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LeVon Washington Not Signing

According to a report, the Rays will not sign either of their first or second round draft pick. Kenny Diekroger, the second-round selection, said all along he wanted to go to Stanford. He is an example of a player that preferred to go to college instead of the pros immediately.

LeVon Washington, the first round pick, is a bit of a different story. He said on draft day he wanted to be a Ray. However, in a press release this morning, Rays GM Andrew Friedman said he was offered a bonus "consistent with late first-round picks," but it is also as clear that it's not enough. Washington is a Boras client.

Reading between the lines, it looks like Tampa Bay refused to go above slot, and in return Washington refused to sign. It likely indicates that it will take more than the recommended bonus to sign any Boras client today, which is no surprise. It's the first indication that contracts may favor players more than teams today.

If anything though, this is good news for negotiations with Strasburg, Ackley, and Tate. Boras has one less client to worry about today now with negotiations between Washington and the Rays dead. Washington's contract numbers weren't going to impact the top three, or vice versa.

Tampa Bay will receive compensation picks for both selections. Their farm system is strong, so they can afford to lose out on a few prospects this year, especially since the price was not right. They know they have to get great bang for their buck to compete in the AL East. The Rays need to be very selective when handing out bonuses above slot, and Washington isn't exactly Stephen Strasburgh.