The Rays announced they do not expect to sign 1st round pick LeVon Washington or 2nd round pick Kenneth Diekroeger.My thoughts on this news:
There is a report that Washington did not meet the academic requirements to attend the University of Florida and will now have to choose junior college or indy ball if he does not sign with the Rays.
1. Disappointing, but not devastating. We will receive comp picks at virtually the same spot (one pick later) next year, but we lose a year of development on the players (unless we pick college players next year).
2. We knew these were risky picks, a Boras client (Washington) and a strong Stanford commit (Diekroeger).
3. What is Washington thinking? First, many thought this was an over-draft by the Rays in the first place. Second, how likely is it he will be picked this high again (in 3 years if he goes to a university, next year if juco)? Third, if the report above is true and he's not going to Florida, how do you turn down over a million dollars when you can't even meet the academic requirements for college (and I'm not even making a Gators joke here)? All in all it seems like an incredible risk for him to take by not signing.
4. How does this affect the 2010 draft? In addition to the budget for the regular picks, the Rays now have to pay an extra 1st round and 2nd round signing bonus. With all of the money woes we hear about small-market teams in this economy, and especially with the Rays, where will this money come from? Will it affect off-season free agent signings and/or contract extensions for existing players?
5. How does this affect the Rays leverage with the comp picks next year? When you fail to sign a draft pick in the first three rounds in year 1, you get a comp pick one spot later in year 2 (in addition to all of your regular picks for year 2). But if you fail to sign the comp pick in year 2, you lose it forever. Given the normal difficulty in signing 1st and 2nd round picks, how much harder will it be to sign these comp picks when the players and their agents know the Rays have to sign them or lose the pick?
Unsigned draft picks:
1. Levon Washington
2. Kenny Diekroeger
10. Derek Dennis
15. Pierce Johnson
20. Dylan Floro
23. Trevor Peterson
24. Andrew Heaney
27. Brady Wager
32. Alex Besaw
33. Ryan McCarney
37. Austin Maddox
38. Drew Hillman
44. Kalani Brackenridge
45. Cole Neslon
46. Aaron Oates
48. Nate Roberts
49. Vince Spilker
Tonight's games and probable starting pitchers:
Durham Bulls vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre @ 7:05: LHP Jason Cromer (5-2, 2.03 ERA)
Montgomery Biscuits at Birmingham @ 8:05: LHP Darin Downs (0-1, 3.86 ERA)
Charlotte Stone Crabs at St. Lucie @ 5:00: LHP David Newmann (6-6, 4.11 ERA)
Charlotte Stone Crabs at St. Lucie, game two: RHP Austin Hinkle (2-4, 3.38 ERA)
Bowling Green Hot Rods at Greensboro @ 7:05: RHP Nick Barnese (5-5, 2.19 ERA)
Hudson Valley Renegades are off for the New York-Penn All-Star break
Princeton Rays at Kingsport @ 7:00: LHP Julius Dettrich (3-4, 3.35 ERA)