You know those dream scenarios that had the Astros taking high school shortstop Brendan Rodgers with the second overall pick? They only happen if the Arizona Diamondbacks somehow decide to pass on the player who's quickly grabbing the title of top talent in this draft.
Fortunately, it appears that's exactly what the D'Backs plan to do. Kiley McDaniel tweeted on Monday that Arizona wants to reach a below-slot deal with some player.
Source: D'Backs have reached out to HS players other than GWhitley, TStephenson & DCameron about below slot deal as the #1 overall pick.— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) May 11, 2015
Industry buzz still is ARZ leaning college at 1-1 & is price-shopping under guise of 1-1 bargain to find over-slot targets for picks 43 & 76— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) May 11, 2015
ARZ will save at least $2.5 million vs slot on the 1st overall pick & possibly as much as $5 million, to then apply savings to other picks.— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) May 11, 2015
Savings would allow ARZ to hypothetically call player still on the board at #17 & tell him they have more than 17th slot for him at pick 43.— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) May 11, 2015
Then player tells teams he wants $1M more than 17th slot to sign, increasing odds he slips to #43. This happened multiple times in '14 Draft— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) May 11, 2015
You'll recall this exact strategy got pioneered by the Astros in 2012 when they selected Carlos Correa. You may also recall that everyone else caught on after that and is doing something similar.
Will the D'Backs be successful at this? Who might they target instead at No. 1?
With less than a month to go until the draft, one college name jumps out. While we at TCB like Dansby Swanson a bunch, Keith Law has Arizona shortstop Kevin Newman ahead of Swanson on his board.
Given that Newman would be a local pick for Arizona, could they nab him there to an under-slot deal and spend on a dropping player at No. 43? How far does Allard fall now? Who else might drop? Every year, there's one player who's risk outweighs the financial outlay they want.
Still, it sets the Astros up to take the best available player in the draft at No. 2 overall, then grab Carson Fulmer at No.5. (Or, you know, whoever the FO likes more than the best pitcher in this draft).
What do you think? Are the D'Backs going to gift Brendan Rodgers to the Astros after all?