If NFL players are locked out, Angels could get extended look at Jake Locker
The Angels are monitoring negotiations between the NFL and its players union to determine whether Jake Locker, the University of Washington quarterback who is expected to be a top 10 pick in this spring's NFL draft, might be available to play more baseball this spring.
The Angels selected Locker, an athletic center fielder with power, in the 10th round of the 2009 draft and signed him for $300,000, knowing full well he may not play baseball for them. The bonus secured Locker's rights for six years and assures he would join the Angels organization if his football career does not pan out.
Locker's contract includes "parameters" for him to participate in spring training, and it is believed to include provisions for him to play or train with one of the Angels' minor league affiliates when there are breaks in his football training and playing schedule.
If the NFL owners and players are unable to reach a deal on a collective bargaining agreement by a March 3 deadline, and the players are locked out for an extended period of time, a sizable window could open up for Locker, who completed his senior season of football in 2010, to play in the minor leagues this season.
"He has a contractual obligation [to be in camp], and the expectation is he will fulfill it," General Manager Tony Reagins told Bill Shaikin of The Times on Thursday. "We're abreast of the situation. We don't know what's going to happen with the NFL. Right now, Jake has options."
-- Mike DiGiovanna