The Dodgers certainly used their first round pick to get the best talent available. They used it on Texas high schooler and two-sport star Zach Lee, who posted dominant numbers as both a starting pitcher and quarterback for McKinney HS. Selected with the 28th pick overall, Lee has the chance to be a very good starting pitcher, according to Dodger draft boss Logan White. The only question is: which team will he get to do that for?
It’s not exactly a secret that the Dodgers have gone into financial shut-it-down mode since the end of the 2009 season. They let Orlando Hudson and Randy Wolf walk, without even offering arbitration. Their big free agent signing was utility man Jamey Carroll. Accordingly, it was natural to question what they were going to do with their draft pick. During a live draft chat on Call To The Pen, this was what I wrote (or something along the lines of it – I’m allowed to misquote myself):
I have the bad feeling we are going to draft someone who is nearly impossible to sign. It would shock me, given the way things have transpired this off-season, if McCourt gave the green light to pony up 1 or 2 million dollars to a guy that won’t contribute at the major league level for a couple of years. With that said, I’ll make a prediction as to whom they draft: SS Nick Castellanos – an ultra-talented guy with even higher bonus demands.
Although Castellanos was not the pick, my worst fears were confirmed upon the drafting of Lee. Lee, Castellanos, and OF Austin Wilson were probably the three most difficult signs in the 2010 Rule IV Draft. And the Dodgers had nabbed one of them. Now, I am not going to say with 100% certainty that the Dodgers’ intentions were as deceitful as I make them out to be. Logan White says he is “cautiously optimistic” that the team can sign Lee, and that team owner Frank McCourt is aware that Lee will require an over-slotted bonus to spurn LSU and begin his major league career.
Logan, you probably should have pretended that you made the pick without needing ownership approval. Because, Dodger fans are fully aware of the fact that McCourt is aware of the potential difficulties in signing Lee. And that is exactly what we are afraid of.