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Way back when: David Freese almost signed with Red Sox

Oct 15, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

freese getty Getty Images

Alex Speier of WEEI.com has a good story about how Cardinals playoff hero David Freese almost signed with the Red Sox coming out of college.

Back in 2006 fifth-year seniors like Freese were allowed to sign with MLB organizations before the draft if their college team’s season was already over. Freese played for South Alabama and they weren’t expected to make the NCAA tournament, but a late improvement in their RPI ranking changed that and extended their season to the point that he couldn’t sign before the draft.

“If we didn’t make the regional, I was probably going to be a Red Sox before the draft,” Freese told Speier. “I was close. Obviously, I’m glad the way things worked out.”

So instead of signing with the Red Sox as a pre-draft free agent Freese went into the draft pool and was picked by the Padres in the ninth round. He signed for just $6,000, which is an incredibly low bonus for a ninth-round pick and likely less than he could have gotten from the Red Sox. Eighteen months later he was traded to the Cardinals for Jim Edmonds and the rest is history.

  1. willclarkgameface - Oct 15, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Nice work again Red Sox.

    I bet Bill James put the kibosh on this and his monkey boys Larry and Theo went right along with it.

    • 18thstreet - Oct 15, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      Yes, the Red Sox are the only team ever to make a mistake in the draft.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 15, 2012 at 11:07 AM

        Hahaha! Yeah really. No team in any sport has ever missed.
        I mean…Sam Bowie being selected ahead of M.J pales in comparison.

      • willclarkgameface - Oct 15, 2012 at 11:10 AM

        Let’s take a look at that for one moment.

        While they have not had great draft position due to their heavy list of 2nd place finishes, they still could have found the diamond in the rough over the years, developed him, and finally have a SS that can actually hit.

        They got VERY bad with the draft after 2006 and now they are paying the price. They have relied way too heavily on the free agent market and have failed to build a farm system that is worth anything.

        Theo has admitted this in recent interviews. The pressure from “the fans” (really just Larry pissing and moaning because the Pink Hats want hot guys around) got enormous to sign big names after the Teixeira debacle. That’s how they ended up with Lackey and company.

        The system is a mess.

    • lazlosother - Oct 15, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      Because going in the ninth certainly indicates that all the other teams wanted him desperately.

    • pinkfloydprism - Oct 15, 2012 at 11:28 AM

      Yeah, South Alabama making the NCAA tourney was 100% the Red Sox fault. Read the article.

    • cur68 - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      er…did you read the article? Freese was GOING to be a Red Sox. They had him all but signed. BUT his team made the playoffs he went into the draft and the Padres got him instead. Will, I think that chip on your shoulder is obscuring your vision.

      • 18thstreet - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:24 PM

        Far be it from me to take Will’s side, but here’s what I don’t get: why didn’t the Red Sox take him in the 8th round? I mean, according to this, they made 11 picks before the 9th round started: http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/team/draft.jsp?c_id=bos&year=2006

        If they liked the guy before the college playoffs, why didn’t they like him afterwards?

      • willclarkgameface - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:41 PM

        Because winning some lame ass college championship is better than being in the big leagues.

        Got it.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 15, 2012 at 1:00 PM

        Chip? On Will’s shoulder? Noooo. Will? Will? Chip? Your shoulder? Will?

      • pdowdy83 - Oct 15, 2012 at 1:04 PM

        What does winning a “lame ass college championship” have to do with anything Will? He wasn’t ALLOWED to sign with the Red Sox because his season wasn’t finished.

      • cur68 - Oct 15, 2012 at 1:23 PM

        I dunno 18. Maybe they thought he’d keep one more round? Maybe he didn’t play so spec in the championship? Who knows? Draft’s a crap shoot anyways. That’s not the point. The POINT is that Will there didn’t read the article. In fact hasn’t read it yet, a fact which is abundantly clear given his follow up comments. It’s not like he’s making a solid point like you are (y’know, with facts and an informed opinion?). No, not that guy. He’s just shouting for the sake of shouting.

      • forsch31 - Oct 15, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        @cur–the Cardinals were apparently going to draft Freese in 2006, but the Padres got to him first. So, yeah, the Red Sox may have been planning on drafting him then, too (Boston picked Ryan Kalish at 283, several spots after Freese was taken). Every team has their draft boards, and part of it is guessing where they can get the players they want without overreaching. If you believe you can get a guy in the 9th round, you don’t get him in the 8th ahead of players with a better projection.

        This is kinda what makes NHL drafts fun, because teams can trade draft picks, and they tend to jockey for draft position if they find out another team wants their guy.

  2. icanspeel - Oct 15, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    As a Padres fan it is more depressing knowing we traded David Freese for a Jim Edmonds past his prime

    • pisano - Oct 15, 2012 at 3:37 PM

      As a Padre fan you also know if a player wants more than the going rate of a AAA player, he’s on the trade block.

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