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Former Jesuit High pitcher Lance McCullers to sign $2.5 million deal with Houston Astros

TAMPA — Former Jesuit High RHP Lance McCullers is on the verge of signing with the Astros and receiving a $2.5 million bonus.

The 41st overall pick was flying to Houston on Sunday to take a physical this morning. After passing that, he will officially forgo his college scholarship to Florida and sign with the Astros.

The slotted bonus for the 41st pick is $1,258,700, but the Astros have the flexibility to offer McCullers more. Carlos Correa, a shortstop from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy whom the Astros took as the No. 1 overall pick, signed for $4.8 million, a full $2.4 million less than the recommended slot ($7.4 million). Houston's total bonus pool for its 11 picks from the first 10 rounds is $11.2 million.

According to Baseball America, the Astros have spent $5.9 million of their pool so far and currently are $2,537,700 under their projected budget.

McCullers, son of former big-league pitcher Lance McCullers Sr., was considered to have one of the most electric arms in the draft coming out of Jesuit this year, with a fastball sitting in the mid 90s and a plus slider in the mid 80s.

In other Astros news, RHP Bud Norris went on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained knee, and LHP Dallas Keuchel was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Also, LF Carlos Lee returned to the lineup after a DL stint because of a strained hamstring. 3B Brett Wallace was optioned to Oklahoma City.

BRAVES ACE TO DL: The Braves placed major-league ERA leader Brandon Beachy on the 15-day DL with a sore right elbow, creating an opening in the rotation that will be filled by RHP Jair Jurrjens. Beachy, who has a 2.00 ERA, is scheduled to have an MRI exam today.

Jurrjens will be recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to make Beachy's next scheduled start on Friday at Boston. A 2011 All-Star, Jurrjens was 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA when he was optioned to Gwinnett on April 24. He is 3-4 with a 5.27 ERA in nine starts with Gwinnett.

The team recalled RHP Todd Redmond from Gwinnett to pitch out of the bullpen. Redmond, 27, is a St. Petersburg native who attended Northside Christian and St. Petersburg College. This is his first promotion to the majors.

HAMILTON RESTS: OF Josh Hamilton returned to the Rangers after an intestinal virus sent him to the hospital but wasn't in the lineup. The former Rays prospect was hospitalized Friday because of dehydration and was released Saturday morning.

A'S: RHP Bartolo Colon left his start in the third inning with a strained right oblique muscle. … RHP Tyson Ross was optioned back to Triple-A Sacramento one day after making a spot start to give RHP Brandon McCarthy an extra day of rest.

NATIONALS: RH reliever Brad Lidge, who had a 9.64 ERA in 11 appearances, was designated for assignment. RH reliever Ryan Mattheus, who had missed 24 games with a plantar fascia strain in his left foot, was activated.

RED SOX: OF Ryan Sweeney went on the 15-day DL with irritation in a bone in his left foot. OF Ryan Kalish was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

ROCKIES: LF Carlos Gonzalez was a late scratch because of right hamstring soreness.

TWINS: C Joe Mauer left in the seventh with a bruised right quadriceps. … Closer Matt Capps was not available because of a sore right (pitching) shoulder.

YANKEES: RF Nick Swisher was held out a day after leaving a game with a bruised quad. Manager Joe Girardi said Swisher is day-to-day.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Former Jesuit High pitcher Lance McCullers to sign $2.5 million deal with Houston Astros 06/17/12 [Last modified: Sunday, June 17, 2012 9:18pm]
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