Cathedral Catholic High School, California

While left-handed ace Brady Aiken isn’t necessarily the consensus favorite to go No. 1 overall this June, he’s certainly at the very top of multiple draft boards this summer, as noted by’s Mike Carney:

The 6’3″, 210-pound teenager has committed to UCLA and appears to have a tremendous feel for the position in addition to boasting superb athleticism. 

According to, Aiken’s fastball is routinely in the 92-94 mph range: “He commands his fastball well and throws all three of his pitches for strikes. He gets good depth on his curveball and keeps hitters off balance with his changeup, which usually comes in around 10 mph slower than his fastball.”

The Houston Astros will select No. 1 overall for the third consecutive year this summer, and while it wouldn’t be a shock to see them take any one of the top three pitchers available, few would be surprised if they settled on Aiken.


Carlos Rodon, LHP, NC State

Another left-handed stud sure to come off the board early in Round 1 is North Carolina State ace Carlos Rodon, who possesses a stellar fastball and a dominant slider.

According to, Rodon can reach 97 mph on his fastball and his slider often reaches the mid-80s.

At 6’3″, 235 pounds, Rodon already possesses the ideal frame to become a reliable No. 1 option down the road. Durability shouldn’t be a concern and if he can improve his changeup, and he’ll have more than enough in his arsenal to terrorize opposing batters in the big leagues. 

Although a slightly disappointing junior campaign with the Wolfpack threatens Rodon‘s shot at going No. 1 overall, his skill set and overall potential make him a strong candidate for the Astros at the top of the board.


Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco

It’s not all about the top pitchers this summer. One of the elite outfielders available in 2014 is San Francisco’s Bradley Zimmer, whose older brother Kyle, a pitcher currently working his way up through the Kansas City Royals organization, was selected fifth overall two years ago.

Zimmer‘s bat is arguably his greatest weapon as he recognizes pitches quickly and is able to capitalize with a gorgeous swing. But Zimmer is every bit as effective defensively, where his speed and strong arm make him an asset in the outfield.

Recently, Bradley talked about the prospects of one day facing off against his brother in the majors, per’s Alex Espinoza:  

“We’ve joked about it here and there. I’m sure if that ever occurred, I’d get one high and tight, or he’d throw it off the backstop or whatever. But that would be pretty cool, I think, to someday match up against him on the big stage.”

Having already watched his brother go through the grueling draft process, Zimmer could have an upper hand on his fellow prospects. But regardless, his talent is sure to take him places. 


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Wil Myers Injury: Updates on Rays Star’s Wrist and Return

Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Wil Myers is currently battling through a right wrist injury that he suffered in Friday’s loss to the Boston Red Sox, according to the Tampa Bay Times‘ Joe Smith on Twitter:

Smith explains how the injury came about:

The 23-year-old Myers is batting .227 with five home runs and 25 RBI through his first 53 regular-season appearances in 2014 and has started 52 games in right field for the Rays.

With Tampa Bay currently in last place in the American League East division, it’s safe to say that the Rays can ill afford to be without Myers for an extended period of time. Runs have been awfully difficult to come by for the Rays this season, and although Myers has struggled immensely at the plate in his sophomore season in the bigs, he brings tremendous potential to the table, as pointed out by ESPN’s Buster Olney during Wednesday’s loss to the Toronto Blue Jays:

After all, the Thomasville, North Carolina, native batted .293 with 13 homers and 53 RBI in his debut season in 2013. 

Myers’ strong play was a key force in Tampa Bay’s playoff push last fall, and there’s no question the Rays are worse off without him. 

Fortunately for manager Joe Maddon and the team, Myers’ injury doesn’t appear to be all that serious or anything that will keep him out of the lineup for a lengthy period of time. Perhaps a short break will even be good for Myers, who has clearly lost his rhythm and confidence at the plate. 

It remains to be seen how long Myers will be out for, but it’s obvious that the Rays have bigger issues to address heading into the season’s midway point. 

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Bobby Parnell Injury: Updates on Mets Closer’s Elbow and Return

New York Mets closer Bobby Parnell suffered a partial tear of his MCL in his right elbow during Monday’s Opening Day loss to the Washington Nationals, according to Major League Baseball on Twitter:

Will Carroll of Bleacher Report had more on the injury:

The 29-year-old Parnell threw 18 strikes in 25 pitches, but gave up two hits and one earned run in one inning pitched in the loss, earning the blown save.    

