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BASEBALL EXTRA / INTERLEAGUE PLAY | AROUND THE NL

Wait Likely Before Phillies Sign Drew

June 15, 1997|Associated Press

The Philadelphia Phillies don't expect to sign their first-round draft choice, outfielder J.D. Drew, until next year.

Owner Bill Giles on Saturday cited the hard-nosed approach to negotiating that Drew's agent, Scott Boras, is expected to take.

"We've always thought that we won't sign him until next spring because we have to play out all of his [Boras'] shenanigans," Giles said.

Boras has hinted the Phillies will have to come up with at least $10 million to sign Drew, who played at Florida State and is the only Division I college player to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in a season.

The agent got $10.2 million last year for pitcher Matt White, drafted seventh overall by San Francisco. But after the Giants failed to offer him a contract within the required 15 days, White was released from his obligation to San Francisco and signed with the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays after a bidding war.

Though Drew was regarded as the best player available, the Detroit Tigers--concerned about whether they could sign him--took pitcher Matt Anderson with the first overall pick, leaving the Phillies to take Drew with the second pick.

Mike Arbuckle, Phillie scouting director, met with Boras and Drew on Friday to begin preliminary negotiations.

"He [Arbuckle] has told me all along that it's not going to happen quick," Giles said. "We just have to be patient."

Giles said Drew figures to be an outstanding player--"not Ken Griffey, but pretty darn good."

*

Former commissioner Fay Vincent made a rare ballpark appearance and sat next to the Mets' dugout during their game against the Boston Red Sox in New York.

"Personally, I'm against it," he said of interleague play. "I'm a traditionalist, but let the fans decide. If the people like it. it's fine with me."

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