The Mets may not sign Kumar Rocker, the right-hander they acquired with the No. 10 overall draft pick last month.
The 21-year-old Vanderbilt right-hander was to sign a deal with New York that included a $6 million signing bonus. Yet, the Mets have been hesitant due to a potential elbow injury that came to light following a physical.
The contract could possibly be renegotiated due to the likelihood Rocker will need Tommy John surgery. However, it doesn’t look like that’s going to occur.
If the Mets decide not to sign Rocker or simply fail to reach an agreement, the organization will receive the No. 11 overall pick in the 2022 draft, which Rocker could eventually be preparing for.
With the Sunday decision deadline (5:00 p.m. ET) looming, even if the Mets decide not to give Rocker a contract, it’s unlikely the franchise will be able to acquire a better pitcher than him in next year’s draft.
These health issues should’ve been a concern going into the draft (the pitcher’s velocity has been decreasing).
Rocker’s agent, Scott Boras, insists he’s healthy. Multiple orthopedists have also reportedly disagreed with the Mets’ opinion on Rocker’s health. But despite this, the Mets probably didn’t know the severity of the elbow injury until Rocker was evaluated by team doctors.
Realistically, Rocker could renegotiate with a smaller signing bonus. The young pitcher has the potential to be a hot commodity going into the 2022 draft though, especially with his rising noteriatry. Thus, it makes sense if he wishes to give the draft another try when healthier.