The Mets will hope that two weeks of rest will allow Parnell to get back to 100 percent. Still, there’s no guarantee that the time off will be enough for the Mets veteran to completely heal.

Even in limited action as a closer, Parnell will be putting a ton of torque on his right elbow when he returns to the mound. Therefore, the club will need to be extra careful with his recovery. 

Parnell, now in his seventh season with the Mets, picked up a career high 22 saves last season in New York and entered 2014 with high hopes as a result. 

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MLB and MLBPA Announce Changes to League’s Joint Drug Program

Major League Baseball and its players association announced significant changes to the league’s current drug program that are expected to be finalized in the coming days, according to a press release provided by MLB on Friday. 

According to the release, the new policy will make for stiffer drug penalties and allow for more widespread testing across the league. The changes will also allow for blood testing for human growth hormone.

MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark credits the players for helping initiate the change, per

Experience proves that increased penalties alone are not sufficient; that’s why the Players pushed for a dramatic increase in the frequency and sophistication of our tests, as well as comprehensive changes in a number of other areas of the program that will serve as a deterrent. Make no mistake, this agreement underscores the undisputed reality that the Players put forward many of the most significant changes reached in these negotiations because they want a fair and clean game.

The MLB’s public relations department released the following highlights of the new program on Friday:

New York Post baseball columnist Joel Sherman points out the penalties for players who test positive under the new joint drug policy:

First-time offenders will be suspended 80 games and second-time offenders will be suspended for an entire season (162 games). Those numbers are up significantly from the previous policy, which suspended players 50 games for a first-time offense and 100 games for a second-time offense.

A third offense will warrant a lifetime ban or “permanent suspension from baseball,” per the league’s press release.

The league also announced that a second violation will result in a loss of 183 days of salary.

NBC Sports breaks down another key addition to the program:

According to Fox Sports MLB reporter Ken Rosenthal, players who test positive under the new policy will be subject to unannounced testing:

By cracking down on performance-enhancing drugs, the MLB is making positive steps toward fielding a more credible product. And the majority, including NBC Sports’ Patrick Daugherty, believe that doing so is what’s best for baseball:

It remains to be seen how effective the league’s new policy will be once finalized, but there’s no doubt that the increased penalties for violating the program and thorough testing are sure to discourage players from experimenting with banned substances. 

Last season’s Biogenesis scandal was a major black eye on baseball, and although it will take time for the league to restore its reputation, this new drug policy is clearly a step in the right direction. 


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Elvis Andrus Injury: Updates on Rangers Shortstop’s Forearm and Return

Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus is working his way back from forearm tightness this spring and will soon make his return to the diamond, according to Fort Worth Star-Telegram‘s Jeff Wilson on Twitter:

If Andrus can return to the field in seven days, he’ll have an excellent shot to be available in time for the Rangers’ regular-season opener, which is scheduled for March 31 against the Philadelphia Phillies

He has appeared in 12 spring training games this spring, batting .314 with four RBI. He recently talked about the injury and pointed to his offseason regimen as a potential cause, per The Dallas Morning NewsEvan Grant: “I was resting a lot. That was my main thing. This is really the first time this has happened. But I’ll learn from my mistake and work my arm more…I want to start throwing, but I want to be careful, too.”

The 25-year-old Venezuelan has spent the past five seasons with Texas, batting .274 with 264 RBI and 18 home runs over that time. The two-time MLB All-Star has also made 34 postseason appearances for the Rangers since making his major league debut in 2009.

Although he has a few more obstacles to overcome before he can return to the field and help the Rangers begin their pursuit of a World Series championship, the latest news is encouraging. 

With spring training winding down and the regular season on the horizon, Andrus and the Rangers can ill afford a setback. Therefore, a patient approach makes the most sense for both the player and the club. 

After all, Andrus has been a durable player over the past five years, playing in at least 150 regular-season games in each of the past three seasons and appearing in at least 145 regular-season games in every season since 2009. 

