Morning Report: The 2018 Draft Signing Deadline is Today

The deadline to sign players from the 2018 amateur draft is today at 5 PM EST. The Pittsburgh Pirates have one important question left. Will Gunnar Hoglund sign today?

Hoglund signing would then leave open the possibility of another player signing, depending on his bonus of course. His slot amount is $1,967,900. If he signed for that amount or less, then the Pirates would have money for an offer for someone after the tenth round. I’ve given what I know on those remaining players below.

The Pirates can give Hoglund just over $135,000 over his slot amount to sign and then they would only be signing him. That second part is a given because anyone who would have signed for $125,000, would have done so already.

The potential problem comes in for the Pirates if Hoglund doesn’t take their offer. Not only would they not get him, but they would lose his bonus pool money, which would then drop the 5% amount they are able to go over the bonus pool. It would no longer be $135,720, it would be closer to $37,000. I don’t think a bonus slightly over $160,000 would sway someone who wouldn’t sign a month ago for $125,000. It’s possible, but it would be much better for the Pirates if they could sign Hoglund for slot and then offer just north of $260K to someone else. Don’t know if that would sway someone else, but it’s a more enticing number.

What we do know right now is that Jason Brandow (22nd round), Ethan Paul (26th) and Giovanni DiGiacomo (29th) all said they aren’t signing. Nothing has been mentioned about Davis Sharpe (34th), but he has a Clemson commitment, so with the remaining money left, you can say it’s highly unlikely he signs. There have been no updates on Tyler Miller (23rd), Emanuel Andrews (36th) or Lavoisier Fisher (37th) so it’s hard to say what they are thinking. Andrews has a commitment to Fresno State, so he is probably out of their price range now.

That leaves Zack Kone, the 13th round selection, and as of just a few days ago, he said he was still weighing his options. He could be the player we see sign if Hoglund doesn’t. Potentially adding another $37,000 or so to his offer could be enough to get and then they end up with a solid player in the later rounds.

I wrote this up just around midnight and we post it at 6 AM, so it’s unlikely anything changes between that time, but I’ll check when I wake up. If nothing new came in early, then any later news will be posted in a separate article, which could be a rumor post.


Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates were off yesterday, as they traveled home for a weekend series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Trevor Williams will be on the mound tonight, coming off of four runs over 4.2 innings against the San Diego Padres in his last start. The scheduled Phillies starter is right-hander Nick Pivetta, who has a 4.66 ERA in 87 innings, with 104 strikeouts and a 1.31 WHIP. His last three appearances have all been against the Washington Nationals (two starts, one relief) and he gave up nine runs over 7.2 innings in those games.

The minor league schedule includes the fourth start of the season by Shane Baz. He allowed one run over 5.1 innings in his last start. Altoona starter Taylor Hearn has a .200 BAA and a 1.10 WHIP. Tyler Eppler starts against Columbus, a group he has faced twice in the last month. They scored seven runs over 11 innings against him in those games. Luis Escobar allowed one run over six innings in his last outing. West Virginia will finish yesterday’s game (tied 0-0, top fourth), then play a seven-inning game afterwards.

MLB: Pittsburgh (40-46) vs Phillies (47-37) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: Trevor Williams (4.22 ERA, 68:30 SO/BB, 91.2 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (45-39) vs Columbus (45-40) 7:15 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Tyler Eppler (3.13 ERA, 76:23 SO/BB, 86.1 IP)

AA: Altoona (42-39) vs Trenton (49-36) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Taylor Hearn (3.50 ERA, 87:30 SO/BB, 79.2 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (40-39) vs Fort Myers (35-47) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Luis Escobar (4.18 ERA, 70:37 SO/BB, 79.2 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (45-34) vs Lexington (42-39) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Hunter Stratton (5.51 ERA, 51:28 SO/BB, 50.2 IP)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (9-11) vs Williamsport (7-12) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Alex Manasa (5.66 ERA, 13:8 SO/BB, 20.2 IP)

Rookie: Bristol (8-8) vs Johnson City (7-8) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Shane Baz (2.57 ERA, 11:6 SO/BB, 14.0 IP)

GCL: Pirates (5-9) vs Tigers West 12:00 PM (season preview)

DSL: Pirates1 (13-16) vs Cubs1 10:30 AM (season preview)

DSL: Pirates2 (13-16) vs Giants 10:30 AM (season preview)


From Indianapolis and Altoona, some defensive highlights at shortstop.



