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In a rather stunning development, the New York Mets are in danger of losing the rights to Kumar Rocker just weeks after drafting him.
A few weeks after the baseball sea parted, thus allowing the New York Mets to draft perhaps the best pitcher in the country, the team is dangerously close to losing his rights.
Kumar Rocker lit college baseball up last season at Vanderbilt, pitching his way into highlight reels and toward the top of most MLB mock drafts. When he fell to the Mets at No. 10 in the draft, it was nothing short of an act of the baseball gods.
The Rocker era in New York may come to a quick end, however, thanks to a disagreement between Rocker’s camp and Mets doctors.
It doesn’t get more capital-M Mets than that.
There’s actually a pretty good reason for the Rocker drama in New York. Mets team doctors red-flagged Rocker’s post-draft physical due to concerns with his right elbow, which is at the heart of the magnificent throwing arm that turned him into the darling of college baseball.
Rocker’s $6 million signing bonus was contingent on a physical, and his camp steadfastly rejects the diagnosis from team doctors that there’s something wrong with his arm.
The deadline to reach an agreement is Sunday at 5 pm Eastern Time.
What happens if the Mets don’t sign Kumar Rocker?
There are a number of outcomes to this whole saga but one that seems increasingly likely is Kumar and the Mets fail to reach an agreement.
If that happens, New York will lose the draft rights to Rocker. He will return to Vanderbilt and be eligible to re-enter the MLB Draft in 2022. New York will still be able to select him, but so will the 29 other teams in baseball — especially the ones near the top of the order.
It was a minor miracle that Rocker fell to the Mets at No. 10 in this year’s draft, although the issue with his elbow seems to illuminate why teams might have passed on him.