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Jarrod Parker Injury: Updates on Athletics Pitcher’s Forearm and Return

Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jarrod Parker is scheduled to meet with Dr. James Andrews on Monday after experiencing tightness in his forearm.

The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Susan Slusser was the first to report:

Comcast SportsNet California’s Joe Stiglich also reports that Parker could possibly miss the start of the regular season this spring as a result:

Bob Melvin also noted that “certainly the start of the season is in jeopardy,” according to San Francisco Chronicle reporter Susan Slusser.

It remains to be seen how severe Parker’s injury is and whether it will sideline him for an extended period of time. But for now, the A’s will be hoping for the best possible news when the 25-year-old meets with doctors early next week.

Parker has gone 25-16 with a 3.73 ERA over the past two seasons with Oakland and has made three postseason starts for the A’s as well.

Through 9.1 innings pitched in spring training, Parker holds a 10.61 ERA and a WHIP of 1.61 to go along with eight strikeouts.

Nonetheless, Parker’s long-term prognosis will go a long way in determining whether the A’s repeat as American League West champions in 2014.

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Miguel Sano Injury: Updates on Twins Prospect’s Elbow and Recovery

Updates from Saturday, March 1

LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has the latest on Sano and the news isn’t good:

The highly-touted third base prospects has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and will need Tommy John surgery. Sano will fly to Minnesota next week to have the surgery.


Tommy John rehab for position players isn’t as extensive as pitchers, but indications are that Sano’s season could be over.

The team later confirmed Neal’s report on their official Twitter feed, and added that Sano’s season was over before it started.

Neal provided more info on Sano’s timeline:

Original Text

Minnesota Twins third base prospect Miguel Sano is experiencing lingering soreness in his right elbow that raises concerns about his major league future, according to’s Mike Berardino.

Sano’s agent Rob Plummer doesn’t appear to be very optimistic after Sano recently asked whether he should undergo surgery on the problem area, per Berardino:

“I have a feeling this is more than nothing. We have to wait for the MRI to be read, but it feels like this is more than nothing.”

Until the examinations are complete and doctors can determine what it is exactly that’s ailing Sano, a timetable on his return to full strength remains unknown. For now, both player and club will be waiting anxiously and hoping for the best possible news. 

As Berardino points out, the Twins are likely to take a patient approach to Sano’s recovery if it turns out that his ulnar collateral ligament is still intact. Otherwise, surgery will be the only option.  

The 20-year-old third baseman is a native of the Dominican Republic and signed a deal with the Twins back in 2009 as a teenager. He’s spent recent seasons developing in the minors and was showing promise ahead of his recent setback.


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Ubaldo Jimenez and Orioles Agree on 4-Year Contract

The Baltimore Orioles and free-agent pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez have reportedly agreed to a four-year contract, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Twitter:

Bob Nightengale of USA Today provides more specifics on the terms of the deal:

Orioles manager Buck Showalter commented on the signing of Jimenez (via Eduardo A Encina of the Baltimore Sun):

Signing Jimenez, who is tied to draft compensation, means that the Orioles will lose their 17th overall draft pick. But as executive vice president Dan Duquette pointed out ahead of the announcement, Baltimore’s need for starting pitching left it with little choice but to look into acquiring the Dominican Republic native, per Rosenthal

I’ve said all along that we would take a look at it. We do have a little bit better talent base in our organization. Our scouts have done a decent job recruiting internationally as well as domestically. With the maturity of our team, we have to take a look at it.

The 30-year-old right-hander spent the past two-and-a-half seasons with the Cleveland Indians after earning an All-Star nod with the Colorado Rockies back in 2010.    

Jimenez is coming off a 2013 season that saw him go 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA and 194 strikeouts. 

For the Orioles, signing Jimenez promises to deliver a huge boost to a pitching staff that struggled immensely in 2013. Baltimore ranked 23rd in the majors last season in team ERA (4.20), and, even worse, 24th in quality starts (78).


While Jimenez has struggled to achieve the same form that earned him a spot in the All-Star Game and National League Cy Young consideration four seasons ago, he brings a durable and reliable starting arm to Charm City. With Baltimore ending its postseason drought in 2012 and looking to compete for a World Series title in 2014, signing Jimenez is without question a commendable move. 

