Thursday, June 17, 2010
Dodgers close to signing top picks
By Tony Jackson
CINCINNATI -- The Los Angeles Dodgers are closing in on agreements with their second- and third-round selections from last week's amateur draft, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed on Thursday, although finalization of those signings wasn't expected for another day or two.
Ralston Cash, a right-handed pitcher out of Lakeview Academy in Gainesville, Ga., was the Dodgers' second-round pick and the 78th pick overall. He told the Gainesville Times earlier this week that he expects to finalize an agreement with the club by the end of the week and that he was in line for a signing bonus that would exceed $500,000. Cash also told the paper he would begin his professional career with the Dodgers' Arizona Rookie League affiliate in Glendale, Ariz., the usual assignment for a high-school draft pick.
Cash is the cousin of Ethan Martin, the Dodgers' top pick in the 2008 draft who is now pitching for the club's high Single-A Inland Empire affiliate. Cash had signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Georgia before the Dodgers drafted him.
Leon Landry, a junior outfielder from Louisiana State University and the Dodgers' third-round pick, has agreed to terms with the club, according to a report in the school's student newspaper, the Daily Reveille, which cites LSU coach Paul Mainieri as its source.
It isn't clear whether the Dodgers have begun negotiations with their first-round pick, McKinney (Texas) High School right-hander Zach Lee, who has committed to play quarterback for the LSU football team in the fall and let it be known before the draft that he would be a difficult (and expensive) sign if he were to spurn college football for pro baseball. If the Dodgers fail to sign Lee, who is expected to command a signing bonus far in excess of the recommended slot money for a 28th overall pick and possibly as much as $6 million, they will receive a compensatory first-round sandwich pick in next year's draft.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com