Green most likely drafted UT pitcher to be back

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS BRIEFING - By Alan Trubow atrubow@states­man.com; 4453959

Texas pitcher Cole Green was in his usual good mood Tues­day as he searched for a rental house with room­mates Tant Shep­herd, Bran­don Loy and Sam Stafford.

The ex­pe­di­tion doesn’t mean the ju­nior will be back with the Longhorns base­ball team for his se­nior sea­son. The house could be for the sum­mer or it could be home to Green for an­other school year.

But of the three Longhorns pitch­ers se­lected by a ma­jor league club in the first four rounds of June’s draft — starter Bran­don Work­man and closer Chance Ruf­fin were the other two — Green is the most likely to re­turn for his se­nior sea­son.

Green, who turned down an op­por­tu­nity to play for a USA Base­ball na­tional team this sum­mer, was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the fourth round. Work­man was picked by the Bos­ton Red Sox in the sec­ond round, and Ruf­fin was se­lected by the Tigers with the 48th over­all pick.

“It would be an honor to play for my coun­try, but I didn’t want to prom­ise them some­thing I couldn’t keep,” Green said.

“The truth is if Detroit comes up with the money I’m ask­ing for, I’m go­ing to sign. If they don’t, then I’m go­ing to come back to Texas.”

Ma­jor League Base­ball’s rookie con­tracts are all about sign­ing bonuses, and MLB rec­om­mends that a player drafted in Green’s spot re­ceive $206,000.

Sources said Green is ask­ing for more than twice that amount.

“It’s pretty sim­ple,” Green said. “I’ve talked it over with my par­ents and coaches and I feel that I’m ask­ing for a fair amount.”

While Ruf­fin and Work­man are likely gone, if Green re­turned to re­join Tay­lor Jung­mann in the Longhorns’ start­ing ro­ta­tion, the Longhorns would go into ev­ery three-game se­ries ex­pect­ing to win at least two games be­cause of their dom­i­nant pitch­ing.

“He’d make a huge, huge dif­fer­ence,” Texas coach Augie Garrido said a cou­ple of weeks ago. “Not only for his pitch­ing, but for his lead­er­ship.”

Green’s clos­est friend on the Longhorns is Shep­herd. The se­nior, who switched to first base be­fore his ju­nior sea­son, was drafted in the 47th round by Cincin­nati. There’s a good pos­si­bil­ity he will re­turn for one more sea­son.

Right fielder Kevin Keyes, a sev­enth-round pick of the Washington Na­tion­als, re­cently signed with the team, as did Rus­sell Mold­en­hauer and Con­nor Rowe.

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