Matt Purke's Rejection Can't Be Blamed on the Texas Rangers

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Matt Purke's Rejection Can't Be Blamed on the Texas Rangers
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
I have only one question for Matt Purke. Not for his advisers or parents, just for Purke himself: Do you really want to be a big league pitcher?

Clearly the answer isn’t simple for the high school lefty and first-round pick of the Texas Rangers after he rejected a contract offer of $4 million at the deadline.

For those who are curious, the MLB slot for his pick was $2.4 million less than the Rangers' offer. That should appease anyone who thinks the Rangers short-changed their first-round pick.

Purke reportedly wanted $6 million, and this is where my irritation with the newest TCU Horned Frog begins.

$2 million is what kept this kid from starting his professional baseball career now instead of two years from now?

$2 million makes pitching for TCU and re-entering the draft instead of pitching his way to the big leagues worth it?

Purke will not be eligible for the draft again for two years, so let’s take a look at what he could have done in that amount of time.

The Rangers drafted Blake Beavan out of high school in 2007 and signed the right-hander close to the deadline.

Beavan proceeded to rebound from a rocky start and started progressing through the Rangers’ minor league system late in the 2008 season.

He was promoted to Double-A Frisco on June 11 this season, less than two years after he was signed by the Rangers.

Purke, every bit as good as Beavan, could have made the same kind of progress, putting his ETA in Arlington at 2012. Now he looks to start his professional career in 2011 because he wanted $2 million more than the Rangers offered.

This isn’t completely Purke’s fault, especially with all the agents hovering over these kids from day one, but it does prove yet again that there is a big problem with sports today.

How can rookies, in any sport, who have not done a single thing to justify multi-million dollar contracts, be offered the money they make simply by entering the draft and being chosen?

The problem can be solved easily by capping rookie salaries, but for whatever reason, it hasn’t happened yet.

This is why talented young players like Matt Purke will pitch in college for two years instead of beginning their pro careers. And in Purke’s case, each year costs $1 million.

Too bad, because the Rangers are trending up and by 2012 they could be working on multiple championships. While the Rangers are working on a possible World Series run, Purke will be going through this entire process again.  

Too bad, he could have been pitching in a pennant race for the Rangers in Arlington instead.

That’s okay.  I hear the dorm rooms at TCU are excellent.

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