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Former CCC pitcher, Phillies can't reach deal

After two months of negotiations, former Clearwater Central Catholic standout Ryan Weber has decided not to sign with the Phillies. Instead, the right-handed pitcher will play for St. Petersburg College.

In the past two seasons, Weber was the most dominant pitcher in Pinellas County, going a combined 20-0 while striking out 143 and walking 15. He added 1-2 mph on his fastball and touched 91-92 mph on the radar gun.

That got the attention of scouts and recruiting services. Baseball America listed him as the 27th-best prospect in Florida, the highest ranking among county athletes. In the days leading up to the draft, Weber worked out for the Marlins and Rays and was contacted by the Phillies.

The Phillies, who showed the most interest, selected him in the 12th round of the amateur draft in June.

Marti Wolever, the Phillies' director of scouting, said a deal was reached with Weber during the draft. But Weber's advisers wanted more after he was selected, according to Wolever.

"The waters were muddied a bit," Wolever said.

In July, Weber decided to go to St. Petersburg College instead of the University of Florida. That same month, Wolever said the Phillies were going to use the money slotted for Weber on other picks.

Nevertheless, negotiations continued with Wolever telling Philadelphia media outlets last week that the Phillies were still optimistic about signing Weber.

Though talks lasted until Friday's deadline, a deal was never reached. Weber could not be reached for comment.

Former CCC pitcher, Phillies can't reach deal 08/18/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 21, 2008 2:54pm]
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