© 2010 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
08/15/10 12:06 PM ET
Reds' negotiations with top pick progressing
Jocketty feels confident team can sign catcher Grandal
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- In all likelihood, the Reds won't have Yasmani Grandal signed and sealed until Monday before the deadline to sign all players taken in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. However, Grandal has at least already been delivered to Cincinnati. The former University of Miami catcher has spent the past two nights watching the Reds-Marlins games from general manager Walt Jocketty's suite, seated next to suspended manager Dusty Baker. "They're progressing," Jocketty said of the talks with Grandal's agent, Greg Genske. "We had him in [Saturday] for a physical. We wanted to get it out of the way, so we didn't have to wait until the last minute." In June, the Reds made the 21-year-old Grandal their 12th overall selection. If the Reds are unable to sign him before 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, they lose their rights to him and he goes back into the Draft pool. Cincinnati would receive a compensatory pick for the 2011 Draft in the same slot where Grandal was picked. Jocketty flew to Phoenix on Sunday morning ahead of the upcoming Reds' road trip against the D-backs and planned to watch the organization's Rookie-level team play Sunday night. It also makes him available to negotiate throughout the day during the Reds' off-day on Monday. "It'll go until tomorrow, and we hope to get it done by tomorrow," Jocketty said of the talks. In 62 games with Miami this season, Grandal batted .401 with 15 home runs, 60 RBIs and a .527 on-base percentage. He was a runner-up for the Golden Spikes Award, given annually by USA Baseball to the top amateur player in the country. The last two years, the Reds have had their No. 1 selections sign on the final day of negotiations. Last year, eighth overall pick and pitcher Mike Leake signed for a $2.27 million bonus. In 2008, first baseman Yonder Alonso was given a five-year, $4.55 million Major League contract and a spot on the 40-man roster. Like Grandal, Alonso also went to Miami and is represented by Genske. The Reds currently have no space on their 40-man roster to give Grandal a big league contract. If he was given one, someone would have to come off -- but there are no easy candidates. All of the position players, not already on the 25-man roster, are top prospects. And the pitchers, including Daniel Ray Herrera and Micah Owings, are in Triple-A Louisville, but they have been with the Reds this season. Jocketty declined to specify whether a 40-man spot was included in the proposals to Grandal's side. "I don't want to comment on that yet. Not until everything is done," Jocketty said. The Reds remained confident that Grandal would put pen to paper before the zero hour on Monday. "Yes, I think we will," Jocketty said.