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Archive for Wednesday, August 19, 2009

With deadline past, Royals, Crow can resume talks

August 19, 2009

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— Now that the deadline has passed for signing players taken in baseball’s June draft, the Kansas City Royals hope to resume talks with first-round pick Aaron Crow.

Both sides agreed to suspend negotiations until the signing period expired at midnight Monday, apparently so Crow and his agents could see how much other first-round picks signed for.

Crow, a former Missouri star pitcher from Wakarusa, Kan., was not subject to the deadline because his college eligibility expired when he sat out a year after being drafted in 2008 by Washington. As the No. 9 overall selection last year, the hard-throwing right-handed pitcher turned down the Nationals’ $3.5 million offer. The Royals have not said how much they have offered.

“We’ve spoken several times this summer. And we came to an understanding that we would not have further discussions until the deadline,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “So that’s where we are. We’re going to move forward with the expectation that, hopefully, we’ll reach an agreement.”

A call to the Crow home in Wakarusa was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Crow pitched for an independent league team last year. If he refuses Kansas City’s offer, he would be facing a second straight year of relative inactivity in what should be his prime development period.

“It’s always important for players to be playing and developing,” Moore said. “To perform at the highest level, making pitches, fielding balls, learning throwing accuracy, it all requires repetition, and when you’re not playing, you’re not getting repetition.”

Crow was 13-0 his last year at Missouri. Some baseball experts believe that if he had signed last year with the Nationals, he might already be pitching in the majors.

“All the players have a bottom-line price, or a bottom-line evaluation financially of what it will take for them to go play,” said Moore. “We saw that with Eric Hosmer last year. We’ve seen it with every player who’s ever made a decision to sign a professional contract.”

Hosmer, a power-hitting high school first baseman, signed a $6 million guaranteed contract with the Royals after getting taken in the first round a year ago.

Kansas City has signed all its draftees except Crow, including third-round pick Wil Myers, a high school catcher who signed for $2 million, and left-hander Chris Dwyer from Clemson who signed for $1.45 million.

Dwyer, Myers and Crow were thought to make up one of the Royals’ best drafts in years.

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