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Rays working to sign two first-round picks

Rays working to sign two first-round picks

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays' two unsigned first-round picks from the 2010 First-Year Player Draft still had not officially agreed to deals with the club as of Sunday night, but according to their Facebook pages, Josh Sale and Drew Vettleson won't be too far away from Tropicana Field as the Monday 11:59 p.m. ET deadline to sign picks approaches.

Sale posted on his Facebook page on Saturday that he would "leave for Florida" on Sunday afternoon, while Vettleson wrote on Saturday that he was "leaving to Tampa tomorrow." Andrew Friedman, the Rays' executive vice president of baseball operations, who said on Saturday that negotiations were still ongoing, added Sunday there was "nothing to report."

"Conversations are ongoing, and we remain cautiously optimistic that we'll have a positive announcement on Monday," Friedman said Saturday.

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Sale, the 17th overall pick in the Draft, and Vettleson, taken 42nd overall, are both from the Seattle area. The Rays have already signed their other first-round selection, as they inked a deal with catcher Justin O'Conner, the 31st overall pick, on June 20.

signing status
Below is the signing status of the first-round picks of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. For a complete list, click here.
# Player (Team) Signed Bonus
1 Bryce Harper (WAS) 8/16 $6.25M
2 Jameson Taillon (PIT) 8/16 $6.50M
3 Manny Machado (BAL) 8/16 $5.25M
4 Christian Colon (KC) 6/25 $2.75M
5 Drew Pomeranz (CLE) 8/16 $2.65M
6 Barret Loux (ARI) DNS
7 Matt Harvey (NYM) 8/16 $2.52M
8 Delino DeShields (HOU) 8/5 $2.15M
9 Karsten Whitson (SD) DNS
10 Michael Choice (OAK) 7/30 $2.00M
11 Deck McGuire (TOR) 8/16 $2.00M
12 Yasmani Grandal (CIN) 8/16 $2.99M
13 Chris Sale (CWS) 6/22 $1.65M
14 Dylan Covey (MIL) DNS
15 Jake Skole (TEX) 6/9 $1.55M
16 Hayden Simpson (CHC) 6/19 $1.06M
17 Josh Sale (TB) 8/16 $1.62M
18 Kaleb Cowart (LAA) 8/16 $2.30M
19 Mike Foltynewicz (HOU) 6/18 $1.30M
20 Kolbrin Vitek (BOS) 6/14 $1.35M
21 Alex Wimmers (MIN) 8/6 $1.33M
22 Kellin Deglan (TEX) 6/9 $1.00M
23 Christain Yelich (FLA) 8/16 $1.7M
24 Gary Brown (SF) 8/16 $1.45M
25 Zack Cox (STL) 8/16
26 Kyle Parker (COL) 8/16 $1.4M
27 Jesse Biddle (PHI) 6/10 $1.16M
28 Zach Lee (LAD) 8/16 $5.25M
29 Cam Bedrosian (LAA) 7/14 $1.16M
30 Chevez Clark (LAA) 7/8 $1.08M
31 Justin O'Conner (TB) 6/20 $1.02M
32 Cito Culver (NYY) 6/18 $954K

Sale is an 18-year-old outfielder from Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle, and Vettleson, also a high school outfielder from the Seattle area, attended Central Kitsap School in Silverdale, Wash.

The left-handed-hitting Sale, who batted .520 with five homers, six doubles, 20 RBIs and 27 walks during his senior season, was arguably the top high school hitter in the 2010 Draft. After picking Sale in the 2010 Draft, Friedman said the 6-foot, 215-pounder has "an uncanny feel for the mechanics of his swing, what goes into being a successful hitter."

"With most high-school guys that we draft, it's a process for us at the player-development side to educate them on that," Friedman said. "And he's coming in extremely advanced on that front.

"We feel very good about the fact that he'll be able to reach his max potential, because of who he is, the makeup, the work ethic and we are thrilled to get him where we did."

The Rays were similarly excited about Vettleson, as scouting director R.J. Harrison said both he and Sale had a chance to develop into middle-of-the-lineup bats.

"Vettleson is another corner high school outfielder," Harrison said. "[He's] a kid we scouted pretty good the last year, and [he's] just one of those kids that, at every event [you see] him, you walk away and go, 'Boy, that guy can really hit.'"

The Rays have signed 28 of their 53 total picks from this year's Draft. Last year, the Rays were unable to come to an agreement with first-round pick LeVon Washington.

Adam Berry is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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