Major League Baseball ruled Tuesday that Barret Loux, a 21-year-old righthander out of Texas A&M, will become a free agent on Sept. 1 and be able to sign with any club he chooses.
The Diamondbacks selected Loux with the sixth overall pick in June’s amateur draft, then reached an agreement with him on a $2 million bonus, only to have the player fail his physical because of shoulder and elbow issues.
The NCAA likely would have ruled Loux ineligible to play for the Aggies next year because he used an agent to negotiate with Arizona, so his only option would have been an independent league, far from ideal. The Diamondbacks will get a compensation pick for their troubles. Now Loux gets to take claims from the highest bidder, a good scenario for the Yankees or Mets.
Loux’s physical revealed two major issues - a labrum tear and enough ligament damage to his elbow to forecast Tommy John surgery in the future.
The 6-4, 220-pounder was projected by some to be drafted by the Yankees.
The post-draft pitching injury is nothing new. In 1996, Texas chose R.A. Dickey with the 18th overall pick, only to find he wasn’t born with an ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow. They dropped their bonus offer from $810,000 to $75,000. Billy Traber lost $1.3 million in 2000 after Mets doctors questioned his elbow’s structural integrity
The kid is a long-term investment, but at the right price he could be a steal.