Draft signing deadline looms
The Rays are planning to work up until tonight's midnight deadline to sign their draft picks, with most of the attention focused on the four - including their top two, RHP Taylor Guerrieri and OF Mikie Mahtook - from their unprecedented haul of 12 of the first 89 selections.
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Guerrieri, taken 24th overall, has an offer from South Carolina. Mahtook, 31st, is considering a return to LSU. Also of interest, No. 41 3B Tyler Goeddel, who has an offer from UCLA, and and No. 59 LHP Grayson Garvin, who is weighing going back to Vanderbilt.
Executive VP Andrew Friedman made it clear the Rays are willing to keep talking if the players want to play ball:
"Any time you have a deadline things tend to gravitate toward it. It doesn't really change our approach. What we're prepared to do now (financially) is not any different than what we were prepared to do a month ago, but for whatever reason things tend to gravitate toward the deadline. I'm very confident that the guys that really want to go out and play professionally that we'll sign and get them out there playing. And the guys that don't, we'll respectfully part ways, and we'll use that same slot compensation next year to go get someone that wants to go out and play professionally."
For whichever players the Rays don't sign, they get a compensation pick in next year's draft at the same spot.
Guerrieri's father, Chris, told the Times last week it would be a very difficult decision.
Overall, the Rays have signed 37 of their 60 picks, including 16 of the top 21. Fifth-round pick 3B J.D. Davis appears headed to Fullerton State.