Thursday, March 19, 2020

Welcome, Javier!

The newest (and youngest) member of the Giants is Javier Alexander Francisco Estrella. He's a 16-year old shortstop from the Dominican Republic. Here's the rule governing eligibility:
Foreign-born players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, Panama, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and other countries are free agents. They may sign with any Major League club during the international signing period, which begins July 2 and runs through mid-June the next year. To be eligible to sign a contract, a player must be 16 years old at the time of signing and turn 17 years old by either 1) September 1 or 2) the end of his first professional season, whichever is later. Players also must register with the MLB Scouting Bureau.
That's from Cot's Contracts, a site all baseball fans should be familiar with! Note that this does not cover Japanese players, the NPB has a special arrangement ("posting system") that determines if a player can sign with MLB. Residents of the USA (and its territories like Puerto Rico) and Canada are subject to the draft. They have to be high school graduates, too.

I'm not sure why kids from foreign countries have more freedom than kids from the States, but that's our system! I think it is stupid. There should be the same rules for everyone. In fact, I would get rid of the draft entirely, and make all ballplayers free agents as soon as they stop playing amateur ball. Ideally they would not be able to sign contracts until they were legal adults, but I guess that's what agents, scouts, and parents are for. (Not to mention the notorious buscones.) Some wag called all that jockeying in foreign countries to find baseball talent a "field of schemes." Indeed.

Regardless, the Giants have a new international prospect. He's been compared to Fernando Tatis, Jr. That fellow made the majors last season with the Padres at age 20 and kicked ass.

Interestingly, MLB has considered skipping the 2020 amateur draft. After all, no one is playing ball so scouting isn't happening and if you can't scout you can't evaluate talent. What a great time to get rid of this anachronism.



M.C. O'Connor said...

Shaun Anderson and Steven Duggar are both optioned to AAA Sacramento. If there is an Opening Day roster it looks like neither of them will be on it.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Tyler Beede is having TJS. I suppose ballplayers have access to private facilities for such things. Most elective surgeries are off for us regular folks. In fact, try to avoid hospitals and clinics in the short term, if you can.

Zo said...

ESPN considers Hunter Pence as one of the 10 most "follow-able" baseball players, so at least the Giants are improving in that category.

M.C. O'Connor said...

His tweets show up in the feed on the sidebar.

nomisnala said...

Are we even going to have a season?

M.C. O'Connor said...

Good question!

M.C. O'Connor said...

DrBGiantsFan over at the When the Giants Come to Town blog has an opinion about that question. It's a carefully reasoned response and I suspect it could play out like he describes.

At this point, we have to see if the emergency measures are working. Will the number of new cases start to drop? The isolation and social distancing may have to continue for months. I wonder if the Olympics will be cancelled (or "postponed"). Seems crazy to put on the Games. All those people gathering from all over the world? Yikes!

Zo said...

One IOC member is saying that the Olympics will be postponed. I do not know if that is the official word, but athletes are complaining that they cant practice together now, so do not expect to be ready. Even if the Olympics were to be held, large numbers of people would cancel their tickets (and/or Japan would screen some of them and prevent them from entering without a quarantine). Because it is held only every 4 years, there is no reason not to wait for next summer.

I think DrB is essentially correct. There may be treatments and vaccines fairly quickly - I heard on the news that a potential vaccine has been developed by one laboratory and they are going to start animal testing tomorrow and, with luck, human testing next month. One reason is that the virus has been genetically mapped, due in part to work at UCSF: Several treatments using drugs developed for other purposes are already being tested. That still likely means no baseball with fans in attendance this year.

The Wuhan area is currently opening up, and some flights have resumed from China to SFO. But to lift local measures requires, as stated, a 0 infection rate (or close to it).

M.C. O'Connor said...

IOC just said Olympics will not be held this summer. Well, good. That would have been a catastrophe.

MLB may have to follow suit. At the very best case they could play games in empty stadiums. You can't have people gather in large groups--tens of thousands!--anytime soon.

M.C. O'Connor said...

From an article on the Giants website:

“We’re not going to announce an alternate Opening Day at this point,” Manfred told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch outside the Cardinals’ complex in Jupiter, Fla., on Monday. “We’re going to have to see how things develop. I think the commitment of the Clubs is to play as many baseball games in 2020 as we can, consistent with the safety of our players and our fans.”

In other words: "who the hell knows?"

M.C. O'Connor said...

Chris Sale and Noah Syndergaard are both getting TJS. Even if the games resume--a big if--they won't pitch until 2021.

You have to figure that private surgical clinics have plenty of masks, hand sanitizers, gloves, etc., i.e. "essential" medical supplies. I wonder if there will be any pressure on these outfits to shut down for a while and donate their stuff to hospitals and other places where health care workers are on the front lines of the pandemic. Or at least stop performing elective surgeries and be ready to practice emergency medicine if/when our system gets overloaded from virus cases.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Think about that famous Mets Fivesome: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Steven Matz. They have all, now, gone under the knife for Tommy John (UCL) surgery.

Imagine being a Mets fan and seeing that rotation emerging and thinking "this is a special group." You'd be right, but the results didn't happen (if you count two playoff appearances and one pennant as a disappointment).

Giants fans are lucky. Our "window" with our aces delivered three titles!