Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Salary Issues Drop Area Stars in Draft

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Salary Issues Drop Area Stars in Draft

Article excerpt

Byline: Bryan Mullen, Times-Union sports writer

The theme for area players during yesterday's amateur draft was signability.

Numerous Jacksonville high school and college prospects who expected to get picked on Tuesday, the first day of the draft, fell several rounds because teams were scared off by high-dollar bonuses demanded by the players.

"I was told it was the signability factor," said Jacksonville University junior catcher Chad Oliva, who was drafted in the 21st round (No. 621 overall) by the Texas Rangers. "I pretty much thought I would be taken between the fourth and eighth rounds. I got a call from the [Toronto] Blue Jays in the eighth or ninth round, gave them an offer, but they weren't going for it. Teams said they weren't going to waste a high pick on me because of the amount of money I wanted."

Oliva did not comment on the amount.

"I'm going to wait and see what happens," said Oliva, who hit. 333 and a team-high 19 home runs last season. "If it's not what I'm looking for, I'll be back at JU."

Fellow Dolphin Casey Shumaker was selected by Pittsburgh in the 23rd round (No. 684), but the sophomore said he would have been picked higher if not for his monetary demands.

"Coach [Terry Alexander] thought I was going in the seventh round, and I thought top 10 [rounds] for sure," said Shumaker, who set a school record with 12 saves while posting a 1.91 ERA. "I guess I was asking too much."

Shumaker and Oliva leave this week to compete in the Cape Cod League in Massachusetts, a wooden-bat league where pro scouts follow-up with some of their draft picks and try to settle signing bonuses.

"My scout is supposed to meet me up there on Friday to work it out," Shumaker said. "But I'm sure I'll turn it down unless there's a good offer at the end of the summer."

Wolfson pitcher Josh Deel was selected by the New York Mets in the 24th round (No. 732) after expecting to be selected between the seventh and 10th rounds on the first day. …

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