Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards 1st-Round Pick `Enjoying Time Off'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards 1st-Round Pick `Enjoying Time Off'

Article excerpt

Bret Wagner is anxious to begin his professional baseball career. But don't expect Wagner, the Cardinals' first-round draft pick earlier this month, to sign soon.

"I want to play," Wagner said. "But my agent has been through negotiations before and I haven't. He knows what's best for me.

"So I'm just enjoying the time off."

Alan Hendricks, Wagner's agent, has handled the negotiating conversations with Cardinals general manager Dal Maxvill. Wagner said he talked with Hendricks on Friday and "there was nothing much to say."

Wagner, a pitcher from Wake Forest, said Hendricks made a proposal to the Cardinals. Maxvill rejected it. Both sides probably are waiting on some movement from other college pitchers drafted in the first round. Wagner was the fourth one taken. Only C.J. Nitkowski of St. John's, taken ninth by Cincinnati, has signed.

"I want to get on with playing, but I guess we have to wait," said Wagner, selected 19th. "I don't get bored, though. I'm always doing something. I've been to four consecutive Baltimore Orioles games this week. They've let me get down on the field before the games and work out and shag fly balls and stuff."

While at Camden Yards, Wagner keeps a close eye on the scoreboard. He's become a Cardinals fan.

"I've been keeping track of how they've been doing," Wagner said. "I know they're struggling right now."

Wagner is savoring his free time with his twin, Kyle. The brothers also are best friends and have been battery mates most of their life. The Cardinals also drafted Kyle, a catcher, albeit much later than Bret. Considered defensively sound but offensively suspect, Kyle is planning to return for his senior year at Wake Forest.

"The chance to keep playing together really seemed great," Bret Wagner said. "But we decided we have to do what is best for our personal interests. …

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