From the world of unlikely scenarios, one regarding the return of All-American first baseman Yonder Alonso to the University of Miami is quietly becoming a situation to watch. (READ THE UPDATED STORY)
According to our Marlins beat writer Clark Spencer, and now UM coach Jim Morris whom I spoke to this afternoon, negotiations between the Cincinnati Reds and Alonso (who was taken 7th overall) are not going well and there is a chance the star slugger could elect to return to the Canes for his senior year.
"I haven't talked to Yonder in about a week or so, but I know he's got a figure in his mind and I know they're a long way aways from that figure," Morris said Thursday afternoon. "If it doesn't work out, I think we could fit him in our lineup."
Alonso's advisor, Brian Peters, told Spencer recently Yonder is looking for "Pat Burrell money" -- or about $7 million and that if he didn't sign, Yonder would probably either return to UM or go to the Independent League, likely the latter. Alonso is currently working out in Miami with a trainer to stay in shape.
Alonso is one of eight first round draft choices currently unsigned, who must be under contract by the official deadline of August 15th. Otherwise, they can return to school or elect to play in the independent minor leagues.
The Canes, who were ranked No. 1 in the country before being bounced at the College World Series, were decimated by the draft. Morris expected some damage, with Weeks, Gutierrez, Raben, Tekotte and Garcia's signings not a surprise. But Sobolewski signing was somewhat of a surprise as was outfielder Adan Severino, who probably could've become a top-round pick in 2009 but opted to sign for $65,000.
"It's going to come down to the deadline of August 15th," Morris said. "If they've talked to Yonder in the last day or two, I'm not sure what's happened. He's got different alternatives. He can sign. He can come back to school or go to that northern league like J.D. Drew did. A good decision would be to come back to school.
"A guy like that coming back would be a big boost for anybody. He was arguably the best hitter in college baseball."
While Morris admits he's been intrigued by how long the negotiations have taken, he's not going to get overly excited or anxious. Still, he knows how much fun Alonso had at UM and how much it hurt him when the Hurricanes lost int he College World Series.
"Guys have signed at 11:59 p.m. on that last day, so I try not to get my hopes up too much because so many things happen on that last day," Morris said. "I don't know how many of the first rounders who have not signed yet, but I'm sure they're will be some that sign at the last minute.
"But we'd be more than ok if Yonder decided to come back."