Notes: Slow negotiations for Beavan
First-round Draft pick has yet to sign with big-league club
ARLINGTON -- Rangers first-round Draft selection Blake Beavan is one of 15 first-round draft picks that have yet to sign with their respective teams.Beavan, the 17th overall pick, wants an over-slot bonus, which has been the holdup. The No. 15 and 16 selections have already signed for slot-money, but that has no effect on Beavan's situation. "It's going to have to be the right money we're wanting," Beavan said. "Hopefully it works out and we get a deal done." There are nine days left before the Aug. 15 deadline, and Beavan is hopeful his advisors, Randy and Alan Hendricks, can reach a deal in the next four or five days. Ideally, he would like to be signed by Aug. 11 at the latest. "I'd say that's a fair timeline," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "It's been unfortunately slow and that was not my expectation." Beavan, who grew up rooting for the Rangers, thought he'd be a quicker sign, but that has not been the case. With negotiations slower than expected, Beavan said it would depend on how and if the contract works out whether he would sign a 2007 or 2008 deal. If he signs a 2008 contract, the Rangers will not be able to send him to the Arizona Rookie League this season, but it would delay his spot on the 40-man roster for a year. If a deal does not get worked out, Beavan will attend Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, one of the top junior college baseball programs. "It definitely would be an option," Beavan said. "I could play there a year and maybe be in the top-five next year and get twice as much." Beavan also signed with the University of Oklahoma, but he will attend Navarro if a deal does not get done. The Rangers have also yet to sign outfielder Julio Borbon, the 35th overall pick, and right-hander Neil Ramirez, the 44th overall pick. Blalock, Otsuka update: Manager Ron Washington said, barring any unforeseen setbacks, he expects third baseman Hank Blalock and reliever Akinori Otsuka to be back with the Rangers by Sept. 1, if not earlier. Blalock, who is recovering from right shoulder surgery, has made significant progress and could come back as early as mid-August. Blalock was throwing up to 100 feet in Toronto, and once he is able to throw across the diamond comfortably, he will rejoin the Rangers. "We don't want to rush him, so we might have to wait until September 1," Washington said. Washington said Blalock would go on a three-to-four game rehab assignment. Rangers Dr. Keith Meister and trainer Jamie Reed will discuss a schedule for Otsuka on Tuesday. Otsuka was reexamined by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles last week and confirmed Meister's diagnosis of tendonitis in the right forearm/elbow area. Like Blalock, Washington is hopeful Otsuka can rejoin the team before Sept. 1. Botts in OF: Jason Botts started in left field Monday for the first time. Sammy Sosa was the DH to face Athletics left-handed starter Dallas Braden. Sosa is hitting .321 against left-handers this season. Botts played occasionally in the outfield at Triple-A Oklahoma. "I still have the same expectations," Botts said. "I want to be an all-around guy that plays offense and defense. At some point, I want to prove I can do it." Numbers game: Washington is wearing No. 38 again after Eric Gagne was traded to the Red Sox. Washington said he received a watch from Gagne for No. 38 before the season. However, Washington said he would rather have Gagne than No. 38. Jerry Hairston switched from No. 25 to No. 3. And, newly acquired catcher/first baseman Jarrod Saltalamacchia is wearing No. 25. "It was my idea, just something different," Hairston, who's also worn No. 15, said. Hairston chose No. 3 because one of his favorite players growing up was Harold Baines. The White Sox retired Baines' No. 3 jersey in 1989. Hairston said Saltalamacchia got a "good number and he'll enjoy it." "The guys said I looked like a number 25," Saltalamacchia said laughing. He said it: "I thought there'd be little horses and cowboys running on the street. No, but they've got roads and cars, so we're good to go." -- Saltalamacchia, a Florida native, joked about his first time in Dallas. Sunday's Minor League stars:
Gold: Left-hander Michael Ballard allowed two runs on six hits with six strikeouts over eight innings in Class A Bakersfield's 14-inning loss to San Jose, 6-3. Silver: Right-hander Jorge Quintero threw four scoreless innings, allowing four hits ,as the Arizona Rookie League Rangers defeated the Arizona Angels, 8-4. Bronze: Outfielder John Mayberry went 2-for-4 with a home run, lifting Double-A Frisco past San Antonio, 7-2. Briefly: Class A Clinton first baseman Mauro Gomez was named Rangers' Minor League Player of the Month. Gomez hit .359 with 12 home runs and 31 RBIs in 27 games. ... Frisco right-hander Armando Galarraga was named Pitcher of the Month. He was 3-1 with a 1.58 ERA in six starts. Galarraga held opponents to a .156 average in the month of July. Up next: Left-hander Kason Gabbard pitches for the Rangers against right-hander Chad Gaudin of the Athletics. First pitch is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. CT on Tuesday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Drew Davison is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.