Still, it remains to be seen what sort of focus and energy the veteran will bring next season as he’s landed a coveted long-term contract. 


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Brian Cashman Sees Masahiro Tanaka as a ‘Solid, Consistent No. 3 Starter’

The New York Yankees have invested a great deal of money in Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. And on Friday, Feb. 7, general manager Brian Cashman explained why.

Cashman talked about the Yankees’ big offseason addition during an ESPN Radio interview on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, predicting that the 25-year-old right-hander will be the No. 3 starter in New York’s rotation, per’s Andrew Marchand.

Cashman specified the Yankees’ goals for Tanaka in 2014, which will be his first season in the majors: 

We view him to be a really solid, consistent No. 3 starter. If we get more than that, all the better. He’s got a great deal of ability.

There is definitely some unknown because of the transition. We scouted him extensively. Certainly, we look forward to adding him into the mix with the rest of our rotation. That’s what we look at him as: A solid, potential No. 3 starter in the big leagues. 

Cashman was quick to admit that the franchise has reasonable expectations for Tanaka and doesn’t anticipate greatness right away, per Marchand:

That’s asking too much. Clearly, he is going to have to transition from Japan to the States. Obviously, by the fierce negotiating competition for him, the scouting reports from all clubs involved speak for themselves. 

The Yankees inked Tanaka to a seven-year, $155 million deal on Jan. 22, the fifth-largest contract for a pitcher in major league history, according to Marchand

Although it remains to be seen whether Tanaka‘s strengths on the mound will translate to the majors, there’s clearly no denying what Cashman and the rest of the Yankees front office saw in him during his time in Nippon Professional Baseball.

After all, Tanaka went a flawless 24-0 with a ridiculous 1.27 ERA in 2013.

Considering Tanaka‘s overwhelming success in Japan and the weight of his massive contract, it’s hard to imagine the Yankees would limit him to a role of a No. 3 starter.

It’s possible that Tanaka could require an entire season to adjust to a new league. However, Yankees fans will be short on patience given how much the club has invested in him. 

Cashman made it clear that Tanaka will face numerous challenges in terms of transitioning into the majors, highlighting those obstacles as the reason why he likely won’t appear in the front of New York’s rotation in 2014, per Marchand:

We look forward that he is a Yankee and we will be in position, with our experience in the past, to maximize his potential as he goes through that. No, he is not someone who is going to, in the front end of this thing, pitch in the front of the rotation.

Despite the promise that Tanaka brings to the Big Apple, the Yankees’ rotation will have plenty to prove in 2014 as New York aims to bounce back from a disappointing season in which it won just 85 games and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008. 


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Max Scherzer Reportedly Signs 1-Year, $15.5 Million Deal with Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers and pitching ace Max Scherzer have reportedly agreed on a one-year, $15.5 million deal that will bring the veteran back for a fifth straight season in the Motor City, according to baseball writer Jon Heyman:

The Tigers then made things official: 

As Heyman points out, the one-year signing doesn’t mean the Tigers have given up on pursuing a long-term deal for Scherzer:

The 29-year-old right-hander has spent the past four seasons in Detroit, putting up dominant numbers during the regular season and backing up his play with impressive playoff performances in each of the past three years.

Securing Scherzer, who went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA en route to earning the American League Cy Young Award in 2013, for the upcoming 2014 season means the Tigers will once again begin the year as a favorite to reach the World Series.

After winning the AL Cy Young Award last fall, Scherzer commented on his contract situation and admitted that he’d prefer to stick around, per USA Today‘s Jorge L. Ortiz:

I am open (to an extension). I love it here in Detroit. We’ve got a team that’s capable of winning every single year right now. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? I’m all about trying to win a World Series. I realize I have a good situation here in Detroit. But it also takes two to dance.

In the process of turning in a career year in 2013 that saw him lead all of MLB in wins, Scherzer earned his first-ever All-Star nod and now enters his seventh season in the majors with mighty expectations to fulfill.

It’s unknown whether the Tigers have enough firepower to finally get over the hump in 2014, but signing Scherzer ensures that Detroit will bring back another key piece to a stellar pitching staff that ranked tops in the majors in quality starts last season with 108.

The Atlanta Braves were the only other team with at least 100.


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