As of midday on June 26, the A’s had yet to announce the signing of their top pick from the 2006 draft, right-handed pitcher Trevor Cahill. Despite having a scholarship offer from Dartmouth College, Cahill was believed to be a relatively easy sign if he was selected in the top four rounds of the draft. As Cahill was picked in the second round, it was believed that the A’s would be able to convince the high school star that he should forgo college for now.
There hasn’t been any word on Cahill since draft day, but it is still believed that the A’s will be able to come to terms with him. Perhaps they will wait until this week when the A’s are in Cahill’s hometown of San Diego to finalize the deal?
The A’s next four picks (rounds three through six) are already in the fold. However, it appears that Oakland will not be signing their seventh round pick, right-hander Michael Leake, another San Diegan high school pitcher. Leake recently told the Arizona Republic that he had chosen to follow through with his commitment to Arizona State rather than go pro.
"I didn't want to take the whole summer" to decide, he told the Arizona Republic on Wednesday, June 21. "I wanted to make a decision, stick with that and look forward to college. I can't wait to get over there and start playing with coach Murphy."
The A’s reportedly offered Leake full college tuition and a six-figure signing bonus.
The news appears to be equally bad in regards to Oakland’s ninth round pick, infielder Danny Hamblin from the University of Arkansas. Hamblin, a talented corner infielder, told KTHV in Little Rock over the weekend that he plans to stay at Arkansas for his senior season. He told the TV station that the A’s had offered him a $60,000 signing bonus, which was in-line with the standard ninth round bonus. Hamblin plans to enroll in summer classes next week, but until that time, the A’s can still try to change his mind.
Eighteenth round pick Michael Ambort is still mulling over his decision about whether or not to sign or go back to Lamar University. Coming into the 2006 season, Ambort was considered one of the top offensive catchers in the country. However, he lost most of the season to Tommy John surgery and fell to the 18th round. He will have two years of college eligibility remaining if he chooses to return to Lamar.
Ambort told the Rockville Centre Herald last week that he has a difficult decision to make. "The advantage is just getting into pro ball and having the opportunity to move up in the organization you were drafted by and hopefully it will be a quicker way to get into the major league," Ambort told the paper. "Going back to school, I get my degree, and [for next year's draft] I'll be a year older and maybe a little more wiser on the field."
The A’s could be making progress with a long-shot pick. Talented high school outfielder Jonathan Pigott was selected in the 31st round and was expected to go to the University of Florida next fall. However, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Pigott is keeping an open mind about going pro. He told the paper that the A’s were still trying to find some money for him and that they would keep a close eye on him this summer, as he competes in a summer league.
"It's possible I might sign with them," Pigott told the News-Journal. "It all depends on what my advisor and the A's come up with. Right now I'm still figuring on going to Gainesville."