Springer met with independent team

Astros first-round draft pick George Springer III, an outfielder from the University of Connecticut, met Saturday with the general manager of the Long Island Ducks to explore his options for beginning his professional career in case he doesn’t sign with Houston.

Springer’s father, George Springer Jr., attended the meeting with his son and told MLB.com it was nothing more than trying to establish some options in case his son can’t reach an agreement with the Astros by the Aug. 15 deadline. The Astros selected Springer III with the No. 11 pick in June First-Year Player Draft.

“Obviously, whatever discussions are going on with the Astros are going to be kept between us and the Astros, and hopefully we can reach some agreement,” Springer Jr. said. “We have to prepare for all contingencies if that doesn’t happen. I don’t want anybody to read into it more than that.”

Astros general manager Ed Wade had no comment.

If the Astros and Springer III don’t reach an agreement, the outfielder would return to next year’s First-Year Player Draft and the Astros would receive compensation in the form of a draft pick. The Long Island Ducks play in the Atlantic League, which isn’t affiliated with a Major League team.

“This is one of the many options George would have and this was sort of an initial conversation with the Astros,” Springer Jr. said. “We’re looking forward to it, but if that doesn’t happen he needs to be prepared for the next stage of his baseball career.”

Springer Jr. said his son returning to Connecticut isn’t a likely option.

“I do think he is prepared, and it’s been told to the Astros, that he’s prepared to start his professional career,” he said. “I think he’s looking forward to that. I don’t think going back to school is a real option for him. He’s looking forward to starting his career, and hopefully that’s with the Astros.”

6 Comments

Something seems fishy. After UConn was eliminated from the College World Series, Wade and Heck said they were going to give Springer a rest before signing him. That makes absolutely no sense. Why wait to sign your first rnd pick?? I highly doubt he signs and I doubt any other selection has had conversations with other independent leagues as back up plans. The Springer camp is probably being given bad signals that indicate that we wont be signing him.

Aaaaaaand THAT’S why he won’t sign with the Astros. Would you?????????

For a bonus of ~$1.8 million, of course! Come on, think about the risk of not signing for a second. If he doesn’t sign, he leaves at least a million and a half dollars on the table in favor of playing independent ball for near poverty wage (as low as $750 a month) for a year, praying he hasn’t fallen in the draft order (thereby getting a lower bonus) because of injury or poor play when next year’s draft comes around. That risk may have worked for J.D. Drew, but Springer is no J.D. Drew. My bet it that Springer is just trying to bluff the Astros into sweetening his bonus.

And the current sorry state of the team isn’t relevant at all. No one knows what shape the team will be in when he realistically is ready to play for the Astros (2-3 years from now). Even if they are still awful then, that means he’ll get to the majors faster, where he’ll can get the really big payday.

Signing with a team with terrible minor league depth and a major league team with AAAA players, signing with the Astros is a fast track to the majors. Sign with the Astros–be a major leaguer at age 23 or play indy ball and be a major leaguer at age 25. If he doesn’t sign, Wade just set-back the Astros another two years and deserves to be fired.

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