Houston Astros general manager Ed Wade may feel like he’s the only one frustrated surrounding the Delino DeShields situation and the fact the team’s No. 8 pick has yet to sign a contract.
But he's far from being alone, and fans have every reason to be worried as well—especially if history repeats itself.
“There’s so few guys signed [in the first round], but at the same time, I would be less than candid if I didn’t say I was disappointed that he’s not signed,” Wade told MLB.com Houston Astros beat writer Brian McTaggart on July 26. “We take a lot of pride in the work the guys have done from a player development standpoint, and we understand how these at-bats can enhance a guy's chances and movement.
“The only thing we have to do is point at the guy who crouches behind the plate at the Major League level, Jason Castro. He was signed in July of 2008 and is now in the big leagues. If Jason had waited until the very last moment to sign and didn’t have the benefit of those at-bats in July and August of 2008, it would be rather unlikely he would be catching at the big league level at this point.”
According to McTaggart, however, Wade is still hopeful a deal will be struck.
“I think everybody involved, both Delino and his family and the Astros, would love to get him into our system playing as quickly as possible, so we’re looking at a full-season opportunity next year versus extended Spring Training,” Wade said. “This is part of the process. There are very few first-round picks signed at this point, and it’s sort of a way of our world. We just hope they don’t get to a point upon reflection [and then say], ‘We should have done this a lot sooner.’ I think it’s best he gets out and gets playing.”
Regardless of DeShields’ decision to sign or not to sign, I guarantee you that Wade is not alone in this frustration.
And if history speaks for itself, Houston will once again be losing a top draft pick—regardless of DeShields being drafted much higher than expected.
Come on, DeShields: LSU, or a prospect of being a future star with the Houston Astros?
The choice is yours, plain and simple…
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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