NEW YORK -- With pitcher Josh Smoker signed to a professional contract with the Nationals, what does that mean for left-hander Jack McGeary, the team's sixth-round pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft? The Nationals have until Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. ET to get a deal done with McGeary.
However, McGeary will forgo professional baseball and attend Stanford University, which the Nationals were expecting all along. Washington will not be compensated in next year's Draft for losing McGeary. Teams will only be compensated if they lose players in the first two rounds and the sandwich rounds.
McGeary was considered first-round material, but he dropped to the sixth round because a lot of scouts felt he would go to Stanford instead. McGeary said after he was drafted that he would play for the Nationals if he was given first-round money, but the Nationals were not willing to do that. Phone messages sent to McGeary and his advisor Brodie Van Wagenen were not returned.
"We knew going in that McGeary would be a difficult sign," said amateur scouting director Dana Brown. "We like McGeary, but we knew going in that he was going to Stanford. It's like going to Princeton or Harvard or one of those academic schools like that. We understand why he selected the school. It's very important to him, his family and his future."
Almost two weeks ago, McGeary went to Robert F. Kennedy Stadium to visit the Nationals and took a tour of the Washington area. Neither the Nationals nor McGeary wanted to talk to the media that day.
"The Nationals still took me and still believe that hopefully, we can work something out," McGeary said in June. "If we can, that would be great and I welcome [the chance] to do that. If not, I'll end up in Stanford, obviously. I was surprised that I was taken as high as sixth. I thought I would be falling in the teens or 20s."
McGeary attended Roxbury Latin High School in Boston, and holds the school's single-season record for strikeouts with 86 in 2006. He also had ERAs under 2.00 in 2005 and '06.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.