Onto more important Gyros-related news:
According to Jorge Arangure (via Twitter) and MLBTradeRumors.com, the Giants are on the verge of signing 16 year old center fielder Wagner Mateo out of the Dominican.
This is a pretty legit report because Arangure is a senior writer for ESPN The Mag and covers the Latin American baseball scene.
This is a particularly interesting story because in September, the Cardinals had Mateo all locked up to a $3.1MM bonus, but ended up voiding the contract almost immediately after. Wagner failed the physical because of vision problems. Just their luck. The biggest amateur bonus ever given to a Latin American player and the guy can't see...
Here's an excerpt from Joe Strauss' piece from the Post-Dispatch:
"...the Cardinals learned that Mateo wore corrective lenses and that without them he could not read past the 'E' on the eye chart.
Mateo was found to possess 20/200 vision. Even with contact lenses, Mateo's vision was 20/30, good enough for most professions but considered deficient among major league players.
The Cardinals said nothing at the time but other organizations heard of a problem.
For most of a month, Mateo shuttled between eye specialists in St. Louis, Baltimore and Boston. Specialists at Johns Hopkins and Harvard reached the same conclusion as those in St. Louis: Mateo's vision could not be improved.
General manager John Mozeliak had little to say on Sept. 18 when the Post-Dispatch reported that the club was investigating whether it could void Mateo's contract. No money had yet exchanged hands. And language in the agreement allowed for an out in the event of physical defect or pre-existing injury. Mateo's eyesight represented a defect, according to the club. Damage caused by ill-fitting contacts to his eyes represented an injury. Mateo was not deemed a fit for Lasik surgery, according to sources familiar with the club's medical findings."
Okay, fair enough. But this kid with 20/30 vision is still a huge prospect. For a 16 year old, based on the vids below, he appears to be extremely well-built, polished, and physically developed in a way that very few 16 year olds can be.
Apparently the Gyros had their eye on the kid the whole time and were in a bit of a bidding war with St. Louis, but "got cold feet" at the last minute and backed out. Perhaps now they can get him a little bit more of a bargain. Interestingly enough, the Giants were offering $3.5MM to Mateo versus the $3.1MM of the Cards. This kid is among the top 3-5 prospects in Latin America, even with his supposed vision issues.
For God's sake, the kid is 6'2, 190 at age 16. We'll get him some decent contact lenses or send him into Genentech to get some eye implants or some hocus pocus crap.
Also, I may add, that the Giants' organizational philosophy has changed so much in the last three years. During the Bonds era, this would not have happened. I have an article coming soon about this, but do not discount these changes. The questions about why we never produced positional players from our farm system are not going to be an issue in near future. So, in my opinion, the negativity coming from some of the big sites, (ahem... you know, the "other Chronicle"...) is getting old and more irrelevant by the day.
Anyway, I like this deal. I hope we get this kid on board. He seriously looks like a left handed Alfonso Soriano.
Click here to directly visit The Dodgerhater.
And this one. Again, you're gonna wanna check these out, so click here if you can't see the videos.