Generic Purke Photo
Some of you, like myself, might be seeing all of these TCU summer league rosters, stats, etc. and are wondering where Matt Purke's name is in all of this? We had all heard that he would be pitching in the Cape Cod league this summer, possibly as an attempt to show that he's worth the money he's asking or maybe to hone his skills for another run at Omaha back at TCU. However, his name doesn't appear on a roster anywhere currently, and obviously no stats are out there to show that he's pitching somewhere either. Also, after asking around to a few people who we would think might know of his whereabouts, nobody has come up with a definitive answer explaining his absence. So, there are a couple of theories that could be thrown around...
First, has Purke decided it would be safer to rest an arm that clearly is not where it was in 2010 by sitting out this summer? If so, you'd have to assume that he's coming back to TCU, because the Nationals surely wont be willing to meet Purke's asking price (which is apparently in the same ballpark as the figure's he wanted out of high school) for a guy who hasn't shown the form that made him a top 15 pick out of high school recently. This is my favorite, and in my opinion, the most likely scenario. The Nats have a few Scott Boras clients who they drafted in front of Purke, including projected superstar Anthony Rendon from Rice, and Boras clients don't come cheap (see: Rodriguez, Alex). If the Nats plan on signing their earlier draft picks, which you assume they do and will, then there just wont be enough money to give to Purke as well.
Another scenario, albeit a little far-fetched, is that maybe Purke isn't pitching because he knows he's going to sign with the Nationals, so why bother with the Cape Cod league? If this were the case, then he'd be in rookie ball pretty soon so summer ball wouldn't make sense. Based on what I mentioned above, this seems very unlikely unless the Nats can't come to terms with one of their earlier draft picks and have the money to spend on Purke. However, the Nats did break the bank over the past 2 years signing Stephen Strasburg and uber douche Bryce Harper, so maybe they can't afford their higher draft picks this year. But that doesn't make sense either, since Purke is supposedly looking for first round money. So I just talked myself and the remaining readers into a circle there. I apologize.
So from what I gather, my assumption would be that Purke is not pitching this summer in the Cape Cod league, and I wouldn't expect to see him up there later this summer either. It appears that he is resting his arm, hopefully in an attempt to get it into 2010 form by the time the 2012 season starts and he begins his Junior year at TCU. Basically, I haven't been able to see a logical reason why he signs with the Nationals this summer. I just don't see a scenario where a major league club takes a 3rd round guy for 1st round money, especially since the player in question is facing some lingering health concerns. I'm sure they'd like to see him pitch in the summer in top form before forking over millions. I also don't see why Purke would come down from his current contract demands either, because when he's right, there's no doubt he's a first round talent and he can pitch another healthy year in college and prove that again, but I've been wrong before...a lot.