Bryan Hoch recently spoke with Damon Oppenheimer regarding the 2009 draft. First, he talks about their new budget:
“We’ve been given a budget by ownership this year, and we’re going to work within that budget. We have parameters that we’re going to use. You have to be a little more cautious and you have to pay attention to certain players’ wishes and needs. It might not be what we value that player as. If some of these guys are going to hold true to what they’re looking for, you’re going to see a few more kids roll into college this year.”
We’ve heard this news before. I feel that this is less about a lack of money and more about agents taking advantage of the Yankees. Guys who never were really planning on going to college like Brett Marshall were demanding more money than their standard slot bonus, because the Yankees had an infinite budget. Oppenheimer can now tell an agent, “I have a budget. Take your 100,000 dollars” and be in a better negotiating position.
Hoch also gathers more speculation on 1st round picks:
The Yankees could highlight an athletic outfield prospect like California’s Brett Jackson on their Draft board, and there has been talk about Southern California shortstop Grant Green and Boston College catcher Tony Sanchez. One wonders how flexible the idea of a Draft budget is for the Yankees, who shelled out $423.5 million to lock up Sabathia, Teixeira and Burnett without much of a second thought.
Tony Sanchez’s name has been tossed around before. He’s a defense-first catcher who has some, if modest, hitting skills. I wouldn’t be too happy with him at 29th overall. Brett Jackson would be an interesting pick. He had a strong year for the University of California and is toolsy, but he strikes out a ton.
I don’t think that Grant Green will be available at #29, but he could be a great pick up if falls to the Yankees. Green is a good shortstop who can hit pretty well, and should move fast through the majors. “Derek Jeter replacement” might as well be written on his forehead. He led the USC team this year, and could theoretically be very close to the majors in time for Jeter’s contract to run out if signed quickly.
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