Astros still hope to sign Wates, others
With the deadline to sign players selected in the First-Year Player Draft arriving on Monday, the Astros are in negotiations with five players and hope to sign at least four of the players – and perhaps all five – before the deadline.
“We’re exclusive to pursuing the five players at this point in time,” assistant general manager/director of scouting Bobby Heck said. “Others that are unsigned, outside of that five, either we’ve determined to continue evaluations and are better off going to school or we’ve been unable to bridge a gap between what our evaluated value is compared to how they value themselves. Some just said they’d rather go to school, and that’s typical of your later round drafts when you take fliers on for numbers.”
The Astros are very close to reaching a deal with 25th-round pick Rodney Quintero, a right-hander from Chipola Junior College in Miami. Third-round pick Austin Wates, an outfielder from Virginia Tech with one year of eligibility remaining, is one of the players the Astros still hope to sign, and he was in Houston on Monday for a physical.
“We’re putting a lot of time and effort into that,” Heck said. “We wanted to make sure the physical aspect was done because on a deadline deal, if you don’t get it, you’re unable to get it done in time. Then it’s all buyer beware.”
One of the players that likely will go unsigned is high school standout Jacoby Jones, a shortstop taken in the 19th round.
“We have a high value on him, but it’s not close to where it’s going to take for him to forgo LSU,” said Heck, who has signed 33 players from this year’s Draft and six non-drafted free agents.