Monday, February 21, 2011
Angels wonder about Jake Locker
The Los Angeles Angels front office is keeping an eye on the NFL labor talks in case one of their most athletic draft picks from the last few years falls into their lap.
The Angels drafted Washington quarterback Jake Locker in the 10th round of the 2009 draft, gave him a $250,000 signing bonus and hold his rights until August of 2015.
If there is a work stoppage in football -- or if Locker is unable to agree to terms with an NFL team -- he could elect to start a professional baseball career. The Angels view him as a strong-armed outfielder. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that the Angels could one day have an outfield of Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos and Locker -- three players with blazing speed.
Angels general manager Tony Reagins said Locker has lived up to his obligations under the contract, which include traveling to Arizona periodically to work out at the team's minor league facility.
"I think there are some factors out there that are going to make his decisions more difficult," Reagins said. "The labor situation is one, where he's selected is one of them. Our eyes are wide open in this regard and we'll see how it plays out. You always have a chance."
After his junior season, Locker was viewed as perhaps the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft. After an inconsistent senior season, he has fallen to No. 4 among quarterbacks in the eyes of ESPN.com's Mel Kiper Jr.
Locker was a standout pitcher and outfielder at Ferndale High School in Washington. He played in a college baseball summer league in 2008.
Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.