JULY 27: Mets and Kumar Rocker had a deal apparently in place just hours after the Vanderbilt right-hander was selected with the 10th overall pick in the draft, but it’s unclear now whether the deal will be finalized. Metsmerized’s Jack Ramsey reported earlier this week that an issue has emerged in Rocker’s physique with the team, and now according to the New York Post’s Ken Davidoff, the Mets are concerned about Rocker’s right elbow.
The exact nature of this elbow problem is not known, or even if there is an elbow problem, as Davidoff writes that “Rocker’s camp disagrees with [the Mets’] concerns. Rocker did not voluntarily submit an MRI prior to the draft, although his advisor Scott Boras is known to preemptively alert teams to physical issues involving prospects ahead of player selection. Davidoff notes that Boras provided such an early warning to the Mets for Matthew Allan before New York chose the right-hander in 2019, and Allan then underwent Tommy John surgery.
Somewhat surprisingly, Rocker fell to the Mets after being one of the hottest prospects in the 2021 class, though his initial deal apparently contained an overslot bonus – the right-hander was to receive a bonus of $ 6 million, well above the slot machine price awarded at $ 4,739,900 for the 10th overall pick. It stands to reason that the Mets are looking to reduce that figure by $ 6 million, although it is not yet clear whether the dispute between the two sides could result in Rocket not signing.
Teams have until 4:00 p.m. Sunday to sign all of the 2021 draft picks, so there’s still plenty of time to reach a deal. If a deal isn’t reached, Rocker has two more years of college eligibility and he could re-enter the draft next year. The Mets would receive a first-round pick that would drop to 11th in the 2022 draft order, although draft rules could potentially change in the next collective agreement between the league and the players (the current ACB expires in December).