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Dykstra unsigned as deadline looms

Dykstra unsigned as deadline looms

SAN DIEGO -- To a man, the Padres never figured it would take so long to get their first-round pick from June's First-Year Player Draft, first baseman Allan Dykstra, signed and into their farm system.

But there's been nothing easy about negotiations with Dykstra, the former Wake Forest standout, since a team examination in June raised questions about a hip surgery Dykstra had during his days at nearby Rancho Bernardo High School.

That has left the Padres and Dykstra's representation, agent Scott Boras, trying to get a deal done before Friday's 9 p.m. PT deadline. If Dykstra doesn't come to terms with the Padres, the team will receive a compensatory pick (No. 24 overall) in next year's Draft.

"We think Dykstra will probably come down to the last day," San Diego general manager Kevin Towers said. "This one had a couple of hurdles ... some curveballs that we weren't expecting. So that's why it's taken a little more time."

In June, it appeared as if the Padres and Dykstra were close to a deal. There was even a report that indicated that the two sides had agreed upon a $1.4 million signing bonus -- pending a routine physical.

But that physical was anything but routine. The examination revealed some issues with Dykstra's hip, the same one that he had surgery on in high school. He's developed avascular necrosis, a degenerative hip condition.

"There may be some risks involved, so we're deciding how much risk we want to take on," Towers said.

Dykstra, the 23rd overall pick, got a second opinion after the initial physical by the team. He had it done by Dr. Lewis Yocum, who is the team doctor for the Angels. Yocum cleared Dykstra to play.

Dykstra hit .323 with 16 home runs and 50 RBIs for the Demon Deacons, who went 25-31 and didn't qualify for the postseason.

"This is a guy who has PETCO power," said Grady Fuson, the Padres' vice president of scouting and player development in June. "... We've got a monster here on our hands, I hope."

While the talks between Dykstra and the Padres have been slow, San Diego is making headway elsewhere regarding Draft picks as third baseman James Darnell out of the University of South Carolina, a second-rounder, has reportedly come to terms on a deal and was in San Diego getting a physical on Wednesday.

Also Wednesday, the Padres agreed to terms with seventh-round Draft pick Adam Zornes, a catcher from Rice University.

As of Wednesday, the Padres had signed 35 of their top 46 Draft picks. It doesn't appear likely that Arizona State center fielder Jason Kipnis, a Draft-eligible sophomore, is going to sign with the Padres. Kipnis was a fourth-round pick.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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