Baseball Insider

Yankees sign first-round pick Clarkin, confessed Yankee hater

The Yankees have reached a deal with another of their trio of first-round picks, lefty prep pitcher Ian Clarkin, who -- like Eric Jagielo -- agreed to slot money.

The signing shows Clarkin, picked at No. 33 overall, really does not dislike the Yankees as he said he did on draft day.

The Yankees' other first-rounder, center fielder Aaron Judge from Fresno State, has been offered slot money by the team but hasn't accepted as yet.

Clarkin created something of a ruckus by declaring his dislike for baseball's most storied franchise -- right before he was picked by them. But he did it in a fun way, and later made clear he was joking. His fairly quick signing, for the $1,650,100 slot amount would indicate as much. He is on his way to Tampa on Monday for a physical.

What Clarkin said at the draft -- regarding the 2001 World Series, when Diamondback Luis Gonzalez beat the Yankees with a broken-bat hit -- was, "I was actually in tears, because I cannot stand the Yankees."

Clarkin, a 6-foot-2 southpaw from James Madison High in San Diego, had a commitment to go to the University of San Diego. He throws in the low 90s and has a big curveball. The Yankees made clear upon drafting him they like him very much, no matter what he says about Luis Gonzalez.

"Ian Clarkin has a combination of the things we were looking for," Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer said on the day of the draft. "He's a left-handed pitcher with plus velocity and has a plus curveball. On top of that, he's a tireless worker. We think we got something special with him."

Jagielo, the No. 26 pick overall, was Notre Dame's third baseman. He signed for $1,839,400, which was the slot for that pick.

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