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With a Sunday contract deadline looming, unease surrounds the Mets and first-round draft pick Kumar Rocker. Just over two weeks after they selected the Vanderbilt pitcher 10th overall, New York is concerned with the health of his elbow. If the Mets don’t like what they see, the flame thrower could be headed back to college.
It's indeed an elbow problem that's holding up top Mets pick Kumar Rocker's signing, a source confirms. GM Zack Scott offered a no-comment when asked yesterday. Mets still have four days to sign Rocker anyway at the agreed $6 million, renegotiate the deal, or forfeit the pick.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) July 27, 2021
Earlier this month, the Mets and the right-hander verbally agreed to a $6 million signing bonus, pending a physical. Now, the New York Post is reporting that the team is having second thoughts about signing Rocker because of the results of that physical.
The Mets and Rocker have until Sunday at 5 p.m. to agree on a contract. Otherwise, the 21-year-old Rocker, who never missed a start at Vanderbilt, will likely head back to Nashville with his sights set on the 2022 draft. In the event they fail to come to terms, New York would receive a “makeup pick” in next summer’s draft.
Rocker’s questionable arm health is a surprise. He was extremely reliable with the Commodores, starting 39 games over his career, including a no-hitter. His 122 strikeouts this season tied for most in the NCAA. Those eye-popping stats were a big reason why the Mets drafted him in the opening round – the first pitcher selected by the club in round one since 2017.
His status with the Mets could change in a New York minute.