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#pounditWednesday, September 22, 2021

Report: Mets’ deal with Kumar Rocker in jeopardy over elbow concerns

Kumar Rocker

After starring at Vanderbilt, Kumar Rocker looked like a steal for the New York Mets when he fell to them at No. 10 overall in the MLB Draft. Now, there are questions as to whether Rocker will even sign with the organization.

According to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, the Mets are not finalizing their contract agreement with Rocker due to concerns about the pitcher’s right elbow. The Mets had agreed to pay Rocker a $6 million signing bonus pending a physical, but had concerns with Rocker’s pitching elbow after he underwent the examination.

Rocker’s camp disagrees with the Mets’ concerns. Rocker’s agent, Scott Boras, is known for using his own medical experts to evaluate his players, and typically notifies clubs of potential issues prior to the draft. The Mets were not notified about any potential physical issues with Rocker prior to selecting him.

Rocker and the Mets essentially have three options. The Mets can finalize the deal that was previously agreed on despite the elbow concerns. The two sides could also negotiate a new agreement with a smaller bonus, or the sides could break off talks. Rocker would be able to return to Vanderbilt for his senior year, while the Mets would receive a makeup selection behind the tenth-worst team in next year’s draft as compensation.

The deadline for teams to agree to terms with draft picks is Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.

The Mets were already set to pay above slot value to get Rocker signed, which they were willing to do. That willingness is clearly being tested if they see something in his elbow that they do not like, even though he had no public red flags before the draft.

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