SAN DIEGO – First-round draft pick Karsten Whitson declined to sign with San Diego by Monday night's deadline, leaving the Padres frustrated because they thought they'd have little trouble completing a deal with the right-hander.
"I'll be honest, we're really surprised," general manager Jed Hoyer said. "All the information we had indicated it would be a really quick signing. I expected this to be done in days. I don't know what changed, but something changed. That's what's frustrating to us."
The Padres are believed to have offered Whitson, the No. 9 pick overall from Chipley, Fla., around $2 million.
Hoyer said the team's offer was closer to the No. 8 pick than the No. 10 pick. The No. 8 pick, Delino DeShields Jr., signed with Houston for $2.15 million on Aug. 5.
Because they weren't able to sign Whitson, the Padres will receive the 11th overall pick as compensation in next year's amateur draft.
Hoyer said the Padres were surprised because in all the conversations the team had with Whitson's family, there wasn't an indication there was a disagreement over money.
"Where that changed along the way, I'm not sure," Hoyer said. "I'm not sure where he decided he would not take that amount, but he did. Up until the end we were confident he would sign. We offered him a fair deal for where he was taken in the first round. All the rest of the players in the top 10 lined up really appropriately. Karsten decided that he wouldn't sign for that. He wanted far more. That's where it fell apart."
Whitson was 7-3 with 123 strikeouts in 55 innings as a high school senior. He's signed a letter of intent with Florida.
The Padres did agree to terms with third-rounder Zach Cates and sixth-rounder John Barbato, both right-handers.
Cates received a bonus of $765,000, believed to be the biggest paid in the third round so far this year.
A converted catcher, Cates went 7-2 with a 2.54 ERA at Northeast Texas Community College.
Barbato had a 1.64 ERA, two complete games and 60 strikeouts with 15 walks in his senior season at Felix Varela Senior High in Miami.