Last month the Mets used the 10th pick of the first round of draft on Vanderbilt star pitcher Kumar Rocker. They had 3 weeks to sign him. They never offered a contract, claiming he’s injured after his physical with the team. His agent, Scott Boras, says he’s not. So now the Mets will get the 11th pick in next year’s draft.
Normally to get the compensatory pick, a team had to offer a contract worth at least 40% of the draft slot value. Rocker, however, did decline to have an MRI done, which gave the Mets an out.
The move by the Mets makes no sense unless Rocker really does have an injury. Rocker, for his part, is left with three choices: (1) He could return to Vanderbilt and play one more year even though he now has an agent; however, it’s being reported that he won’t. (2) He could play in an independent league. (3) He could sign with an international league. He will be eligible for the draft again next year.
My opinion: Rocker should be a free agent since he wasn’t offered any contract.
6 thoughts on “Mets Don’t Sign Kumar Rocker”
It was reported in Newsday that they had offered him a contract with a relatively high bonus of 6 million. They withdrew the offer when they discovered a problem during the physical. Boras’ who is his advisor, claimed that he had no physical problems. The reason that he is not a free agent is that the rules are in place to prevent a draftee from not negotiating in good faith in order to become a free agent.
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True, my understanding of this situation was that a framework of a deal had been agreed upon but no contract offered. If a contract was offered and rejected/not signed, then he’s rightly not a free agent.
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I guess it depends on what actually happened. If the framework of an agreement was presented pending the passing of a physical, is that the same as an actual contract offer? If the deal was withdrawn based on physical issues, he should be allowed to be a free agent. However, this was the agreement between the MLBPA and MLB
Going back to the articles I’ve read—The rough outline of a deal, including a $6M bonus, was discussed pre-draft. No actual contract was ever offered. Normally the Mets would not get a compensatory pick except that Rocker did not submit to a pre-draft MRI. That part is not unusual—several other players do not do one either. The Mets also did not draft anyone with their rounds 11-20 picks, in order to give Kumar an above-draft-slot deal. We will probably never know what precisely went down, though. Draftees are not MLBPA members, so there will be no grievances.
The Mets probably shouldn’t have drafted him in the first place. That picture shows Rocker is an injury waiting to happen.
Meant to include this link before I hit post: https://clients.chrisoleary.com/Pitching/The-Epidemic/The-Big-Five/Tommy-John-Twist