Friday is the deadline for signing players from the June draft. Teams that don't sign players by Friday lose their rights to them. There should be a flurry of activity among first-rounders this week. Entering the weekend, only three of the top 11 picks had signed. The most interesting case may involve the Pirates and second overall pick

Pedro Alvarez,

a third baseman from Vanderbilt. Alvarez, who is represented by

Scott Boras,

appears to be looking for more than the $6.1 million that No. 1 overall pick

Tim Beckham

got from Tampa Bay. Pirates president

Frank Coonelly

has told reporters in Pittsburgh that his club will not "grossly" overpay for Alvarez. Folks in player development and scouting circles are watching this case closely. Coonelly is a former MLB vice president and one of his duties was to keep signing bonuses in check. Boras, one of the game's most high-powered agents, has a history of seeking huge bonuses for his draft picks.

The Phillies have signed six of their seven picks in the top 136 of the draft. Barring a late turn of events, it appears unlikely that they will sign supplemental third-rounder

Jon Pettibone,

a high school pitcher from California who was selected 110th overall. At draft time, the Phils liked their chances of signing the 6-foot-5 righthander. In the interim, however, sources say Pettibone chose Boras as an adviser. Pettibone has a commitment to USC, and the Trojans are coached by former Boras client

Chad Kreuter.

Don't hold your breath waiting for Pettibone. . . . Here's a name to watch:

Michael Stutes.

The righthander was the Phillies' 11th round pick out of Oregon State in June. He blazed through the New York-Penn League, going 2-1 with a 1.33 ERA in three starts, then was 3-0 with a 0.47 ERA in his first three starts in the South Atlantic League. Stutes had given up just 23 hits in his first 46 innings as a pro.

In honor of

Brett Favre

being traded to the Jets, who play in New Jersey, the Trenton Thunder offered the quarterback season tickets for the remainder of the season. If Favre declines, the team will donate the tickets to the charity of his choice. . . . The Phillies hope the acquisition of lefthanded reliever

Scott Eyre

pays dividends this season. If Eyre can take some of the workload off of lefty

J.C. Romero,

the impact of his acquisition may be felt beyond this season, as well. Romero, 32, is signed for two more years at $8.25 million. Eyre could help protect that investment.