Eighteen-year-olds don’t usually turn down $2 million job offers.
That’s exactly what Gunnar Hoglund, an elite pitcher from just north of Tampa, Fla., did last Friday. As the 5 p.m. deadline for MLB teams to sign their draft picks came and went, the righty wasn’t inking a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who took him in the first round* last month. He was attending summer school at Ole Miss.
*Technically he was drafted in what the MLB calls a “competitive balance” round between the first and second rounds.
Few people thought Hoglund would honor his commitment to the Rebels after he came off the board as the No. 36 overall pick, which carries a draft slot value of $1,967,900. The day after being drafted, Hoglund himself said that he’d already reached a verbal contract agreement with the Pirates.
That contract never got signed.


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