Thread: Umberger
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03-17-2004, 12:12 PM
  #58
Park #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrose_Jr.
That plan could backfire too. If Burke and Sather both say, "this kid's not worth what he's asking", then I think most other GM's might be weary of shelling out big cash for him.

Maloney's just posturing. He's letting Umberger know he wants to see some results over the next week and that he's not going to fork over a contract JUST because RJ was a first rounder.
I think the term "Big Cash" is rather misleading. I mean, the difference in contracts is approx. $300,000 which is a pittance for a 1st round pick. Burke never criticized Umberger's play, he criticized his contract demands - and honestly, Burke was lowballing him compared to other 1st round picks (Offered the 2nd lowest contract of all 1st round picks, despite being drafted at #16). Heck, Burke even signed his less proven teammate (at least offensively) drafted lower (23rd in the '03 draft) to a higher contract. The fact was that Burke dug in his heels, believing if they caved in to the contract demands that they'd have problems signing first-round draft picks in the future. They also were weary of trading him for the same reasons, but came to the realization that they had to since Umberger/Lawton dug his heels in as well.

As time goes on, I think the the inititial agreement between Burke/Slats is looking more realistic. In two weeks, Maloney/Sather could come out and say something like, "This kid has done everything we asked, played without a contract, proven his ethic, blah blah blah... and we have signed him to a $1.1 million contract." At that point, Burke doesn't look bad since Umberger appears to have changed his attitude and went further with the NYR then with VAN.

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