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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Auburn baseball loses one signee, close on another

John Pawlowski and the Auburn baseball team held out hope that a couple of big signees would make it to campus. Doesn't look like that's going to happen.

LaGrange, Ga., catcher Luke Bailey signed with the Tampa Bay Rays late Friday night, according to Baseball America, getting $750,000 to put his name on some paper. A fourth-round pick, Bailey got the same money as Tigers football signee Brandon Jacobs, who went in the 10th round. The lesson? It's always nice to have another sport as leverage. Bailey had Tommy John surgery in April, which lowered his draft stock considerably.

On another front, Orlando, Fla, shortstop Nick Franklin appears to be close to signing with the Seattle Mariners, according to this report in The Herald in Everett, Wash. The 27th overall pick, one of two first-rounders by the Mariners, was in the Safeco Field clubhouse in Seattle. He took a physical with the club Friday, which is a pretty good indication he'll sign.

Auburn is still waiting to hear what will happen with California junior college pitcher Drew Madrigal, an 11th-round pick by the Padres, and Jacksonville, Fla., pitcher Garrett Bush, a 15th-round pick by the Baltimore Orioles.

Teams have until midnight on Monday to sign their draft picks or they go back into the draft pool next June.

This isn't great news for Auburn, but it's not particularly surprising, considering most of these contracts include teams guaranteeing a player's education should his baseball career not pan out. Quite honestly, you'd be foolish not to take that kind of deal.

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