Friday, July 3, 2015

Notes, quotes and comment

By coincidence, Sano Day -- the debut of Miguel Sano -- happened to be the opening of this year's international free-agent signings. The Twins, as was widely expected, announced an agreement with 16-year-old Dominican shortstop Wander Javier.

Four million dollars breaks Sano's team record for an international signing. It also exceeds the Twins international bonus pool allotment, and I would expect the club to trade for some pool money from an organization less involved in the chase for Dominican talent.

As for Javier: He's 16 years old, and nobody really knows what he's going to grow into. The Twins hope and expect he'll stick at shortstop and develop into a threat at the plate as well. But it's a long road for him and all the Dominican hopefuls.

It was six years ago that the Twins signed Sano and Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler as well. It was quite an international haul, and Bill Smith, whose reign as general manager has drawn no shortage of criticism, deserves credit for pushing into the Dominican morass. But as well as those three have performed in the minors, none have yet established themselves on the major league level. That's coming, to be sure, but it illustrates the necessary timeline.


The St. Louis Cardinals confirmed Thursday that they have fired their scouting director, Chris Correa, apparently because he was involved in the hacking of the Houston Astros database.

Scouting director is, emphatically, not a low-level position. If Correa gained insights from his intrusion into the database about Houston's evaluation of specific players and-or their method of combining traditional scouting with statistical information, it has to be assumed that those insights were part of the conversation with other ranking St. Louis front office types, regardless of whether they knew of the hacking.

That the hack reached that level in the hierarchy makes it impossible for commissioner Rob Manfred to go lightly on the organization when it comes time to impose penalties.


A more traditional form of front-office shakeup happened this week in Anaheim, where general manager Jerry DiPoto concluded that there wasn't room for him and manager Mike Scoscia. Owner Arte Moreno backed Scoscia, and DiPoto left.

There will be more defections from the Angels organization. That one of the reputed flashpoints between DiPoto and Scoscia was the use of analytics probably isn't going to help Moreno attract a new GM strong in the new wave of thinking.

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