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Mets Will Not Sign First-Round Pick Kumar Rocker by Deadline

The Mets did not sign 2021 first-round pick Kumar Rocker by Sunday's 5 p.m. ET deadline.

ESPN's Jeff Passan and Kiley McDaniel were the first to report that the Mets were not making the signing. 

Rocker, who was once considered a candidate for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, fell to New York at No. 10, where Mets scouting director Marc Tramuta told MLB.com "this was an obvious pick." Rocker posted a 2.73 ERA in 122 innings in 2021 at Vanderbilt, striking out 179 and walking only 39.

According to ESPN, an agreement between Rocker and New York fell through after a physical examination showed concerns over the health of the 21-year-old right-hander's arm. 

The Mets never even made Rocker an offer, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. New York was not aware of any arm issues Rocker had until he had his post-draft physical, per the report. 

Scott Boras, Rocker's agent released a statement.

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"Kumar Rocker is healthy according to independent medical by multiple prominent baseball orthopedic surgeons," Boras said in the statement.

Mets general manager Zack Scott later shared his frustrations on the matter. 

"This is clearly not the outcome we had hoped for and wish Kumar nothing but success moving forward," he said. "We're excited about the players we have signed and look forward to watching them contribute to the organization in the years to come."

The Mets will be given the 11th pick in the 2022 draft as compensation and Rocker will forgo returning to Vanderbilt for another season and begin his pro career, per ESPN. He is eligible for the 2022 draft pool.

Rocker would be the most high-profile first-rounder to go unsigned since the Astros failed to sign No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken in 2014 due to similar arm health concerns. Aiken ended up going No. 17 in the 2015 draft to Cleveland, but has never reached the majors.

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