Right-handed pitcher Kumar Rocker, whom the Mets did not sign after selecting him at No. 10 overall in the 2021 MLB Draft, has inked a deal with the Tri-City Valleycats of the independent Frontier League.
The plan is for Rocker to start pitching for Tri-City in June and to continue to do so leading up to the 2022 MLB Draft.
After selecting Rocker last year, the Mets had concerns over his health that eventually led to them not signing him.
Because they did not sign Rocker, the Mets received a compensatory pick (at No. 10 overall) in this year’s draft, which is scheduled to begin on July 17.
SNY’s Andy Martino reported last summer that the Mets did not try to get a discount from Rocker’s $6 million slot value and that the deal did not fall apart over money.
Rocker, who is represented by Scott Boras, did not release his medical information to teams prior to the draft. Per Martino, that was not a decision unique to Rocker.
Doctors who examined Rocker before the draft saw no need for surgery, according to Martino.
Shortly after the deal with the Mets didn’t happen, Boras released a statement:
“Kumar Rocker is healthy according to independent medical review by multiple prominent baseball orthopedic surgeons. Immediately upon conclusion of his collegiate season, he had an MRI on both his shoulder and his elbow. When compared with his 2018 MRIs, the medical experts found no significant change. Kumar requires no medical attention and will continue to pitch in the regular course as he prepares to begin his professional career.”