Rays first-round pick C Justin O'Conner expected to sign at Trop tonight
The Rays appear close to sealing the deal with one of their top picks. C Justin O'Conner, the 31st pick overall, will be at Tropicana Field today where he's expected to meet with principal owner Stuart Sternberg and sign with Tampa Bay, according to the Muncie Star Press.
When O'Conner was selected Monday night, Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman said they had already come to an agreement with O'Conner, so this move would not be a surprise.
Considering O'Conner is a catching convert - having spent only this past year as a catcher in high school in Muncie, Indiana - getting started is probably very important; the Press reports he'll report to Port Charlotte Monday to begin with the Rays rookie-league team. Rays scouting director R.J. Harrison said that with O'Conner's innate instincts and skills, it shouldn't be a tough transition, and he has some pop in his bat as well.
Harrison said they were planning on starting talks with their top pick, OF Josh Sale (No. 17 overall) Wednesday night. We'll keep you posted when we hear more.