Which MLB team failed to sign its first-round pick?

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Which MLB team failed to sign its first-round pick?

From Comcast SportsNet Tuesday, August 16, 2011
NEW YORK (AP) -- UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole was among 22 of 23 first-round draft picks beating the deadline to sign, with the top selection in June's amateur draft agreeing late Monday night to a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates that includes an 8 million signing bonus. "It's essentially the largest signing bonus ever given an amateur player," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. "Sometimes, it's more advantageous for a player to take a minor league contract with a bonus that can be spread over nine months than a major league contract that would be spread out over four years." Cole turned down an 8.5 million major league contract running through 2016. His agent, Scott Boras, said the pitcher projects to earn an additional 1.4 million under this deal. "We feel Gerrit is going to be in the major leagues in a year," Boras said. Only 10 first-round picks -- and just one among the first nine players selected -- had agreements with one hour left before the midnight deadline. By the end of the night, the only first-round pick without a deal was right-hander Tyler Beede, taken by Toronto with the 21st pick. Because he failed to sign, the Blue Jays will receive an extra-first round selection after the 21st choice next year. Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen, the No. 2 pick, agreed to an 8.5 million, five-year contract with Seattle that included a 6.35 million signing bonus. Dylan Bundy, a high school right-hander selected fourth by Baltimore, got a 6.25 million, five-year contract. Among the lower rounds, the Chicago Cubs agreed to a 1,275,000 signing bonus with California high school outfielder Shawon Dunston Jr., an 11th-round pick. His father was the No. 1 overall pick by Chicago in 1982. The Cubs also agreed to a 375,000 bonus with seventh-round selection Trevor Gretzky, the baseball-playing son of hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky. Dereck Rodriguez, son of the 14-time All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez, agreed to a 130,000 deal with Minnesota. D-Rod was a sixth-round pick. Boras was negotiating for the top pick for the third straight year after reaching agreements with Washington for pitcher Stephen Strasburg (15.1 million over four years) and outfielder Bryce Harper (9.9 million over five years). Three years ago, Cole decided not to sign after the Yankees selected him with the 28th overall pick. He was 6-8 with a 3.31 ERA for the Bruins as a junior, but the Pirates decided his potential outweighed his latest statistics. The deal was reached about 15 minutes before the deadline. "There was an ebb and flow to them all night," Huntington said. "At times, everything seemed to be going really well and then there would be times where we seemed to be moving apart." Pittsburgh also gave a 5 million deal to second-round pick Josh Bell, a high school outfielder from Dallas who had said he was committed to attending the University of Texas. "After the draft, we had the opportunity to sit down with Josh and his family and let him know what our organization is about and how we operate," Huntington said. "We made it clear that we would really like him to be part of our organization. We left with the idea that they were open-minded and that if we were able to reach a financial agreement that both sides were comfortable with that he would be willing to begin his professional career with us." Boras also negotiated a 7.5 million signing bonus for high school outfielder Bubba Starling with the Kansas City Royals, and a 7.2 million, four-year major league contract for Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon with the Washington Nationals, a deal that would be worth up to 10 million, including an option year. Starling was the fifth overall pick and Rendon sixth. Boras' son, California high school third baseman Trent Boras, failed to reach an agreement with the Milwaukee Brewers. Trent Boras, a 30th-round pick, will attend the University of Southern California. Scott Boras spoke with Brewers owner Mark Attanasio and general manager Doug Melvin in the hours before the deadline. "We made the decision long ago that we wanted him to go to college," Scott Boras said. "The Brewers gave us every courtesy of working with him."

Antonio Brown posts questionable locker room video after Steelers win

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Antonio Brown posts questionable locker room video after Steelers win

Showing a knee-buckling lack of self-awareness, Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown put up 13:35 of footage on Facebook Live after his team’s 18-16 win over Kansas City on Sunday night.

It was a weird betrayal of the team’s privacy by one of its star players. Brown, allowed viewers to see live (and on tape until it’s inevitably taken down) that, while head coach Mike Tomlin was around a bank of lockers addressing what Tomlin presumed was his entire team, Brown was mugging in front of his phone for a growing online audience.

The video starts with Brown and teammates having fun in front of their lockers. As the team is called together for a postgame prayer, Brown keeps the camera rolling. After the prayer, Tomlin made a statement.

“When you get to this point in the journey, not a lot needs to be said,” said Tomlin. “Let’s say very little moving forward. Let’s start our preparations. We spotted those a******* a day and a half. They played yesterday. Our game got moved to tonight. We gonna touch down at 4 o’clock in the f****** morning. So be it. We’ll be ready for that ass. But you ain’t gotta tell them we coming. Because some of us might not like the damn (woofkisses?) The chest pounding.  Keep a low profile.”

