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Insider

Signability concerns rule draft

6/9/2010

Signability is always a major factor when it comes to the MLB draft, and it nearly took center stage Monday and Tuesday as a number of prep players saw their stock fall completely out of the first three rounds. However, the selection of RHP Zach Lee by the Los Angeles Dodgers was the most notable head-scratcher.

The Dodgers deny taking any player for any other reason but to sign him and add his skills to the organization, but Lee's price tag was high coming in, and it wasn't a secret that his commitment to LSU to play quarterback was strong.

The Dodgers also tabbed Lee's fellow LSU recruit Kevin Gausman in the sixth round. It will take more than sixth-round money to get his name on the dotted line, or he too will head to LSU in the fall.

The St. Louis Cardinals' selection of Stanford commit Austin Wilson is going to be an interesting story. He began the spring as a "tough sign," but late word was that he'd like to play pro ball. Cardinals scouting director Jeff Luhnow admitted to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it's going to be difficult to get a contract done.

California prep righty Adam Plutko went in the sixth round to the Houston Astros, but he's likely headed to UCLA unless Drayton McLane opens his checkbook and hands over some cash. The Colorado Rockies' selection of Clemson outfielder and starting quarterback Kyle Parker will be one to follow, too, as the Tigers' football department and the Rockies play tug of war.

The Boston Red Sox took infielder Garin Cecchini in the third round and may follow him through the second week in August to see how his rehab from a knee injury is progressing before putting their best offer forward. The Toronto Blue Jays' 18th-round pick, Kris Bryant, who was our No. 29 overall prospect, is likely heading to college so he can shore up some areas of concern, including his contact rates and defense at a new position, and end up a first-round pick in 2013.

Detroit tabbed Florida player of the year Nick Castellanos in the sandwich round, No. 44 overall, creating what might become the most intriguing negotiation of all. Castellanos was rumored early to have a strong commitment to Miami, but most recently was said to be excited to sign a pro contract and get his career under way. He was a first-round talent by most accounts, ranking No. 11 on the final Top 100, and might require at least late-first-round money.

Minnesota tabbed RHP DeAndre Smelter in Round 14, but he could end up at Georgia Tech barring unforeseen bonus offers. Seattle's 16th-rounder, left-hander Jordan Shipers, is probably off to Missouri State unless the Mariners offer something significant.

Seattle also nabbed former Kentucky southpaw James Paxton in Round 4, and while it appears that he has very little or no leverage, we all know that is never the case with Scott Boras clients. Still, it's difficult to believe Paxton would want to sit out yet another year and re-enter a much better draft in 2011. Chances are he signs, unless the best offer is downright unfair.