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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Dodgers' Throwaway Draft Pick

When the Dodgers drafted right handed pitcher Zach Lee on Monday night, I wondered if they had any intention on signing him. Obviously, this was a popular opinion but I was there too! The Dodgers franchise is currently being held hostage in the famous McCourt episode of Divorce Court. The Dodgers are in no position to be spending way over slot and they weren't even allowed to offer arbitration to some of their free agents last season which cost them draft picks.

And they will have to go over slot. Zach Lee is committed to LSU to play baseball and quarterback for the Tigers. Before the draft, it was public knowledge that it was going to take at least $3 million to sign Lee. That might not even get it done anymore. LSU football head coach Les Miles recently discussed Lee...
"Zach wants to come to LSU, get a degree and play football and baseball for the Tigers. I met with Zach and his parents today and I think that they are looking at LSU as a great opportunity both academically and athletically. Zach is an outstanding student and he's excited about the college experience."
Lee is also starting summer classes at LSU this week. Keith Law even dropped some insider knowledge in a Klaw chat saying "Rumor of the day had the kid saying $6 million wouldn't get him signed." The Dodgers definitely aren't shelling out $6 mil.

Sure, I'll try to defend the pick. It's never a good idea to intentionally draft a player with no intention to sign him. 1. You lose an entire year of development of a player you could have signed. 2. The compensation pick you receive the following season isn't protected. If you don't sign a player with your comp pick, you don't get another one the following year, leaving you with little leverage. That said, it's possible the Dodgers drafted Lee and will meekly try to sign him and collect the draft pick 28A in next year's draft. This way it looks like the Dodgers tried to sign a nice talent but just couldn't get it done. We tried, fans! After the top three picks, this was a pretty weak draft. Next year's draft is absolutely loaded. An extra pick in next year's draft is a great thing to have. The divorce and future of the franchise should be decided by then and they could be free to overspend next year.

Hey, I didn't say I could defend that move, just that I'd try. Personally, I love the pick. I don't like the Dodgers and I love LSU. Win, win for me.

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