While Tomlin was issuing that low-profile request, Brown rolled on. Another Steeler then spoke up saying, “Keep cool on social media, this is about us, nobody else.”

Finally, what sounded like quarterback Ben Roethlisberger addressed the team saying of Foxboro, “That’s a lion’s den we’re going into this week. It’s a lion’s den. I’ve been there, a lot of us have been there. Keep your mouth shut.”

While people might fan themselves over Tomlin calling the Patriots a*******, that’s benign and likely will be matched in private by Patriots coaches this week.

What’s staggering is that a player of Brown’s ability and seeming intelligence would be so self-absorbed as to be agog at putting on a video show for Facebook followers at the expense of his coaches, teammates and franchise.  

Steelers survive, advance to visit Patriots despite red-zone woes

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Steelers survive, advance to visit Patriots despite red-zone woes

For the third time in the Belichick-Brady Era, the Patriots will be trying to step over the Steelers to get to a Super Bowl.

Pittsburgh went into Kansas City on Sunday night and outlasted a breathtakingly sluggish Chiefs team 18-16.

If you spent the day stewing about the Patriots adequate-against-Osweiler-but-probably-nobody-else offensive performance Saturday night, maybe Sunday night calmed your nerves.

Despite having a more than 2-to-1 edge in total yards entering the fourth, Pittsburgh had managed just six field goals from kicker Chris Boswell. Their best chance at getting six on the board was squelched when Ben Roethlisberger got picked at the goal line in the first half.

That Kansas City was even in the game with a chance to tie it in the final three minutes has to be humbling for the Steelers. They dominated every statistical category of consequence while the Chiefs played aimlessly behind Alex Smith, who may be a cut above Brock Osweiler but is definitely a cut below every other quarterback in the Divisional Playoff round.  

On this night, Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t much better.

Still, Pittsburgh’s got the best 1-2 punch in the NFL at running back and receiver – LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown were both at 101 yards after halftime – and New England’s entire defensive game plan will revolve around corralling those two and getting them horizontal.

The Patriots beat a Roethlisberger-less team in October, 27-16. Landry Jones was at quarterback that day.

The Steelers were in the Patriots’ red zone four times. They came away with 10 points. They were inside the Patriots’ 40 six times and finished with 16.

“In an offense like that with a bunch of very explosive players, one slant can turn into a touchdown so you have to be really careful in your coverages,” defensive end Rob Ninkovich told me after that game. "There’s not just one go-to guy. They got a running back that can catch it out of the backfield and make plays (Le’Veon Bell). [Antonio Brown] can catch it anywhere on the field and make plays. You just have to make sure with a guy like [Landry Jones] to have him make the throws. It’s hard in this league to be perfect. So to have him sit back there and try to make all the throws was what we chose and the secondary did a great job.”

Bell and Brown combined for 268 yards from scrimmage against the Patriots.

The Steelers scored one touchdown.

The ever-dawdling Bell, who practically walks to the line of scrimmage then skips around like a little kid with a full bladder before finding a crease to exploit, is where it will start for the Patriots.

If the Patriots are going to go to their seventh Super Bowl since Belichick’s hire, Alan Branch, Malcom Brown, Donta Hightower and Elandon Roberts – their two best interior linemen and their two inside linebackers – will be the ones who start the bus. The overwhelming majority of Bell’s runs are between the guards so building a wall and out-patienting him as he probes for a crease is Job One.

The Chiefs weren’t stout enough at the line of scrimmage and Bell brutalized them. It will, of course, fall to more than just those four. Trey Flowers, Rob Ninkovich, Chris Long, Vincent Valentine and Shea McLellin will also be in focus. Run-support from safeties Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty will be a part of it as well, but that’s where the Steelers become tough to deal with.

Once Bell’s established himself, the Steelers can start to work play-action and get Brown into space. Creep too far and the numbers on the back end could wind up being insufficient to deal with one of the NFL’s fastest players.

That’s why you can expect the Patriots to not overexert themselves with pressures and blitzes against Ben Roethlisberger. They’ll want as many back in coverage as possible to deal with Brown and some of the other Steelers speed merchants.

The Patriots have dealt with Pittsburgh’s defense enough to know where to attack. LeGarrette Blount ran for 127 yards on 24 carries in the first meeting and

Tom Brady went 19 for 26 for 222 with two touchdowns.

The Patriots had Gronk that day and the Steelers didn’t have Roethlisberger. That tips the scales some when measuring the differences. But after watching Pittsburgh kick six field goals and keep afloat an underperforming Chiefs team, the issue that dogged them in October – red zone offense – looks like its still around.

And they are going to visit a team that does that led the NFL in preventing points.