Sources on why Mets signing of Kumar Rocker has been delayed

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Vanderbilt's Kumar Rocker pitches in 2021
Vanderbilt's Kumar Rocker pitches in 2021

Regarding the Mets and top draft pick Kumar Rocker, the information from league sources has been unchanging over the past week: Negotiations have been slower than initially expected and the team is still expected to sign Rocker.

To get into the reasons thrown around to explain these complications would be to speculate in public about a person’s health.

Instead, we’ll offer information gathered from sources with direct knowledge of the situation:

-- The hiccups in talks began before last Thursday, when Rocker took his Mets physical. Folks around the Mets have been speculating on the subject at least since last Wednesday.

-- Rocker has not been deemed to need Tommy John surgery or any other elbow procedure at this time.

-- Although Rocker’s velocity dropped this year at Vanderbilt, he was pitching healthy through the end of the College World Series. Sources outside of Rocker’s camp affirm that Vandy was not hiding or aware of any injuries. Sources inside Rocker’s camp note that he made 42 consecutive starts and never had a physical issue in college.

-- Other sources outside Rocker’s camp -- and that’s a key distinction -- say that the issues delaying his signing with the Mets are not perceived to be serious enough to scuttle the agreement with the Mets.

The team’s $6 millon agreement could be reduced, though Rocker’s agent, Scott Boras, likely wouldn’t look kindly on that concept. Or Rocker could in theory return to Vanderbilt for his senior year. If that happens, the Mets would get the 11th overall pick next year as compensation.

Boras declined comment.

Mets president Sandy Alderson has not responded to repeated messages about the situation over the past week.

Mets acting general manager Zack Scott declined on Monday to comment on Rocker or any other draft pick.

Other Mets officials appear to have misplaced their telephones.

The deadline to sign Rocker is Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.