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Dbacks' first round pick Barret Loux is a free agent

Aug 17, 2010, 12:38 PM EDT

The Diamondbacks selected pitcher Barret Loux sixth overall in this year’s draft, but backed out of signing him after a physical revealed a labrum
tear and elbow issues. My thinking had been that, with no deal in place, Loux would go back to college or wherever and next year someone else would take a chance at him, but that’s not the case: Major League Baseball is granting him free agency on September 1. I’m assuming someone will take a chance on him, injuries or no.

I’ve seen various people on Twitter in the past few minutes refer to this situation as a “bad precedent” or a “can of worms,” but I’m having a hard time seeing how that’s the case. Are people suggesting that players will now have an incentive to be injured and thus become free agents? Because that makes no sense. For teams to get out of having to pay first round picks via the manufacturing of injuries? That makes even less sense (why pick a guy to begin with if you don’t want to sign him). What am I missing here?

This seems like a situation where there is a legitimate disagreement about a player’s medical status and a team rather freaked out about said status. The Diamondbacks are, admittedly, being relieved of some risk. Loux is, possibly, getting a windfall due to early free agency.  There may have been no good solutions, but I’m not sure how this is a replicable situation that creates a dangerous precedent.

  1. Woe is Mets - Aug 17, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    and just look at most every article mentioning the last time(s) there was this many unsigned 1st rounders. 4 picks were made free agents by MLB in 1996: did that open any “can of worms?” the MLB draft is a ridiculous intersection of talent, hype and free market hyperreality. what happened with Loux is the exception to all the negative that usually goes on. i’m with you, Leather. er, Craig

  2. Giant Space Ants - Aug 17, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    The only argument I can think of is that if Loux makes more money as a free agent, then you are opening up another reason to say that the slotting system, and really the draft as a whole, is unfair because it limits the ability of the players to make money. Which it does.
    But I don’t see any reason to believe that Loux will make a deal that would cause such a ruckus. But if he does…well, you can bet that the other agents are going to do what they can to use this for their clients in the future.

  3. Jay Seaver - Aug 17, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    I don’t know if it’s a bad precedent, but it strikes me as a potentially huge exploitable loophole – if the Diamnodbacks sign him, would they still get the supplemental pick they get for not signing him by the deadline next year? I figure that the first time a team tried that, that loophole would get sealed, but if a team and a player agreed to hold off signing, wouldn’t this potentially be a source of free draft picks, especially for a team that figures they won’t have such an early pick next year?

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