Tuesday, June 13, 2017

McKay Says No Way

Photo Credit University of Louisville Sports Information
Yesterday became a whirlwind as the hours and minutes counted down to the Twins making the first overall selection. No experts or reporters were able to crack the Twins front office and figure out who the club would be taking at the top of the draft. It really did feel like it was coming down to the wire.

Eventually, the Twins decided on prep shortstop Royce Lewis. He wasn't the highest ranked prospect on many draft boards so why did he end up in Minnesota? Did the Twins have a different plan with the first pick?

Most predictions leading into Monday night had the Twins going after college pitcher/first baseman Brendan McKay. Multiple reports surfaced on Monday that McKay was the target for the Twins but he declined the offer the Twins had on the table. 

McKay would fall to the Tampa Bay Rays with the fourth overall pick. It might have come down to the dollar amount. The assigned value for the first overall pick is $7,770,700 but team's rarely hand out the total amount of that bonus. For the fourth pick, the assigned value was $6,153,600 which is over $1.6 million less than the top spot.

In interviews last night, McKay made it clear that the Twins had approached him with an offer. He said, "They had offered a number that we felt that we could get a better offer from another team." The Twins saved some money on the top pick and wanted to transfer that savings to later picks in the draft. It's just hard to imagine their offer to McKay would have been less than the value of the fourth pick.

Another reasons McKay might have turned down the Twins was his on field position. McKay had told different media outlets that the Twins preferred him as a pitcher. When the Rays called McKay's name, he was announced as a first baseman. He clearly likes playing both positions and there's a possibility that some teams were taking a harder stance on him playing one position over another.

Teams could float the idea of him doing both during his time after he signs. "It could be just for that initial summer," said McKay, "but it'd be fun to be able to do both and see where it takes you." The possibility of a true two-way player could be intriguing but it seems like a very hard path to follow to the big leagues.

No one will ever know what type of conversations happened between the Twins and the top players in the draft. There is a lot of posturing that happens with the top players in the draft. However, the Twins are saying all the right things when it comes to Lewis,

"We see this guy as an impact player on both sides of the ball," Mike Radcliff, Twins vice president of player personnel, said. "He also has a unique ability to impact the clubhouse and the community. This guy gets it. He's got that 'it' factor that a No. 1 pick needs to survive and move forward and have success at the end of the journey. He checked all the boxes for us."

We will never know if the Twins got the top player on their board but it's clear that an offer was made to McKay. Did the Twins miss out on their top pick? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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