Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The price of promise

It went down to the deadline Monday, but the Minnesota Twins signed their first-round draft choice, Kyle Gibson (right).

The gut reaction is to be relieved that the Twins got it done.

They've had, in the distant past — in the Griffith era particularly — cases where they failed to sign their first-rounder. Among the notable cases: Tim Belcher (1983 — he went on to win 146 games in his career) and Jason Varitek (1993 — still playing, a three-time All-Star catcher).

They've also had a lot of first-round picks in the past decade that in retrospect they probably would have preferred not to sign. B.J. Garbe (1999); Ryan Mills (1998); Adam Johnson (2000); Matt Moses (2003) — all well regarded prospects, all busts.

Now they've committed more than $1.8 million to a hurler who suffered a stress fracture in his forearm pitching college ball. And one has to wonder about his durability.

And hope it works out.

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