W/ the first pick, you can have an opportunity to fill in 2B or short w/ somebody who will be a major contributor, instead of somebody who is 'ok'. There are tons of 1B/ OF/ SP types out there and I really think that you have to go w/ a scarce position if you can. There are a few guys, like Helton/ Pujols/ Prior who are good enough to take that early but I think you will end up better w/ Soriano/ Nomar/ Arod, simply b/c the competition is worse. There isn't really anyone comparable to that. Maybe somebody like Piazza can go nuts w/ Catcher availability, since he's @ 1B too now, but that's just another guy w/ considerably more risk than Soriano/ Nomar/ Arod/ Boone, etc.
This is all 3 weeks before the season so anything now, other than a disabling injury like...Prior's maybe?...tends to be hearsay or whatever. Barring an available interview, it's hard to say who might be tweaking their swing or pitch or something.