Jim Hickey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is reporting that the Mariners and their top pick, Josh Fields, remain about $500K apart in their negotiations. As a player that has completed his college eligibility, Fields was not subject to the August 15 deadline for picks to sign.
Fields' agent, Scott Boras is demanding $2MM while the Mariners are said to be offering $1.5MM, which is in line with the MLB's slotting recommendations. Hickey feels it is unlikely that Boras and Fields will move from their asking price and seem willing to let Fields pitch for an independent league team this year and re-enter the draft next June.
Bleeding Blue and Teal thinks the Mariners may be better off not signing Fields. They question the M's need for a closer while the team is rebuilding and note that Seattle could have four of the top 50 picks next year if Fields goes unsigned.
Fields (#20 overall) is one of three first round picks that has not signed. The other two players, Aaron Crow (WAS, #9 overall) and Gerrit Cole (NYY, #28) did not sign prior to the deadline. Crow has signed with an independent league team and Cole will play for UCLA.
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