by J.T. Toth
July 23, 2023
Photo courtesy of MLB.com.
It is that time of the week again where Draft 412 will go over the past seven days of worthy news nuggets that you may have missed. Let us catch you up here:
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have signed goaltender Garret Sparks to an American Hockey League contract for the 2023-2024 season. Sparks (31) joins the Penguins, who have six goaltenders signed to NHL contracts entering next season. Sparks is a veteran of 10 professional seasons. Sparks has spent parts of four campaigns at the NHL level with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vegas Golden Knights and Los Angeles Kings. Sparks has a 15-18-2 record with a 3.06 goals against average.
The Pirates have signed first overall draft pick Paul Skenes to a record $9.2 million signing bonus to join the Pirates' organization.
Skenes, 21, spent this year dominating for LSU. He made 19 starts for the Tigers with a 1.69 ERA in 122 ⅔ innings. He struck out 209 of the 462 batters he faced, an incredible 45.2% rate, while walking just 20.
The Pirates have also signed these draft picks:
Comp B Round- Zander Mueth (RHP)- $1.8 million ($700,000 over slot)
Round 11- Magdiel Cotto (LHP) $50,000 over slot
Round 12- Khristian Curtis (RHP)- $350,000 over slot
Round 19- Tyler Kennedy (RHP)- $172,500 over slot
Round 9- Danny Carrion (RHP)- $15,000 over slot
Round 15- John Lopez (Catcher)- $125,000 over slot
Round 16- Justin Miknis (Catcher)- $75,000 over slot
Round 20- Peyton Stumbo- (RHP)- Has not yet agreed to terms.
The only two members left in the class to sign are 17th rounder Daniel Cuvet, and 18th round Kalae Harrison.
The Pirates release former #1 draft pick Travis Swaggerty. The often injured outfielder will have a chance to sign with another major league team after passing through waivers and then being released by the Pirates. Swaggerty’s time in Pittsburgh has been frustrating to say the least. He did make it to the majors briefly in 2022, going 1-9 with 4 strikeouts. Swaggerty was the #10 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft.
The Pirates have designated relief pitcher Will Crowe for assignment. Crowe has been on the 60-day injured list since April, but the Bucs evidently don’t plan on putting him back on their roster. Though Crowe has had glimpses of success with Pittsburgh, he has spent most of his time on the injured list during his 3 years in Pittsburgh.
The Pirates have called up starting pitcher Quinn Priester and catcher Endy Rodriguez. The Pirates have called up two of their top 10 prospects this past week in Quinn Priester and Endy Rodriguez. Rodriguez caught Priester in his debut and it marked the first time a starting battery were both making their MLB debut since 1943. The pair were also the first starting battery to both be born in the 21st Century.
The Steelers extend OLB-Alex Highsmith to a four-year deal worth $68MM. This will lock down TJ Watt’s bookend edge rusher through the 2027 season.