The soap opera that we just won’t let die…
“You know basically when you get drafted by the New York Yankees that there’s a good chance you’re not going to come back because they’re going to offer you a great amount of money,” Russell said. “It was in everybody’s head that he’s going to go off and start his career in baseball. We figured that.”
The difference: (Bradley) Suttle’s deal was all but done from the start, but Russell didn’t get the same vibe from the Cardinals’
“All the puzzle pieces didn’t quite fit together,” Russell said.
The Cardinals aren’t the Yankees, to be sure, but Russell said there isn’t a team he wouldn’t play for. He wants to play for an MLB club, but he just didn’t feel comfortable enough to book a one-way flight to St. Louis.
Russell relied on his intuition and the body language of Major League reps to make potentially a $1 million decision.
Suttle was also a 4th rounder, and the Yanks paid $1.3 million. As angry as I was about this, the Cardinals did do their homework.
The Cardinals have kept close tabs on the left handed-hitting outfielder throughout this summer as he’s played for the Santa Barbara team in the California Collegiate League. As many as five different Cardinals scouts have seen him play this summer. A couple officials attended the opening games of the National Baseball Congress World Series — where Russell’s Santa Barbara team is the defending champion — earlier this week. In addition to watching him play, the two Cardinals instructors took video of Russell’s batting practice. It’s a practice the Cardinals have employed with other draft picks (like first-round pick Peter Kozma), and it allows them to zip what they saw to the laptops of the execs who will write the formal offer.
Russell probably doesn’t have anywhere to go but down after his record breaking year at Texas, so I really have no idea what he was thinking. If he’s following his gut, more power to him, I suppose. Now if he somehow shows improvement, would the Cardinals take another shot at him???