The New York Mets did not sign No. 10 overall pick Kumar Rocker on Sunday.
Sunday at 5 p.m. E.T. was the deadline for MLB teams to sign their 2021 draft picks. The Mets were unable – or, according to more recent reports, unwilling – to sign the Vanderbilt pitcher.
“This is clearly not the outcome we had hoped for and wish Kumar nothing but success moving forward,” acting Mets general manager Zack Scott said in a statement. “We’re excited about the players we have signed and look forward to watching them develop and contribute to the organization in the years to come.”
Rocker, a superstar pitcher at Vanderbilt, dropped further than expected in the first round of the MLB Draft. While his agent, Scott Boras, says he’s been given a clean bill of health, others are skeptical.
“Kumar Rocker is healthy according to independent medical review by multiple prominent baseball orthopedic surgeons. Immediately upon conclusion of his collegiate season, he had an MRI on both his shoulder and his elbow. When compared with his 2018 MRIs, the medical experts found no significant change. Kumar requires no medical attention and will continue to pitch in the regular course as he prepares to begin his professional career,” Boras said.
Mets owner Steve Cohen had a not-so-subtle tweet following the news.
“Education time – Baseball draft picks are worth up to 5x their slot value to clubs .I never shy away from investments that can make me that type of return,” he tweeted.
Education time – Baseball draft picks are worth up to 5x their slot value to clubs .I never shy away from investments that can make me that type of return.
— Steven Cohen (@StevenACohen2) August 1, 2021
Many are taking that as an admission that the Mets decided – for one reason or another – that Rocker was not worth the investment.
Rocker is now expected to re-enter the MLB Draft in 2022. The Mets, meanwhile, will get the 11th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft as compensation for not signing Rocker.