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Number 2: Matt Harrington
The Rockies drafted him with the 7th overall pick in 2000. He and his agent, Tommy Tanzer, asked for a 25 percent raise of what the number 1 overall pick in 1999 (Josh Hamilton) signed for so the Rockies, like any team, said that they were crazy. The Rockies offered Harrington $4 million (Harrington and Tanzer asked for $4.95 million) and a guaranteed MLB callup by the end of the 2002 campaign.
They said no. Tanzer claimed that the Rockies agreed to the amount before the draft but they backed out of their verbal agreement. The Rockies denied the claim.
Harrington re-entered the draft in 2001. The Padres drafted him in the 2nd round and offered him $1.2 million. Harrington fired Tanzer midway through those negotiations and hired Scott Boras, who wanted double that. Harrington doesn’t sign again.
Harrington signs in independent ball and pitches horribly (9.47 ERA in 6 starts). He is still drafted in 2002 by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 13th round. He doesn’t sign again.
The Reds draft him in the 24th round in 2003. Still doesn’t sign.
The Yankees draft him in the 36th round in 2004. Doesn’t sign again.
If you’re counting at home, that’s five times he was drafted … and five times he didn’t sign. In the first two drafts alone, he turned down a combined $5.2 million and a guaranteed MLB appearance. As of 2009, he was working at Costco for $11.50 an hour in the tire department.
When you think of greed, think of Matt Harrington.
Number 1: Greg Reynolds
Greg Reynolds: the second overall draft pick in the 2006 draft. Evan Longoria, Andrew Miller, Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum, and Max Scherzer were just some of the picks after Reynolds. That’s part of what puts Reynolds at number one.
He pitched for the Rockies at the major league level in 2008 and 2011. He went 2-8 with an ERA of 8.13 in 14 games (13 starts). In 2011, he was 3-0 with a 6.19 ERA in 13 games (3 starts).
He later pitched for the Reds in 6 games (5 starts) in 2013 and he last pitched professionally for the Padres in 2016 in Triple-A.
Just imagine if the Rockies drafted Kershaw or Scherzer. The state of the Rockies, even in 2020, could be a whole lot different.