Report: Mets not expected to sign top pick Kumar Rocker

The New York Mets saw tremendous potential in Kumar Rocker when they drafted him with the 10th overall pick earlier this month, but their confidence in the right-hander has quickly disappeared.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on Sunday that the Mets are not expected to sign Rocker to a contract “barring a drastic change.” The deadline for MLB teams to sign amateur draft picks is 5 p.m. Sunday evening.

Rocker, who has dominated on the mound Vanderbilt, initially had a $6 million agreement in place with the Mets. The deal fell apart following his physical exam, when doctors expressed concerns with Rocker’s pitching elbow.

There is still a chance Rocker and the Mets could agree to a revised deal, but Passan does not expect that to happen. If the two sides do not reach an agreement, the Mets will get the 11th overall pick in next year’s draft as compensation. Rocker would then be free to either return to Vanderbilt or pitch in an independent league before entering the 2022 draft.

Rocker started 20 games for Vanderbilt this past season and had a 2.73 ERA with 179 strikeouts in 122 innings. His agent, Scott Boras, insists Rocker is fully healthy and that outside doctors disagreed with the Mets assessment of the pitcher’s elbow.

Rocker was expected to be drafted much higher than 10th, but he slipped down the board due to financial demands. The Mets were said to be happy to pay above slot value for him, but that obviously changed following Rocker’s physical.