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At least Dodgers' gamble on first-round pick Zach Lee will leave 'em talking

Heh-heh-heh, what a great pick.

No matter what happens, right-hander Zach Lee is going to prove a tremendous draft choice for Dodgers’ fans.

He’ll serve as a lightning rod for those cynical types who see darkness in every move the Dodgers make, or for those who bleed true blue and are certain everything is done with the purest of intentions.

Lee, understand, is not your average draft pick. Besides being a great pitching prospect, he is also a big-time college football prospect.

He has already signed a letter of commitment to play quarterback, and baseball, next season at LSU.

Lee is considered by most as one of the most unsignable players in the draft. He was partially available to the Dodgers with the 28th pick because other teams were leery of what it would cost to steer him away from LSU. said Lee is reportedly seeking more than $5 million to sign, a lot of money for a 28th pick.

Now if you’re the negative type, convinced Frank McCourt is slashing payroll while going through his bitter divorce and not about to spend big on a high school kid, this pick makes perfect sense:

 "They picked him knowing they won’t sign him. Come September, he’ll be throwing spirals for Les Miles. The pick is a fraud. There’s no way Frank pops for this kid when he won’t even spend to sign a proven starter.’’

Of course, if you believe the Dodgers would never be so stupid as to actually waste a first-round pick then it’s more like:

  "What a tremendous pick. A steal, really. The Dodgers will win this kid over and he’ll prove the right-handed Clayton Kershaw. When everyone else was shaking, the Dodgers stepped up.’’

The man in charge of the draft for the Dodgers, assistant general manager Logan White, is naturally in the second camp. White said he is optimistic Lee could be signed and has McCourt’s full support.

``I know this, I’m optimistic we’re going to make our best effort, definitely our best effort, to get out there and get this done,’’ White said.

``I understand the concern. I’ve always tried to take the best player. If I think the player is the 28th best player in the country, we certainly pay him like the 28th player. But if I think his ability is a little bit better than that, we certainly recognize that.’’

The Dodgers’ roster is dotted with players previously selected by White -- Jonathan Broxton, Chad Billingsley, Matt Kemp, James Loney, Blake DeWitt and Kershaw -- and he believes that not only has  won McCourt’s confidence but will catch Lee’s attention.

``Frank’s always been very aware of what we’re doing and what’s going on,’’ White said. ``He’s very much a big supporter and very on board with it.

``I don’t mean it bragging, but when you look at our major league team and what we’ve been able to do with the draft and the international signs, you see why he’s a supporter.’’

--Steve Dilbeck
Comments () | Archives (8)

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Sorry, put me in the cynical camp. This is the same Dodger management that wouldn't offer arbitration to Randy Wolf, knowing full well that he was not going to accept. Why would they give up extra picks like this? Only one reason, because they know/knew that they would not or could not sign all those draft picks. This team needs to be sold now, before we are the Baltimore Orioles of the NL.

The way it will end up is he won't sign and the Dodgers will take their compensation pick next year. That seems pretty obvious.

Can't see him signing. Sorry.

nice pick, if u like a wasted one....
butt entirely too much fuss abt the wrong pitching lee....
as team ought 2b using their supposedly limited finances to pursue the lefty-lee currently pitching for mariners

Past performance is indicative of future results.

The Dodgers have, over the past couple of years, shown a propensity to not want to spend money on their players. This year, the Dodgers needed a starting pitcher; an ace. Two or three pitchers were on the market and they did nothing to sign them. Randy Wolf had a very good year in 2009. While I wouldn't expect a repeat performance, he's an adequate #4 or 5 pitcher; the Dodgers let him go and did not even get anything for him.

Until the Dodgers do something to sign players to make them better, I will not believe they are going to spend any money on player personnel.

And why should they? The fans will still show up and cheer, regardless of the product on the field. McCourt could field a Community College team and Dodger fan will still show.

If the Dodgers were going to takle a player who they could not sign, or who would have required a plus bonus, I would have gone for Harvard-Westlake outfielder Austin Wilson.

The Dogs don't lose the pick if they don't sign Lee. They get to pick #28th in the first round next year toogether with their own pick next year and any other picks they might get if they lose top FAs to FA.

This smells of McDivorce Court. I think McCheap is trying to "leverage" the pick into next year so he doesn't have to spend money this year. He does the same with the big contracts he's signed in the past, backloading the bucks way beyond the life of the contract.

I won't sleep well until McCheap is forced to sell the team.

``I don’t mean it bragging, but when you look at our major league team and what we’ve been able to do with the draft and the international signs, you see why he’s a supporter.’’

Fact: Over the past 5 years, the Dodgers have spent less money on draft picks and international talent than any other team in baseball.


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