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: Posey’s demands not a factor
Posted Jun 5, 2008 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Jun 5, 2008 at 03:10 PM
Reports surfaced late last night that Florida State’s Buster Posey, the other finalist to go first overall, might require $12 million to sign and that demand might have pushed the Rays to take Tim Beckham.
Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman rather emphatically denied that was the case.
“That had zero factor in our decision,” he said. “We’re confident that whoever we would have taken, with the size of the check we were going to go to the table with that we’d be able to sign whoever we took. Look, everyone makes different demands leading up to the draft – even second-rounders, third-rounders. We trust our process and our ability to get players signed and the relationships that our area [scouts] have made with the players. It had zero factor for us.”
Looking at it objectively, it’s difficult to imagine Posey turning down a reasonable offer—and $12 million would not be considered reasonable—from the Rays or any other team. If he had gone first overall, held out for more and not signed by the Aug. 15 deadline, he’d have been forced to go back to school knowing it would be impossible for him to improve his draft position next year. The Rays, meanwhile, would have been compensated with the second overall pick in next year’s draft if they weren’t able to sign him.
So really, it wouldn’t have made much sense for Posey not to sign for whatever the Rays were offering—and they’re past the days of being unwilling or unable to give a fair-market deal to a high pick.
By the way, it’s our understanding that Posey’s representatives never threw the $12 million figure out to the Rays. Rather, it was being circulated around among various other teams. We’ll see what he ends up getting from the Giants, who took him with the fifth overall pick.