We told you the deadline would be here before too long. Today is the day by which teams must sign their recent draft selections if they plan on keeping their rights. And while the team made headway with the majority of their early picks, one player remains unsigned: Alex White, the pitcher selected in the first round.
Mark Shapiro has recently went on record to say that the “money is available” to sign White. What he did not say is that the money is there and the team is willing to spend it on him – two completely different statements.
We have recently mentioned the “top five” demands of White and his agent. We continually hear that other teams are having trouble signing their first-round selections as well. But if this team fails to sign White to a contract, it flies smack in the face of the stated reasons for sending Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee to other organizations before the deadline. While “building for the future” is tough to stomach for a lot of fans, it is even worse when the same front office will not pay for the future which they selected.
If the Indians concede to paying White a “top five” figure, it would likely provide a difference of less than $1 million. This year’s No. 5 overall selection (Matt Hobgood) was signed for $2.42 million by Baltimore. Last season’s 15th overall selection (Ethan Martin, LAD) was given $1.73 million.
The first-round follies of the Indians recent drafts have been well-documented. If White remains unsigned after today, he’s just another name which we can add to the list of what-could-have-beens.
(photo via Associated Press)