Sources tell Davidoff that the club is concerned about Rocker's elbow based on the results of his recent physical. Davidoff also writes:
"Rocker's camp disagrees with those concerns, citing the pitcher's durability at Vanderbilt, leading to a stalemate as Sunday's 5 p.m. signing deadline approaches."
Rocker and the Mets had in place an agreement for a $6 million signing bonus, but that agreement was pending the outcome of a physical. The Mets now seem to be concerned about the physical or at least leveraging the appearance of concerns about the physical in order to lower the price. Rocker's camp, understandably, is not inclined to see things that way.
Rocker, like most coveted college draft prospects, is coming out of his junior year, so he does have the option of returning to Vanderbilt for his senior season. That gives him some leverage, as does the potential for "name, image, and likeness" income back at Vandy. The Mets, meantime, risk losing out on a high-ceiling arm that, prior to some inconsistent velocity readings during the 2021 season, was in the mix for top overall pick.
Giving the Mets some bargaining power is that they would be entitled to a similarly high pick next year if they are unable to sign Rocker. Very likely, though, they won't get a player of Rocker's caliber. As well, it's possible that compensatory measure doesn't make it into the next collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The current CBA expires well before the 2022 draft.
As Davidoff notes above, the Mets and Rocker have until 5 p.m. ET on Aug. 1 to come to terms.