New York Mets owner Steve Cohen responded to criticism after the team did not sign top draft pick Kumar Rocker, but he might not have helped himself in doing so.
The Mets failed to sign Rocker, the No. 10 overall pick in the MLB Draft, ahead of Sunday’s 5 p.m. ET deadline to do so. The deal reportedly fell apart because the Mets had concerns about Rocker’s pitching elbow. Rocker’s agent has publicly disputed those concerns.
Amid criticism of the Mets’ handling of the situation, Cohen sent a tweet Sunday afternoon in an apparent attempt at damage control.
Education time – Baseball draft picks are worth up to 5x their slot value to clubs .I never shy away from investments that can make me that type of return.
— Steven Cohen (@StevenACohen2) August 1, 2021
Cohen’s explanation probably isn’t going to go over well. Pointing out how undervalued draft picks are relative to what they’d get on the open market is only going to make Mets fans ask why the team didn’t just take the risk on Rocker. The Mets will get a compensation pick for failing to sign Rocker, but that’s not likely to comfort many, either.
If anything, the tweet makes Rocker a more sympathetic figure. There was no apparent indication he had elbow issues before the draft, and now he goes from a potential $6 million bonus to waiting a year and hoping he’s drafted as high again.
For reference, the slot value for the No. 10 pick was just over $4.7 million.
The Mets still lead the NL East by 3.5 games and are in position to make the playoffs. That said, it hasn’t exactly been a great week for them.