Unexpected Gift?

<b>Stephen Drew,</b> Baseball America's top-rated position player in the 2004 draft, has enrolled at Florida State and is scheduled to begin attending classes on Tuesday. What this means is FSU is on the verge of receiving an unexpected gift and the Arizona Diamondbacks are losing the rights to their first-round pick.

Many believed Stephen Drew would be well on his way in the professional ranks by now as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Now it appears Drew will return to Florida State for his senior season, giving an expected jolt to a program that features 29 underclassmen -- 23 of whom are either a freshman or sophomore.

Drew has officially enrolled at Florida State as of 1 p.m. today, according to Seminole officials. Drew's first class is next Tuesday, meaning he can still discuss a contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks up until he attends his first class next week.

"Stephen has registered for classes today and if there were classes on Friday he would be attending," FSU coach Mike Martin said in a statement.

"His first class is not until Tuesday. If he and the Diamondbacks do not come to an agreement, he will attend class on Tuesday."

FSU baseball officials are optimistic that Drew will attend classes next Tuesday -- ending any chance the Arizona Diamondbacks have of signing him.

Arizona drafted Drew with the 15th pick.

Martin told The Tallahassee Democrat earlier this week that "we're very close to having a totally different ballclub than we did yesterday. It would give us an opportunity to be a solid club."

The Padres were expected to take Drew with the No. 1 overall selection as late as three days before the draft, before they balked at his price tag.

According to Baseball America, Drew reportedly wanted a major league contract worth at least as much as Rickie Weeks got from the Brewers as 2003's second overall pick ($4.79 million) and possibly as much as Mark Teixeira received from the Rangers as 2001's fifth overall choice ($9.5 million).

The magazine reported the Diamondbacks are reluctant to exceed the commissioner's office's recomendation for Drew's bonus.

While Major League Baseball has raised its original guideline for the 15th slot—believed to be $1.65 million—the new figure is believed to be less than half of what Arizona was willing to guarantee earlier this summer. If the Diamondbacks give Drew more than MLB wishes, the fear is that they would draw the wrath of other owners.

Since the draft, the Diamondbacks have been in the process of changing management. Additonally, Drew is advised by agent Scott Boras, who also represents Teixeira and Drew's older brother J.D.

Many also believe a breakdown in negotiations is tied to the hiring of former agent Jeff Moorad to replace Jerry Colangelo as Arizona's CEO and the ensuing approval process.

It's questionable as to how much Moorad would be willing to authorize spending on a player tied to Boras.

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