Reds nearing deal with top draftee

Reds nearing deal with top draftee

CINCINNATI -- Talks have been ongoing with Reds first-round Draft pick Mike Leake but appear to be nearing the home stretch.

Leake, a pitcher, was the eighth overall selection by Cincinnati in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

"We've had several discussions lately," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "I think we're getting closer. Hopefully, we'll get something resolved this week. We've only got 10 days."

Last year, the Reds didn't sign their top pick, first baseman Yonder Alonso, until about 15 minutes before the deadline.

"I hope it doesn't take that long," Jocketty said.

If Leake is signed this week, he would get almost a month of exposure in the Minor Leagues, most likely with Class A Sarasota.

Any unsigned player after the deadline will automatically go back into the Draft pool, which means the Reds would receive a compensatory pick the following year in the same slot where Leake was picked.

Leake, a right-handed starter from Arizona State, was 16-1 with a 1.71 ERA, 24 walks and 162 strikeouts in 19 games this season. A key member of the Sun Devils' run in the College World Series, he pitched 142 innings.

The deadline to sign Draft picks is 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 18.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.