At 5 p.m. Sunday, the Mets made it official: First-round pick Kumar Rocker, the 10th overall selection in last month’s draft, is not coming to Flushing.
This never would have happened under the Wilpons.
We can say that with some certainty because it literally never did. The last time the Mets failed to sign a first-round draft pick was 1970, when talks fell apart with George Ambrow, a shortstop from Polytechnic High in Long Beach, California, over some concern involving knee issues.
That was a decade before Fred Wilpon went in as a minority owner with Nelson Doubleday and the Mets sold for $21.1 million.
It also was a very, very long time ago. And this Rocker fiasco is not the kind of stuff we were expecting under new owner Steve Cohen, who purchased the franchise for $2.4 billion. To a hedge-fund titan like Cohen, the $6 million signing bonus for Rocker amounts to couch-cushion change. We’re talking about a guy with a $14 billion fortune.
Regardless, the Mets ultimately didn’t like the results of Rocker’s post-draft physical, according to multiple sources, and chose to pull back the bonus. It was a generous offer to begin with — well over the slotted $4.7 million for that pick — and the two sides came to agreement within 24 hours of his selection.
Back then, it was considered a coup for the beaming Mets, as Rocker, a projected top three pick, somehow…