Monday, August 17, 2009

Friedman: Late Washington sign "extremely unlikely"

Rays general manager Andrew Friedman and scouting director R.J. Harrison just had a conference call with the media about not signing first-round draft pick LeVon Washington and second-rounder Kenny Diekroeger.

Of Washington, Friedman said the Rays "put up an offer that was consistent with a late first-round pick." Though the deadline isn't until 11 p.m. Central today, Friedman said it's "extremely unlikely" they'll come to terms.

"I think it would be hard for us to get it going in the early afternoon and finish by the deadline," Friedman said. "At this point, it's next to impossible."

Washington, who had major shoulder surgery last fall, has signed with the University of Florida. (He's also the son of a former star Tuskegee football and baseball player.) Diekroeger has long been set on going to Stanford, though Harrison said Diekroeger had used the word "conflicted" to describe his feelings between college and the Rays.

rFriedman on Washington's draft-day quote that he was ready to sign:
"When we heard that news, we were very excited about the prospect of getting LeVon signed early and getting his rehab started. Once that dragged on, our focus really shifted to today."

rHarrison on Diekroeger:
"He wasn't comfortable bypassing the college experience. ... Even though we took a great shot at him, it didn't work out, but I think we'd (draft him) again at this point."

rFriedman on the late signs of their Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 9 picks:
"I know there's a lot of interest in the Top 2 guys, but we get compensation. We don't on 4-5-9 and we added three players we feel are good prospects. That's significant."
(The Rays will receive an additional first- and second-round pick in next year's draft.)

rFriedman on going overslot with bonuses to those picks:
"They all fit within our evaluation. We had very strong relationships with those players coming into the draft and that only strengthened through the summer. Those four players really wanted to sign and play professional baseball. We really wanted to sign them."

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