CLEMSON – Kyle Parker will travel to Denver this weekend and begin laying the groundwork for baseball contract negotiations, talks having ramifications for Clemson football.
Colorado selected Parker with the 26th overall pick in baseball’s draft earlier this month, but talks were placed on hold until Clemson’s baseball season ended.Parker’s father, Carl, told the Post and Courier on Tuesday negotiations will likely not become serious until the Parker Camp returns from the trip.
“Before you propose I guess you better go out on a date,” Carl said. “This is one of those processes. The NCAA allows you to take a trip, you have 48 hours. I think everyone wants to feel each other out.”
Carl Parker offered no timetable for a football-related decision.
The Parkers were hoping to quickly come to an agreement with the Rockies, but contract talks were pushed back due to Clemson’s extended postseason.The family has two asking prices: one to buy Parker out of football, another allowing Parker the option to play both.
Kyle Parker said in Omaha he planned on taking “a month” of vacation after the season before making a football-related decision.
“He played golf yesterday with his brothers,” Carl Parker said. “He’s out by the pool today. I want him to drop his shoulders and do what every other kid does for awhile.”
The Rockies, which host San Francisco this weekend, have had recent success in developing home-grown players like Troy Tulowitzki, Ubaldo Jimenez and Dexter Fowler. Fowler works with Parker’s private hitting instructor C.J. Stewart.
Parker is also interested in meeting two other Rockies players: Todd Helton and Seth Smith.
Helton backed up Peyton Manning as a quarterback at Tennessee, and Smith backed up another Manning, Eli, at Ole Miss.
“KP can kind of sit down and compare things with them,” Carl said.
The situations are not exactly comparable as Helton and Smith were road-blocked on the football field by Mannings and Parker was a freshman All-American quarterback.
The Rockies drafted and signed another ACC quarterback in N.C. State’s Russell Wilson this month, who will be allowed to continue playing football.
However, Carl Parker said that situation will not necessarily parallel his son’s in part because Parker is a more proven baseball player than Wilson, who was drafted in the fourth round.
Whether Parker follows Helton and Smith on baseball-exclusive paths remains to be seen, but it seems likely as Kyle Parker told Denver-area reporters two weeks ago ideally he would focus on baseball.