It’s been interesting to see baseball’s new draft rules play out over the past few days. The new restrictions put the Pittsburgh Pirates in a bind, for example, after they took Stanford pitcher Mark Appel with the 8th overall pick. Appel wants to be paid like the top pick in the draft, but such a price would leave the Bucs with little-to-no money left to sign the rest of their picks from the first 10 rounds.
At the same time, a sooner signing deadline and more signability picks means news of signings are going to come fast and furious over the next couple weeks, possibly even days. If you had any doubts on this, look no further than the Houston Astros reportedly already have a verbal deal with #1 overall pick Carlos Correa. When’s the last time a top pick in any sport agreed to a deal less than two full days after being drafted?
The Brewers are going to be no different. Hints have been dropped all day that we are to expect significant pick-signing news before the end of the homestand. If one of the Brewers’ first round picks, 28th overall selection Victor Roache, is to be believed, he’ll be under contract as soon as Thursday.
Appearing on WSSP, Roache had this to say when asked what’s next for him after being drafted:
I’m coming into Milwaukee Thursday to get my physical and sign a contract, do the press conference and all that. You know, because of my injury from my college season, it was possible I might get shipped off to Phoenix and start my rehab, or I might come back home and find someplace here to rehab. Once I get my hand and wrist back fully 100%, they’re going to ship me off and we’ll start playing.
The Roache pick is one that has only been loved or hated among draft analysts, with no in-between. The wrist injury — and the fact that he will not be able to play right away even if he signs quickly — makes the selection seem like an overdraft, but it’s clear now that the Brewers weren’t the only team looking at him in the first round. According to Roache himself, he was in the middle of telling his mom the Red Sox were going to take him 31st overall when the Brewers made the pick. In the WSSP interview, Roache also said the Texas Rangers, among others, were seriously interested.
The injury may be a blessing in disguise for Milwaukee. Judging by Bruce Seid’s appearance during Wednesday night’s FS Wisconsin broadcast, the Brewers’ interest in Roache goes back at least a year, but they never could have dreamed of landing him if it weren’t for the injury.
Going into the year, [Roache] was out of reach for us. But he had this unfortunate injury, but as an organization, you’re looking for opportunity. We thought opportunity existed. When it happened, we stayed on top of it, we did our due diligence.
The Brewers flew Roache in to look at his wrist firsthand, and according to Seid, everything checked out and pointed towards a full recovery.
Milwaukee was one of the few teams to more or less play it safe with the new draft rules. As a benefit, they’re likely going to quickly sign a bunch of their higher picks — like Roache — getting them into pro ball in a hurry. Of course, they’re sacrificing some upside in doing so.