Cole opts for college…

So says an anonymous source of Tyler Kepner’s. I don’t buy it, both Mike Moustakas and Josh Vitters pulled the same stuff last year. If Cole does go to UCLA, the Yanks will get pick #28A in next year’s draft, which for all intents and purposes is pick #29. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

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Cole, Bleich & Bittle updates

MLB.com draft guru Jonathan Mayo has posted a small update on the status of the 11 first round picks that remain unsigned, four of which are represented by Boras. He notes that both Gerrit Cole (1st round) and Jeremy Bleich (sandwich round) are expected to sign with the Yanks, however second rounder Scott Bittle is not. A routine physical showed significant wear and tear on the righty’s throwing shoulder about a month ago, leading to an breakdown in contract negotiations. If Bittle doesn’t sign, the Yanks will receive a compensation pick following the second round of next year’s draft. Bleich is the only unsigned sandwich pick now that the Giants locked up Conor Gillaspie.

Update (1:20pm): Pending Pinstripes had a chance to sit down and chat with the recently signed Brett Marshall. Check it out. (can you tell the kid just got out of high school, or what?)

Yanks sign seventh rounder

Via Ken Davidoff, the Yanks have signed their seventh round pick, California prep catcher Kyle Higashioka, to a deal worth approximately $400,000. Rated the 77th best prospect in the state by Baseball America, they describe him as a superb defensive catcher with interesting power potential. The deal is roughly $250,000 overslot, and buys him out of a commitment to Cal. Austin RomineJesus Montero & Higashioka are an eviably trio of lower level catching prospects. (h/t to Patrick)

Talks’ with second rounder Bittle stall

Via The Clarion Ledger comes word that contract negotiations between the Yankees and second round pick Scott Bittle have reached an impasse after a physical showed “wear and tear” on his throwing shoulder. No surprise here, Bittle and his agent say he’s fine. The 75th overall pick threw 70.2 innings as Ole Miss’s closer this season, which is right in line with the typical workload of a top college reliever. If the Yanks don’t come to terms with Bittle, they’ll receive a compensation pick after the second round next year as per MLB’s latest draft rule change. Obviously you’d rather have the player now instead of the pick later.

Just for a historical note, the Padres discovered that Tim Stauffer had a fatigued shoulder after signing him to a $2.6M deal as the 4th overall pick of the 2003 draft. Stauffer’s bonus was adjusted down to $750,000, and he’s gone on to have an unspectacular career thus far. He’s currently coming back from Tommy John surgery.