• One Draft Note:
The Texas Rangers had three opportunities to draft TCU left-hander Matt Purke in last week's 2011 MLB Draft, but they passed on the pitcher they'd taken with their 1st Round pick, 14th overall in 2009. Purke, of course, didn't sign with the Rangers, choosing instead to attend Texas Christian University, and as we noted in an article on the pitcher the other day, the rumors had $4M, $4.7M and $6 M dollar figures thrown around in all the chatter about the Rangers' inability to sign their top pick. With Texas' first pick of 2011, 33rd overall, the Rangers drafted Richmond Hill, GA HS LHP Kevin Matthews. With the 37th pick, Texas took OF Zachary Cone, a junior from Georgia. At 83, the Rangers picked another left-hander, drafting and Wednesday signing William Lamb...
The Washington Nationals, with their first three picks of 2011, took 3B Anthony Rendon out of Rice University no.6 overall, RHP Alex Meyer out of Kentucky with the 23rd pick and outfielder Brian Goodwin out of Miami Dade College with the 34th selection, and then as D.C. GM MIke Rizzo explained the other day in an interview on 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s The Mike Rizzo Show, the Nats took a shot on Purke in spite of concerns about signability and shoulder issues:
"With the signability situation with Purke and some of the health issues that he had," Rizzo continued, "with Purke sitting there in the third round pick for us at [no.96) which is a protected pick, meaning that if he doesn't sign we get that pick again next year, we felt it was time to roll the dice on Purke, watch him in the Cape Cod League, he's going to go pitch in the Cape, and we're going to monitor, see if he's healthy and see what his value is on the market."
Late last week, Texas Rangers' CEO and President Nolan Ryan was asked why they didn't select Purke, and sign him now since they hadn't been able to last time around. According to Dallas, Texas-based CBS' reporter Bill Jones (@cbsdollarbill), the Hall of Fame pitcher and team owner told him they passed on Purke, "...due to injury," and the fact that, "...they put out a number quite a bit higher than what we offered last time." More than the $6M dollar bonus the Rangers reportedly promised Purke? More than the second offer of what was reportedly $4M? Is that what Purke wanted if he was taken in the first round? But with the 96th pick in the third round?
How much will it cost the Nats if they want to get Purke signed? Last year's 3rd Round pick, INF Rick Hague (83rd) signed for $430K+, but the Nationals gave their 4th Round pick, A.J. Cole (116th), another potential 1st Round pick with signability concerns, a $2 million dollar signing bonus. Can the Nats sign another 1st-Round talent by over-paying him to start his career rather than returning to college?