CLEVELAND -- While 5 p.m. ET might be the normal close of business for some, members of the Indians' front office were prepared to remain active late into the evening Monday, as the clock kept ticking toward the midnight ET deadline to sign selections from the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. The Tribe's negotiations with the No. 15 overall selection Alex White remained at a standstill as of 5 p.m. The Indians were still hopeful that a deal could be worked out by the deadline. "It wouldn't do me any good to say [how the negotiations are progressing]," amateur scouting director Brad Grant said. "We have about eight hours left. One way or another, we'll know by then."
White, who turns 21 on Aug. 29, recently finished up a junior season at the University of North Carolina in which he went 8-4 with a 3.87 ERA in 16 starts. The Indians drafted him and announced intentions to move him into relief work, though they have since stated that they are open to the possibility of him being groomed as a starter. If White chooses not to sign, the Indians would receive an extra, compensatory first-round selection in next year's Draft. White was hardly the only first-round selection holding out in the league. As of 5 p.m., 12 of the 32 first-round picks remained unsigned, including 10 of the top 15. Though his agent, Keith Grunewald, has not responded to messages seeking comment, it's believed that White is seeking a signing bonus worth in excess of $2 million. It had been speculated that White might be the next to sign after another right-handed pitcher, Mike Leake, signed with the Reds on Saturday for a bonus believed to be worth $2.27 million. Leake was the eighth overall selection in the June Draft.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.