7/5: Royals claim Enny Romero

7/5: Francisco Cervelli assigned to Altoona on rehab.

7/5: Dylan Busby assigned to GCL on rehab.

7/4: Pirates recall Josh Smoker.

7/4: Scooter Hightower promoted to Altoona. Ryan Haug assigned to GCL Pirates.

7/4: Jason Delay activated from Bradenton disabled list.

7/3: Pirates released Larry Alcime.

7/3: Pirates sign Michael Burrows.

7/3: Pirates recall Dovydas Neverauskas. Tanner Anderson optioned to Indianapolis.

7/3: Montana DuRapau promoted to Indianapolis. Erich Weiss placed on disabled list.

7/3: Travis MacGregor activated from West Virginia disabled list. Gavin Wallace promoted to Bradenton.

7/2: Pirates signed a lot of international players.

7/2: Pirates signed even more international players.

7/2: Pirates sign Grant Koch and Mike Gretler.

7/2: Nick Kingham recalled. Jose Osuna optioned to Indianapolis.

7/2: Enny Romero designated for assignment.

7/2: Sean Rodriguez assigned to Indianapolis on rehab

7/1: Calvin Mitchell activated from West Virginia disabled list.

6/30: Ryan Haug assigned to Bradenton.

6/30: Pirates sign Alec Rennard.

6/29: Chad Kuhl placed on disabled list. Max Moroff recalled from Indianapolis.

6/29: Brett Pope promoted to Bradenton. Matt Eckelman promoted to Altoona.

6/29: Evan Piechota activated from Bradenton disabled list.

6/28: Mitch Keller and Jason Martin promoted to Indianapolis. Alfredo Reyes promoted to Bradenton.

6/28: Eddie Muhl retired.

6/27: Sean Rodriguez placed on disabled list. Tanner Anderson called up to Pirates.

6/27: Jung Ho Kang and Christopher Bostick placed on disabled list. Eric Wood activated from Indianapolis DL.

6/27: Raul Siri promoted to West Virginia.

6/27: Pirates sign John O’Reilly.

6/26: Pirates sign Allen Montgomery.

6/26: Jason Delay placed on disabled list.

6/26: Ryan Haug assigned to GCL Pirates. Will Reed assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab.


Four former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including one of the better Pirates’ pitchers from the 1930’s. Starting with the most recent first, we have 2001 pitcher Omar Oliveras, 1975 second baseman Willie Randolph and 1981-85 first baseman Jason Thompson. In 1983, Thompson made the All-Star team and hit .284, with 31 homers, 101 RBIs and 101 walks. Randolph has a great career that started in Pittsburgh, but they traded him away right after he made the majors, in a deal that did not work out. The Pirates got Doc Medich, while giving up Randolph, Ken Brett and Dock Ellis.

Cy Blanton pitched for the Pirates from 1934 until 1939. He won 56 games over a four-year stretch from 1935-38. Blanton led the National League with a 2.58 ERA and with four shutouts in 1935. He led the NL again with four shutouts in 1936 and his 34 starts in 1937 were the most in the league. Blanton completed 129 of his 155 starts with the Pirates.

On this date in 1980, the Pirates won the longest game ever in Three Rivers Stadium. In the 20th inning of a game that took just over 5 1/2 hours, Omar Moreno drove in Ed Ott with the winning run. That win pushed the Pirates to 42-37 on the season. You can read a recap of the game in the link above and the boxscore can be found here.