August 17, 2010 by staff
Zach Lee, a quarterback most important and pitching prospect who signed with LSU last February and has been practicing with the team throughout the summer, signed late Monday with the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
“I do not know how anyone can deny that much money,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri baseball Monday night shortly after the news about the deadline 23:00 CST. “I really do not believe the boy intended to hurt anyone, but it is difficult to get in that type of situation.”
Lee signed for about 5 million, according to several reports from national media.
The Dodgers selected high McKinney Lee McKinney, Texas, selecting 28 of the first round of Major League Baseball Draft June 7, but had no contact with him or his family until only the last few days. Lee was in practice with the LSU football team Monday morning, but was absent from the second practice of the day in the afternoon while communicating with officials from the Dodgers.
At first it seemed LSU had a great chance to keep Lee by the Dodgers have had financial problems and was initially expected to seriously consider signing him.
“I think our chances decreased in the last 10 days,” said Mainieri. “I’ve been in touch with people I know in baseball, and felt the Dodgers were going to make a move.”
Mainieri said the fact that Major League Baseball rules allow teams to disseminate a prospectus bonus in five years because they could have played college football helped because of the Dodgers. LSU football coach Les Miles said Saturday that he thought Lee could compete for playing time as a quarterback this season.
“I’m disappointed for our baseball program for Les Miles and the entire Tiger Nation,” said Mainieri.
Mainieri Miles spoke shortly after hearing the news.
Earlier Monday, Mainieri also lost junior pitcher Anthony Ranaudo the Boston Red Sox. Ranaudo, selected in the supplemental first round, signed by one and 2.5 million.
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