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Jim Callis, Baseball America's minor league guru was on XM Radio Saturday morning. He updated the first round draft choices which haven't signed yet. The deadline to sign is this next Wednesday, August 15th. The only one signed in the top 5 is Pittsburgh's (#4) pick potential closer Dan Moskos, who did sign for the slotted $2.5 million dollars. Callis thinks Cubs (#3) pick third baseman Josh Vitters will sign but is waiting to see what the #2 pick gets, KC's Michael Moustakas (a Scott Boras client). Everyone involved is eager to see how much above the MLB slot money the agents particularly Boras can get. He believes #1 pick David Price (also in the Boras camp) will sign and that they may already have an agreement but are trying not to release it until the last minute. It seems that if they announced it early it will affect how much above the slotted money the other top picks sign for. It's a game of chicken so blinking at the last minute makes it harder to make the other's blink in unison leading to falling dominoes. Although Callis thought all the top picks will sign, the two with the highest probability to not sign would be Boras clients, Moustakas and catcher Matt Wieters (#5, Baltimore).
Can Hawkeye Pierce be added to the coaching staff? It's not just incoming, we've finally got some outgoing from the M*A*S*H unit. Last week we added Kerry Wood to the bullpen (it's a miracle!) and now pinch hitter deluxe, Darryle Ward is in Colorado almost fully recovered from his calf/gastrocnemius muscle strain and just might be reactivated for the weekend. Darryle doesn't want to miss the high altitude hitting. Friday Morning Update on Aramis Ramirez follows...
As an eyewitness to the Alfonso Soriano now infamous grade II quadriceps strain, the repercussions from it have taken a life of their own. I saw that gleam in Soriano’s eyes as he rounded second base. He knew he had a 5th gear and shifted the transmission so he could motor on into third base. He never did make it to third base. Inning over, and a call in to AAMCO! Mighty Alfonso had grabbed the front of his right thigh…metaphorically, there was smoke coming out of his transmission, never a good sign. He couldn’t even walk to third base, so Met David Wright walked over and tagged him. Next, in great irony, our third base coach named Quade (in the old country, the family name was Quadracepese but they shortened it when they came to America) helps him and lends a shoulder and a leg to stand on as he leaves the field. Did I wait on the MRI with baited breath? No. I knew right then and there it was going to be 4 or more weeks for Alfonso.
Rumor mongers vs the real deals. Eric Gagne, Bronson Arroyo, Octavio Dotel, Bobby Kielty, Ryan Church or Reggie Sanders? 4 way deal for A-Rod? Have at it. ...and Carlos, MVN's own "The Transaction Guy" is monitoring every possible wire report for information on that last minute deal coming at cha. (OK, so it's a shameless plug)

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