Originally created 05/14/98

Phillies to pick first in amateur draft



NEW YORK -- The Philadelphia Phillies, still struggling to sign their top pick from last year, will have the No. 1 overall selection when this year's amateur draft starts June 2.

Philadelphia has until the end of May 25 to sign outfielder J.D. Drew, taken with the No. 2 pick overall last year. Drew has asked for $11 million, while the Phillies have offered about $2 million guaranteed with options that could make the deal worth approximately $6 million over four years.

Drew played in the independent Northern League last season, and the Major League Baseball Players Association has filed a grievance attempting to gain free agency for him. A decision by arbitrator Dana Eischen is expected Monday.

Philadelphia will be followed in the draft by Oakland, the Chicago Cubs, Kansas City, St. Louis, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Toronto and San Diego.

Because of free agent signings, four first-round picks changed hands. Houston gets No. 17 (from Colorado for Darryl Kile), San Francisco gets No. 19 (from Houston for Doug Henry), Colorado gets No. 28 (from Atlanta for Andres Galarraga) and Kansas City gets No. 30 (from Arizona for Jay Bell).

The order of selection is determined by reverse order of finish in 1997, with the AL and NL alternating picks.

This will be the first No. 1 overall pick for the Phillies since the June amateur draft began in 1965.