Moments before Ian Clarkin was chosen in the First-Year Player Draft, a video showed the southpaw confessing his dislike for the Yankees. But that didn't dissuade the Bombers from taking him with the 33rd overall pick, and it hasn't stopped the 18-year-old southpaw from closing in on signing with New York.
Clarkin, a left-handed pitcher from James Madison High School in San Diego, is close to signing a contract with the Yankees, according to a baseball source. The deal is pending a physical.
"It was more a joke toward my mom," Clarkin explained after the Draft. "It was taken out of context completely. I told my mom I would say that just to tease her a little bit. She grew up a complete diehard Yankees fan. I didn't mean anything by it, and I'm extremely excited to be a part of this wonderful organization."
Clarkin posted a 9-2 record with a 0.95 ERA his senior year and was committed to University of San Diego. But he said he would consider signing if the money were right. Slot value for where he was picked is $1,650,100.
"Ian Clarkin has a combination of the things we were looking for," said Yankees vice president of amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer. "He is 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."
On Wednesday, the Yankees came to an agreement with their first first-round pick, Notre Dame third baseman Eric Jagielo, who was selected 26th overall. He was to receive slot value with a signing bonus of a little more than $1,839,400. Outfielder Aaron Judge, their other first-round pick (32nd overall), has yet to sign.