Ramirez waiting to sign with Rangers

Right-handed pitcher Neil Ramirez, the 44th overall pick in this June's MLB Draft, remains unsigned nearly one month before the August 15 signing deadline. Lone Star Dugout spoke with Ramirez about his negotiations with the Rangers.

As the August 15 signing deadline for all players taken in the 2007 MLB Draft is nearly one month away, the Texas Rangers have signed just one of their top five picks.

One of the unsigned players is Virginia high school pitcher Neil Ramirez, the 44th overall pick in the draft.

The right-hander says he and Rangers aren't particularly deep into the negotiation process at this time.

"Not too much has happened so far," said Ramirez. "We're both eager to get something done, but we haven't really talked about money. We aren't at that stage yet. That is about as far as we've gotten so far."

Though the two sides have not begun to talk about the money aspect, Ramirez did travel up to Boston to meet with Rangers brass when the club was in town to play the Red Sox two weeks ago.

"The Rangers were playing in Boston and I got to go up there," said Ramirez. "I got to meet the owner and Mr. Daniels, the general manager. I talked to Kevin Millwood for a good amount of time. We talked about how his process went when he was drafted. It was a pretty neat experience."

Despite the delay, Rangers fans should have little to worry about when it comes to signing Ramirez. Each of the top 44 picks in the 2006 draft eventually signed with their respective club.

While the Virginia native is expecting to sign with the Rangers, he isn't exactly sure when it will happen.

"There's a really good chance that I will be signing," explained Ramirez. "I think it'll be before [the August 15] deadline. It might be a couple of weeks before, but I don't think it will be all the way to that point."

While many unsigned draft picks are currently playing in various summer leagues, Ramirez is working out on his own, at the advice of the Rangers organization.

"I'm just working out," he said. "I've been throwing in the bullpen, staying in shape, and that type of thing. I spoke to the Rangers and my advisor and they said they want me to lay off until I get signed."

If the Rangers are able to sign the former High School All-American, he expects to report to the organization's Rookie League club in Arizona.

"They told me I would start off in Arizona," said Ramirez. "I know that's where their spring training complex is. I know that's where one of their signees, Michael Main, started off. They have him on a throwing program and they said I would be doing the same thing he's doing."

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