Draft picks in the fold?

Word from Baseball America is that the Reds’ top two 2009 draft picks have signed. I’ve been told that deals with pitchers Mike Leake and Brad Boxberger are not officially done yet. They still have to take their physicals, which could push their actual signings back to Monday.

The deadline to sign all Draft picks is midnight ET on Monday night.

Baseball America reported that Leake, the eighth overall pick and a right-handed starting pitcher, will receive a $2.27 million bonus. Boxberger, a right-handed pitcher who was No. 43 overall as a supplemental first-rounder signed for $857,000.

LATE UPDATE: MLB.com has confirmed the agreement to a deal. Both players are in Cincinnati to take their physicals on Monday.

Leake was 16-1 with a 1.71 ERA, 24 walks and 162 strikeouts in 142 innings over 19 games this season for Arizona State.  The bonus was over the MLB slot recommendation of $2.043 million.

This season in 14 starts for the Univ. of Southern California, Boxberger was 6-3 with a 3.16 ERA, 50 walks and 99 strikeouts.

Third baseman and prospect Juan Francisco is one step closer to the big leagues. Francisco was promoted and will be with Triple-A Louisville Saturday night. He took Kevin Barker’s spot after Barker was called up by the Reds.

In 109 games for Double-A Carolina this season, Francisco batted .281 with 22 homers, 74 RBIs and 64 runs scored (26 doubles, .501 slugging percentage.). He is first in the Southern League in homers, tied for first in RBIs, second in hits and extra base hits.

As for the big league team, injured third baseman Scott Rolen (concussion) was on the field today manning first base while infielders took groundballs. Rolen was scheduled to hit soft tosses in the cage Saturday and do some running on Sunday. If he’s not bothered by more headaches, he could begin to take batting practice.

Nothing is physically wrong with outfielder Wladimir Balentien, manager Dusty Baker said. Balentien is batting .346 since being dealt to Cincinnati but wasn’t starting Saturday for the third-straight game.

“He’s playing [Sunday]. I can’t play everybody,” Baker said. “He was supposed to play [Friday] but Gomes had three home runs [Thursday]. I talked to him. I don’t have to tell anybody anything. As a former player, you wonder why you’re not playing. You’d like to know why.”

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well I am hoping that we really did sign these guys. We need more pitching developing at A and AA. AAA looks pretty good. Travis Wood, Klinker, and Ondrusek are starting to stand out. The Bats also have 4 outfielders that are looking like solid major league material. I wonder if we will move any of them or if they make the team next year.

This may set me up for a sarcastic answer, but when are the September call-ups? And who’s likely to join the team? And why aren’t the Reds playing the AAA’ers who are with the team now, so they get some at-bats before the logjam hits? And why don’t the Reds forget about lefty / righty matchups and bench Taveras and Nix for Dickerson and Balentien or some other OF of the day? Let’s see what we’ve got, and not worry about the game today.

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