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Monday, August 03, 2009

Angels Optimistic About Signing Jake Locker

Randy Youngman of the Register, over the weekend:
The Angels didn't acquire the starting pitcher or reliever they were trying to land before Friday's trade deadline, but they still have a chance to sign a starting quarterback.

You heard right.

Jake Locker, the starting quarterback at the University of Washington, was selected by the Angels in the 10th round in this year's draft, and they have until Aug.17 to get his name on the dotted line.

No, the Angels aren't trying to make Locker choose between football and baseball. They know football is No. 1 at the moment. They just want to own his future rights if Locker's pro football career doesn't pan out.

And the Angels will own those rights for six years if Locker signs by the Aug. 17 deadline for 2009 draftees to reach a contract agreement.

But if Locker signs, he also would lose the final two years of his UW football scholarship, so any contract with the Angels would have to cover the cost of his continuing college education.

"Eventually, it'll probably get done," new Washington coach Steve Sarkisian, the former USC assistant, said this when asked if he expects Locker to sign with the Angels. "And that tells you what kind of athlete Jake is."

Angels scouting director Eddie Bane obviously concurs. Bane also drafted Locker in 2006, as a center fielder, in the 40th round out of Ferndale (Wash.) High, where he was a three-sport star.

Though Locker has not played baseball regularly since high school, he played 10 games last summer for the Bellingham Bells of the West Coast League, an independent summer league for college-age prospects. He batted .273 with one home run and three RBIs and was voted the WCL's top prospect by league coaches and Baseball America.

The signing deadline for this year's draft is Saturday, August 15.

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