Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Rays come up empty with top two picks
Posted Aug 17, 2009 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Aug 17, 2009 at 01:37 PM
The Rays said this afternoon they don’t expect to complete deals with their first- and second-round picks in this year’s draft before the midnight deadline.
That means first-round selection LeVon Washington of Gainesville Buchholz and second-rounder Kenny Diekroeger of Atherton, Calif., will go on to Florida and Stanford, respectively, to begin their college careers, and the Rays will receive compensatory picks for both in the 2010 draft.
“We are disappointed that LeVon has chosen not to sign with the Rays,” executive vice president Andrew Friedman said in a press release. “We offered him a bonus consistent with late first-round picks. Immediately following the draft, he seemed eager to sign but it has not materialized. We wish LeVon great success with his baseball career.”
The Rays thought they had a chance to sign Washington, particularly when he said adamantly on draft day that he intended to become a Ray. Diekroeger was a different story from the beginning, as he had made it well-known that he intended to go to college.
“When we drafted Kenny we went in with our eyes wide open, knowing he had a strong desire to attend Stanford University,” Friedman said. “We knew that we would either be signing a top talent or receiving a comparable pick in the 2010 draft. We wish Kenny all the best at Stanford.”
The Rays have signed 32 of their 50 draft picks, including 15 of the top 20.