Dodgers no closer to signing top pick

Dodgers no closer to signing top pick

LOS ANGELES -- There haven't been any conversations between the Dodgers and first-round Draft pick Zach Lee since shortly after Lee was selected, assistant general manager of scouting Logan White said on Tuesday.

Lee, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound right-handed pitcher from Texas, was considered to be a difficult sign going into the Draft because of a commitment to play quarterback at Louisiana State and reported bonus demands in excess of $3 million. A day after the Dodgers took Lee at No. 28 overall in June, LSU issued a statement reaffirming Lee's desire to play college football.

"We had get-to-know-you dialogues when we first drafted him, and that's it," White said. "... He likes football, he likes baseball. He's a good kid."

White took criticism after making the pick -- criticism he said he expected, because the Dodgers were perceived to be making a selection they knew they couldn't sign in an attempt to save money. The Dodgers must reach an agreement with Lee by Aug. 16 or they would forfeit the pick in return for a No. 29 selection in next year's Draft on top of their regular pick determined by their final record this season. White said Lee was already working out with LSU but did not say what conversations, if any, he expected to have with the 18-year-old by the deadline.

"If we don't sign him, I promise you it's not because we couldn't afford him," White said.

If Lee doesn't sign, White said the money should be there to sign both first-round picks the Dodgers would have next year. The club has signed eight of its top 10 picks this year, with sixth-rounder Kevin Gausman, another right-hander committed to LSU football, the other holdout. White said whether Lee signed wouldn't affect whether Gausman or anyone else signed.

"Nothing to do with it," White said of Lee. "He's totally separate."

White said he was confident he could net Southern Cal's Joc Pederson (11th round), junior college pitcher Jake Eliopoulos (15th) and Wichita State baseball recruit Scott Schebler (26th round) before the deadline. Eliopoulos was a second-round pick of the Blue Jays in 2009 and did not sign.