Well, this sucks.
Pardon me for being speculative in nature, but as iron-clad as this front office is, doesn't it seem a bit peculiar they would essentially throw in the white towel on negotiations 10 and a half hours in advance? Scott Boras' plate is loaded today, and what better way to get the Rays onto the top of his brain but by pressuring camp Washington into panicking?
If they don't sign LeVon, this draft looks ridiculous. I don't know what the Rays draft board looked like on that June day, but you have to figure they could've taken someone like Todd Glaesmann or Luke Bailey (he was ranked higher than Levon and Glaesmann on the pre-draft board by BA, not the only voice that matters, but a pretty strong voice) in round one without much fuss and (theoretically at least) signed him easily. Who knows who they take in Glaesmann's original spot, but the point is, at least it looked better from a public relations standpoint.
The two extra picks next year are okay. Odds are neither will be as high in upside as Washington or Diekroeger and both will probably be slot types - think overdrafts, much like Drew Storen at 10th overall this draft - so even if the draft is deeper next year - and I don't know if it is - the Rays aren't getting better value, and lose a year of development time.
Honestly, I still find it hard to believe Washington will forego signing. He's a guy with a history of injuries already and while UF is nice and all, it's not like he's going to raise his stock too much in three years. This just seems like a silly decision on his part if the differences between the Rays offer and Boras' requests are less than the Rays offer itself.
Diekroeger, I commented over the weekend that a source had told me Derek Dennis was more likely to sign. I'm less disappointed in not signing him -- despite my irrational love for toolsy shortstops --because I never expected him to sign. There's a good chance he never reaches the major leagues, and if he does, I guess it won't be with the Rays, but you can't really hate a kid for wanting to attend his dad's alma mater when it happens to be the University of Stanford.
The Rays knew what they were getting into when they drafted a Boras client and if the clock hits midnight without a LeVon signing, it's going to make this draft look a whole lot worse than it seemingly did a week ago.