Marc Topkin reports that the Rays already have an “agreement in principle” with the second of their two first-round picks, Justin O’Connor

Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman said they already have an agreement in principle with O’Conner, and are hopeful to sign the two others.

The Rays had two picks in the first-round of yesterday’s Rule 4 Draft. The second of those picks (#31) was unprotected since it is a compensation selection for failing to sign their first-round pick a year ago. So it is no surprise that pick would only be used on a player whose pricetag was already established prior to the draft.

The Rays first pick, Josh Sale also sounds like he will be easy to sign

“I don’t have a definite answer, but I don’t see myself going to school,” said Sale, 18. “Right now, I’m just thankful for the Tampa Bay Rays investing in me. It’s been a nonstop celebration.”

Add that to another quote from Sale (via Baseball America; thanks Michael)…

“I heard my first name and stood up, then I heard the mispronunciation of my last name and I gave a little fist pump, ran out the door and ran up the block, down the block and back up the block again. I was ecstatic, to say the least.”

And on hearing that fellow Washington stater Drew Vettleson was also drafted by the Rays during the supplemental round…

“It was actually amazing…As soon as I heard his name called, I pointed at the screen and bolted out the front door to run up and down the street again!”

We get the impression the Rays won’t have much trouble getting their top two picks under contract this year. Something they were unable to do a year ago.



  1. Blake says:

    I thought O'Conner was from Indiana and Vettleson was the other WA guy.

  2. John G says:

    Cork, What do you think of the draft so far?
    I think the Rays did pretty damn good. I really like the first 2 picks, they are def. trying to fill their position player depths in the system.
    I thought were some higher ranked players than Vettleson left on the board but I am sure you only get 1 shot to sign a player in that pick.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      I agree with you. Vettleson was a bit of a head-scratcher. But I wonder if the Rays are trying to stay within a draft budget and already knew Vettleson fit better than other players.

  3. Jordi says:

    Why is that catcher smelling his fingers? That's not the type of guy I would want in the clubhouse. He looks like Mary Catherine Gallagher of SNL fame. Hopefully the minor league instructors break him of that habit and he doesn't start reciting monologues from West Side Story when he gets nervous.


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