Saturday, August 14, 2010

Draft signing updates

We are now about 54 hours from Monday night's deadline for all draft picks to sign, and though the Nationals haven't locked up any of their four remaining unsigned top picks (first-rounder Bryce Harper, second-rounder Sammy Solis, fourth-rounder A.J. Cole and 12th-rounder Robbie Ray) yet, they perhaps are making progress with at least one of those guys.

Ray, a high school left-hander from Tennessee, was at Nationals Park today, wearing a personalized Nats jersey and cap and meeting members of the ownership group, the front office, coaches and players. Ray, who has committed to Arkansas, hasn't signed yet, but it's clear the Nationals are putting the full-court press on him.

"We brought Robbie and his family in here today to show them our 'campus,' if you will," Mike Rizzo said. "He's got a full-ride to the University of Arkansas, which is a very good baseball school and a good institution. We wanted to show him what we're all about.

"He was a 12th-round pick because he had a full commitment to a university. We see his ability as being great ability, a left-handed pitcher that our scouts just love. Instead of just letting him go to school and blowing it off, we're making every effort to impress him with our organization and show him what professional baseball can mean to him down the road and to give him an alternative to think about rather than just going to the University of Arkansas."

As for the big fish in the pond, Harper, there's still little reason to believe any substantive negotiations will heat up until the final hours Monday night. Rizzo, of course, has been to this rodeo before. This is the third time he's been directly involved with the signing of the No. 1 overall pick, having previously gone through this with Stephen Strasburg and Justin Upton.

Does that experience make the process any easier or leave Rizzo any calmer as the deadline approaches?

"No, it's not easier, it's not less-anxious," he said with a laugh. "It's a player that we really want in the organization, and the talks and the negotiations are always difficult and they're always unique. This is a unique situation, just like Stephen was in a unique situation, just like when I signed Justin Upton it was a unique situation. We're battling through it. We don't make a big public display of it. But suffice to say, we're working hard at it."


Anonymous said...

I personally do not understand the delay here, both sides no basically where it is going to end up, so start there and get in done in June, and not waste a whole summer. The way they sign Soren should be the way to do it all the time, and get another year of service for your buck.

Brian said...

Much of it is MLB-created. MLB does not want to see over slot deals early in the process because they believe it will encourage more over slot deals.

Many times, these deals have already been agreed to but are not announced until the last minute

Quite ridiculous but that's the way the game is played

Faraz Shaikh said...

I have a question. If Ray signs with Nationals, does that mean he quits university and goes to minors?

We Need a Bat said...

He wouldn't need to quit school, but he would be ineligible to play for the University of Arkansas if he signed with the Nats. Jack McGeary, for example, signed and plays in the minors but attends Stanford. That was a special situation, but teams can work with teams for kids to attend school if they choose. Most decide to pursue professional baseball full time.

Don Hammack said...

How in the world is a trip to Washington not considered an extra benefit by the NCAA, making him ineligible to pitch in college, or at the very least subject to suspension to start his college career.

Anonymous said...

Don, it has nothing to do with the NCAA. The only way that would suspend him or make him ineligible is if Arkansas was behind it. As far as this goes, it is just a kid on a vacation before college starts. There are no ties to the NCAA.

Unkle Wheez said...

I am reading that Cole and Solis have signed!

Richard said...

Natsfarm blog said that Jim Callis of Baseball America reported that the Nats signed Solis and Cole, and Callis, yes, says Solis got a bonus of $1M and Cole $2M and the Nats are likely to sign Ray and Harper. Congrats Nationals! You guys (and us fans!)could use some good news this morning.

BinM said...

Closing the deals for both Solis & Cole is a positive; Finishing with both Harper & maybe even Ray would be outstanding. One thing to consider with Bora$$ is that he tends to get his clients signed, even though it takes until the last minute for 'high-profile' players.

At least the Lerner group is starting to grasp the future investment from the draft; Now, if they can only get their heads around the concept of 'Market-value' contracts for established players (Dunn), the teams' future could be quite a bit brighter by the end of the month.

Anonymous said...

BA reports that Ray signed for 799,000 ; Solis for 1 Mil and Cole for 2 mil.

IMHO it will be a real upset if Harper doesn't sign; I,m guessing 10 mil just over the position player record of Marc Texiera.

Unlikely other posters I don't think it's a tragedy if Dunn doesn't sign. Very deep draft next year and we can reallocate the money elsewhere.

We are definitely on the right track.

Post a Comment