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Keith Law Chat - Thurs 5/29


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Adam: (Miami, FL): Keith, do you see the Marlins in this draft continuing to stockpile pitching with a Matusz or Crow, or do you see them adding some much needed positional players to their system like a Skipworth or Hosmer?

SportsNation Keith Law: (1:37 PM ET ) Leading candidate there is Alonso, even with his high bonus demands (which people in the industry seem to be discounting). They also like the two HS kids you mentioned, but Hosmer may be gone to KC at 3.

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JP, NY: Hey Keith, thanks for the chat. Big O's fan, and I wanted to know which direction you see them going in the draft. We could sure use some positional prospects, but from looking at the Bedard and Miggy deals, McPhail has seemed to make young pitching a huge priority.

SportsNation Keith Law: (1:42 PM ET ) Definitely best player available at #4. Tim Beckham if he's there, or Smoak or Matusz. They're another threat to take a guy who falls and give him first-round money, since it has worked out well with Arrietta so far.

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Kyle (OH): Does Gordon Beckham stay at SS, or is there a position change in his future?

SportsNation Keith Law: (1:48 PM ET ) I think he's a shortstop. He's got unbelievable instincts over there, so while his pure "range" tool isn't better than average, it plays up because he's on top of the situation and puts himself in the right place to make the play. I saw him do it a few times at the SEC tournament. My bigger question with him is how much he'll hit with wood.

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Rob (MS): Your description of Beckham's abilities made me think of David Eckstein. Bad comparison?

SportsNation Keith Law: (1:51 PM ET ) Beckham's stronger and better able to handle SS. But he's not as scraptacular!

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Arin (ca): Alvarez still going to Pirates at #2?

SportsNation Keith Law: (2:11 PM ET ) Or Tim Beckham. And they did a home visit with Posey a few weeks ago.

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O's fan (San Francisco, CA): Am I wrong to hope that Beckham, Alvarez or Matusz falls to the Orioles? There seems to be a backlash against Posey and we already have a better catching prospect. Will we get a shot at one of the top 3?

SportsNation Keith Law: (2:18 PM ET ) If those three guys all went ahead of Baltimore, I think they'd take Smoak.

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Andy (Baltimore): When do you see Wieters behind the dish at Camden Yards?

SportsNation Keith Law: (2:27 PM ET ) September.

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Dagger, I just got part of my schedule for next week and it includes me working pretty much all day Thursday. Really enjoyed watching the televised draft last year.

Not to hijack the thread, but why not draft someone and sign them right away? Why do we have to do the last minute thing like we did with Wieters last year?

If we sign Wieters in late June of last year, he tears up A ball like he's doing this year. He starts 2008 in AAA or perhaps even Baltimore.

I'm simply saying I don't see an advantage to waiting until the last minute to sign our #1 pick...I'm probably missing some armchair GM strategy though, I'm sure ;)

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Dagger, I just got part of my schedule for next week and it includes me working pretty much all day Thursday. Really enjoyed watching the televised draft last year.

Not to hijack the thread, but why not draft someone and sign them right away? Why do we have to do the last minute thing like we did with Wieters last year?

If we sign Wieters in late June of last year, he tears up A ball like he's doing this year. He starts 2008 in AAA or perhaps even Baltimore.

I'm simply saying I don't see an advantage to waiting until the last minute to sign our #1 pick...I'm probably missing some armchair GM strategy though, I'm sure ;)

Most often times the team (scouting director) will talk contract parameters with the kid's advisor or parents and see what the possibilities are of signing the kid. That's why some kids drop substantially because they are determined to get a set amount of money or they will attend college or stay in school.

Once the team and the advisor/parents exchange ideas it becomes a game of chicken, to see which side will move first. With Wieters, the Orioles discussed contract parameters and felt like something could get done. Also, they felt he was so much better than the other players available he was worth the risk.

When you have an advisor like Scott Boras it's going to take some time because Boras puts out incredibly high initial demands. The teams realize the longer you wait, the better your bargaining position is. Do these kids want to risk losing millions of dollars? Not many do.

Some kids are willing to sign for slot money and the clubs will draft that player, get him signed quickly and get him playing ball. Other kids and their advisors (mainly Boras) try to play the negiotiating game, squeezing every last penny out of the club.

IMO, for the most part it's not a bad thing for these kids to take a month or two off at the end of their season. A lot of them are burnt out from the season and the entire draft process and need a break. They can always play Winter ball if they need to catch up or work on something.

There are so many variables that go into each draft pick and each negiotiation. Each one is unique and has to be negiotiated differently. Some are quick and easy and others are drawn out. The ones that are drawn out are usually unique situations that need a bit of extra time to get worked out.

I hope I've given you some insight on the matter.

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Sometimes it's easier said than done. It's my understanding that the O's had the contract extended to Wieters from early in the negotiation process, but he was holding out and trying to call the O's bluff on what he felt to be a "low offer." He seemed to hold out hoping the O's would get scared of not signing him and raise the offer at the last moment. In the end Wieters couldn't refuse all the millions he was offered and signed.

The Wieters example will be good in future negotiations with Boras clients. I think it will encourage them to sign sooner so they can play in the short season and start out the next full year in AA or higher. Thus allowing them to get to the majors sooner and increase their chances for a sooner payday.

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Most often times the team (scouting director) will talk contract parameters with the kid's advisor or parents and see what the possibilities are of signing the kid. That's why some kids drop substantially because they are determined to get a set amount of money or they will attend college or stay in school.

Once the team and the advisor/parents exchange ideas it becomes a game of chicken, to see which side will move first. With Wieters, the Orioles discussed contract parameters and felt like something could get done. Also, they felt he was so much better than the other players available he was worth the risk.

When you have an advisor like Scott Boras it's going to take some time because Boras puts out incredibly high initial demands. The teams realize the longer you wait, the better your bargaining position is. Do these kids want to risk losing millions of dollars? Not many do.

Some kids are willing to sign for slot money and the clubs will draft that player, get him signed quickly and get him playing ball. Other kids and their advisors (mainly Boras) try to play the negiotiating game, squeezing every last penny out of the club.

IMO, for the most part it's not a bad thing for these kids to take a month or two off at the end of their season. A lot of them are burnt out from the season and the entire draft process and need a break. They can always play Winter ball if they need to catch up or work on something.

There are so many variables that go into each draft pick and each negiotiation. Each one is unique and has to be negiotiated differently. Some are quick and easy and others are drawn out. The ones that are drawn out are usually unique situations that need a bit of extra time to get worked out.

I hope I've given you some insight on the matter.

Sometimes it's easier said than done. It's my understanding that the O's had the contract extended to Wieters from early in the negotiation process, but he was holding out and trying to call the O's bluff on what he felt to be a "low offer." He seemed to hold out hoping the O's would get scared of not signing him and raise the offer at the last moment. In the end Wieters couldn't refuse all the millions he was offered and signed.

The Wieters example will be good in future negotiations with Boras clients. I think it will encourage them to sign sooner so they can play in the short season and start out the next full year in AA or higher. Thus allowing them to get to the majors sooner and increase their chances for a sooner payday.

Good stuff guys, rep to both of you :)

I'm suddenly reminded about the Wieters negotiations last summer and why they took so long. It just felt like in hindsight we drafted him, waited around for a month and a half to start talks and pulled the last minute thing, but now I remember thats not the case.

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