Baseball team's offseason heats up

Some offseason notes to pass along:

  • Steve Pearse, who served as UCLA's infield and baserunning coach the last two seasons, accepted the head coaching position at Reedley College late last week. A replacement has not been named.

  • Niko Gallego, a 27th-round selection in last month's MLB Draft, signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 11 to forgo his senior season. Gallego, the son of 13-year big leaguer and current Oakland Athletics third base coach Mike Gallego, will be assigned to Class High-A Visalia of the California League. Gallego's departure means slick-fielding backup Adrian Williams, who is playing the West Coast League this summer, will have an opportunity to start at shortstop next season.

  • Reliever Erik Goeddel, a 24th-rounder who excelled as UCLA's setup man last season, has agreed to terms with the New York Mets. His signing leaves a gaping hole in the Bruins' bullpen since closer Dan Klein (third round) and Matt Grace (eighth round) are also expected to sign.

  • Right-handed pitcher Garett Claypool, an 11th-rounder for the Philadelphia Phillies, is 2-0 with an ERA of 2.25 in two games with the Williamsport Crosscutters of the Class A Short-season New York-Penn League.

  • Meanwhile, the five UCLA signees who were selected in the MLB Draft have yet to sign professionally. They are: pitchers Adam Plutko (Houston Astros, sixth round), Zachary Weiss (Pittsburgh Pirates, 10th round) and Nick Vander Tuig (Toronto Blue Jays, 39th round), outfielder Brenton Allen (Philadelphia Phillies, ninth round) and infielder Kevin Williams (Los Angeles Dodgers, 41st round). Incoming freshmen have until August 15 to sign.