SAN FRANCISCO — In one of their craziest scouting experiences, the Twins have reached a deal with a 24-year-old pitching prospect who has thrown 100 mph fastballs but has never been drafted.
Brandon Poulson was pitching earlier this month for the Healdsburg Prune Packers in the collegiate Sacramento Rural League. His manager was Joey Gomes, brother of big-leaguer and former Ray Jonny Gomes.
Now, the Twins are about to give him $250,000.
"It's a great story," Twins West Coast scouting supervisor Sean Johnson said Tuesday. "This kid came out of nowhere."
Poulson spent a season with Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where he had an 8.38 ERA. He played there after taking a couple of years off to work in his father's business — "John's Excavating" — with the thought he'd take it over.
The 6-foot-6 right-hander previously played at Santa Rosa Junior College. "I played for the Prune Packers summer of '13 but missed nearly three-fourths of the games because I was busy working," Poulson said.
The Twins are giving him about 10 times more than an undrafted player would typically receive as a bonus.
LESTER YANKED: The last-place Red Sox pulled LHP Jon Lester from his scheduled start today amid speculation the ace might be traded. RHP Brandon Workman will be called up from Triple A to replace him.
SCULLY TO RETURN: Hall of Fame Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully will return in 2015 for his 66th season in the booth, the team said.
A'S LEASE: The Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to approve a 10-year lease extension to keep the A's in Oakland.
GIANTS: RHP Matt Cain plans to meet with specialist Dr. James Andrews this week to get a second opinion on his injured elbow.
PHILLIES: OF Marlon Byrd was scratched a day after fouling a ball off his left foot.
ROCKIES: 1B Justin Morneau, out since July 18 with a stiff neck, was activated.
YANKEES: RHP Michael Pineda, coming back from a muscle strain in his back, was cleared to begin a rehab assignment.