K-Rod, Bryce Harper, and Kyle Parker

August 17, 2010

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Things went from bad to worse for Mets closer Francisco (K-Rod) Rodriguez.  Last Wednesday night, he got into a fight with his girlfriend’s father at the Mets’ ballpark after a game with the Rockies.  K-Rod was arrested and charged with assault and harassment.  It turns out that Rodriguez also tore a thumb ligament in his pitching hand.  Apparently, he didn’t follow the advice of Crash Davis to never punch someone with your pitching hand.  Rumors are swirling that the Mets are considering voiding his contract.  K-Rod was scheduled to earn $11.5 million in 2011 and has a vesting option of $17.5 million for 2012, with a $3.5 million buyout.  It is very unlikely that the vesting option will vest now.

Voiding the contract is easier said than done, though.  If the Mets void his contract, the MLB Players Association could file a grievance on behalf of Rodriguez.  Back in 2004, the Rockies terminated the contract of pitcher Denny Neagle on grounds that he violated the morals clause of the contract.  Neagle had been charged with soliciting a prostitute.  Neagle was pulled over for speeding and a cop got a little curious about why his pants were undone.  Neagle’s companion told the cop exactly why his pants were down, and exactly how much it had cost ($40).  Neagle filed a grievance and ended up reaching a settlement roughly equivalent to the amount remaining on his contract.  If the Rockies couldn’t win a grievance against Neagle, the Mets probably won’t win one against K-Rod.

Yesterday was the signing deadline for most Major League draftees.  The exceptions are college seniors and those playing in independent leagues.  The top pick, 17 year old Bryce Harper, signed a deal with guarantees him $9.9 million.  This is quite a bit less than the $15 million Stephen Strasburg got last year, but it’s also likely that Harper will need at least a few years of minor league ball before making the jump to the majors, whereas Strasburg made a near-immediate jump to the Nationals.  Thus, the Nationals will be getting minimal major league production from the signing bonus. 

Notable players who did not sign were Barrett Loux (#6, Arizona),  Karsten Whitson (#9, San Diego), and Dylan Covey (#14, Milwaukee).  Loux is a college junior who will be draft eligible again next year.  Whitson and Covey are high school kids who will be eligible again after their junior year of college (assuming that they don’t transfer to a JUCO at some point to accelerate their draft eligibility).  The three affected teams will receive a pick in the 2011 that is one slot below their pick in the 2010 pick (but if they fail to sign the player taken with the compensatory pick).  Considering that the 2011 draft is considered to be a very deep draft, the Diamondbacks, Padres, and Brewers probably aren’t shedding a lot of tears.

The Rockies signed their first round pick, Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker.  Parker was a junior in baseball eligibility, but a was freshman in football eligibility last fall.  You’re probably wondering how this is possible – I certainly was intrigued.  Parker graduated a semester early from high school and played baseball as a freshman in the Spring of 2008.  He then redshirted in football in the fall.  He was a baseball sophomore in spring 2009 and a football redshirt freshman in the fall.  He was a junior in baseball this spring and will be a football sophomore in the fall.  Parker signed a $1.4 million deal with the Rockies, but the team is allowing him to continue his football career.  This is somewhat unusual, but not exactly rare.

I don’t typically follow SEC football, but I’ll definitely be taking an interest in the health of the Clemson offensive line.  Keep the defense away from the QB, guys.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Squeaky
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 10:57:24

    K-Rod has a lot to learn and he has probably tanked his career or at least made a monumental nitch in it. Sometimes no matter how great the player they just can’t contain themselves (LT and LP jump into my mind).

    As for Neagle, I think speeding should be allowed in the case of receiving road h**d. (Just kidding of course). I’m not sure about anyone else, but that makes my foot put on the floor really hard. I found that cruise control worked much better.

    If the Met’s can’t win the grievance, the next team (assuming there is one) needs to put an idiot clause in the contract. IMO, most people would agree that this situation was an idiotic move.

    Reply

  2. kosmo
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 11:12:47

    Hmm. It seems that Barrett Loux will be granted free agency, according to MLB Trade Rumors as of September 1. Typically, college juniors go back into the next year’s draft is unsigned. However, in the case of Loux, injuries (labrum and elbow issues) were the main reason why he wasn’t signed.

    As of September 1, any team can sign Loux. They would merely sacrifice money (and not future draft picks) in the hopes than Loux rebounds from his injuries. The Snakes will get a compensatory pick in 2011, as is the case with other teams that failed to sign picks.

    Interesting that the same wasn’t done for Tanner Scheppers back in 2008 when he dropped down because of injuries.

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