MLB Rumors: Latest Updates on Carlos Rodon, Stephen Drew and Joel Hanrahan

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2014

Matt Slocum

Although the 2014 MLB season is just 20-plus games old, it hasn't stopped some teams from hitting the panic button and working the phones to try and improve their teams in whatever way possible.

There are still plenty of talented players available in the free-agent market, so that gives teams a short-term solution, if need be.

For others, this year is already lost, so the focus shifts ahead to the 2014 draft. Teams will be working to figure out which college and high school stars will move to the top of their respective draft boards.

Two free agents looking for new homes are Stephen Drew and Joel Hanrahan, while Carlos Rodon is busy trying to get his draft stock solidified.

Here are some brief updates on those three players.

Carlos Rodon

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 30:  Stephen Drew #7 of the Boston Red Sox looks on after hitting a home run in the fourth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Six of the 2013 World Series at Fenway Park on October 30, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (
Elsa/Getty Images

It wasn't that long ago that Carlos Rodon was a near-unanimous pick for the Houston Astros in the 2014 MLB draft. The comparisons to David Price were already made.

This year hasn't gone according to plan for the North Carolina State ace, though, and, as a result, his stranglehold on the No. 1 overall pick is slipping.'s Jonathan Mayo reported that Rodon is getting stiff competition from East Carolina right-hander Jeff Hoffman and the high school pitching duo of Brady Aiken and Tyler Kolek: polled nine scouting directors and national scouts and asked two questions: Who do you think the Astros will take No. 1 overall? Who would you take if you had the top pick?

Rodon only received one vote among those who were polled when it came to selecting their top pick. Aiken and Kolek each received four. Kolek was the top high school arm coming in and has only improved his stock. Aiken at first seemed more like a bottom-of-the-top-10 selection until he separated himself this spring.

However, one scout reiterated his belief that Rodon is the No. 1 guy.

"I would stick with him," he said. "I know what I saw last year, and he was as good a left-handed pitcher as I've seen in my career. Assuming he's healthy, I'd stick with Rodon."

Mayo believes that the Wolfpack left-hander is the best player on the board:

Jun 16, 2013; Omaha, NE, USA; NC State Wolfpack pitcher Carlos Rodon (16) during their College World Series game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Dave Weaver-USA Today Sports
USA TODAY Sports colleague Jim Callis disagrees, illustrating how close the race is between Rodon and the competition:

Although the perception around Rodon has soured a bit, there's no question that he'll be selected very early in the draft.

Stephen Drew

One of this year's free-agent mysteries continues to be how Stephen Drew remains on the market. He and agent Scott Boras must be prepared to hold out for as long as it takes to get a long-term deal.

The Boston Red Sox were thought to be in play for the 31-year-old from the offseason on, but's Rob Bradford reported that the team hasn't considered nor will it consider Drew a viable option:

But at no time throughout the ups and down of April, according to the source, did the Red Sox deviate from their long-term plan of committing to a starting left side of the infield consisting of (Xander) Bogaerts and Middlebrooks.

Perhaps if Bogaerts had started this year off badly, you could see where adding Drew might help. But the 21-year-old has a slash line of .287/.392/.391, in addition to five runs batted in.

Although Bogaerts has struggled defensively, that's to be expected from a player as young as he is.

The knee-jerk reaction would be to make whatever short-term move the Red Sox can to make up for their 12-14 start. The smarter decision would arguably be to stick with Bogaerts now and take whatever lumps come with his development over the rest of the season.

Joel Hanrahan

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 30:  Stephen Drew #7 of the Boston Red Sox fields a ball against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Six of the 2013 World Series at Fenway Park on October 30, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

It's 2014, and Kyle Farnsworth is the closer of an MLB team. I'll admit I thought Farnsworth retired five years ago, so I was shocked to see him in ninth-inning duty for the New York Mets.

The 38-year-old has two saves already this year, and his 2.38 earned run average is respectable.

That's not stopping the Mets from weighing all of their options, though. Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported that New York hasn't made a final decision as to whether or not it will sign Joel Hanrahan, but the free-agent reliever is a possible target:

The team has not decided whether to pursue Joel Hanrahan, who threw well at a recent showcase, but isn’t quite ready to contribute (one evaluator estimated that it would be about a month).

Most of Hanrahan's 2013 season was wiped out after he tore a flexor tendon muscle in his right arm, and he's still recovering.

While it's unlikely the 32-year-old will reach the success of his All-Star seasons in 2011 and '12 again, he would present a good buy-low candidate for a team like the Mets in need of bullpen help.