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Tampa Bay Rays Sign Wander Franco To Massive Deal, What Now Pittsburgh Pirates?

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Photo Credit: Getty Images  The Tampa Bay Rays shook up the baseball world just a couple of days before Thanksgiving by signing uber prospect Wander Franco to a stunning 12-year $233-million contract. Yes the same Rays who have repeatedly found themselves in contention with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball now has a player who has a $200+ million contract. Franco was the top prospect in baseball for back-to-back seasons before making his major league debut in 2021, and quickly showed why. The shortstop broke Mickey Mantle's consecutive on-base streak for a player 20-years old or younger, finishing with 43 games straight. He also finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting, and finished with a 3.5 WaR (according to Baseball-Reference) despite only registering 308 plate appearances. Wander Franco. Our future! #RaysUp PAY THE MAN LFG! 😤👏🔥 pic.twitter.com/n43F92sCJW — Sam SoCal™️🥽🏆 (@SamSoCal_) November 23, 2021 The future is certainly bright, and despite the $18 mi

Arizona Fall League Update: Bellomy, Mlodzinski Pitch Clean Innings Out Bullpen

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 Five pitchers combined to pitch a shutout for the Peoria Javelinas, winning their game against the Scottsdale Scorpions 4-0. Nick Gonzales stayed hot, collecting two more hits, as well as scoring a run as a part of his 2 for 5 day. The former first round pick is now batting .382 on the fall for the Javelinas. At the time of this posting, Gonzales ranks third in the Arizona Fall League when it comes to hits. Ji-Hwan Bae, who along with Gonzales, was named to AFL Fall Stars but had made his worst day at the plate since getting to Arizona. The Pirates' prospect went 0 for 5, striking out each time he came to the plate. That dropped his average down to .250 on the fall. Bear Bellomy and Carmen Mlodzinski pitched in relief for the Javelinas, both pitching an inning a piece. Bellomy allowed a hit while striking out a batter, with eight of his 12 pitches going for strikes. It had been a rough start to the AFL for Mlodzinski, but he struck out two in his inning of relief, with nine of his

Pittsburgh Pirates: Tahnaj Thomas And The Rule 5 Draft, What To Do

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Photo Credit: MiLB.com  Who would have thought that there is a downside to the amount of talent that the Pittsburgh Pirates added to their minor league system? While it is a huge step forward that Ben Cherington has been able to build the depth within the organization that he has in such a short time, it has come with a downside. Teams have till November 19th to protect Rule 5 draft eligible players by adding them to their 40 man roster. With such an influx of talent into the system, there are plenty of hard decisions that are going to have to be made about who to protect, and who to leave open. It may come down to the final minute, but it is something that comes with the territory for Cherington and company.  While some decisions will be easier than others, some of the choices will have to come with a strategic thought process. Players selected in the Rule 5 must remain on the major league roster for the entire 2022 season or be offered back to their original team. So teams competing

Arizona Fal League Update: Nick Gonzales Continues Strong Fall With Three Hit Game

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 The Peoria Javelinas won their Tuesday contest against the Mesa Solar Sox 6-5. A three-run home run by catcher Chandler Seagle ended up being the difference for the Javelinas.  Nick Gonzales was the lone Pittsburgh Pirates position player to get into the lineup and he made it worth while. In his first at bat of the game, the former first round pick out of New Mexico State hit a double in the first inning. He would later single home Zach DeLoach as a part of a three hit effort on the day. The big day at the plate pushed his average up to .381 this fall. He also added his fourth stolen base of the year. Nick Gonzales gets himself a stand-up double! The fourth-ranked Pirates prospect posts the first hit of today’s action in Peoria. pic.twitter.com/uHuL3yGQSS — MLB's Arizona Fall League (@MLBazFallLeague) November 9, 2021 Roansy Contreras and Michael Burrows continued their piggy back starting role, with the pair struggling a bit more than usual. Contreras, fresh off winning AFL pitc