Oregon St.'s ace Sam Gaviglio signed with the St. Louis Cardinal Organization, and set off for Batavia, New York, this week. Gaviglio, who was selected 170 th. overall in the fifth round of this year's Major League Baseball draft, secured a $175,000 signing bonus, plus a scholarship plan to eventually complete his degree in forestry studies, in addition to the standard rookie contract.
"I just figured it was time to go out and play," Gaviglio told the Medford Mail-Tribune Tuesday afternoon from his parents' Ashland home. "Negotiations weren't really going anywhere, so I took what I could get. Now I just want to go play baseball."
The former Beaver Friday night starter, who went 12-3 with a 2.54 ERA while earning first team All-Pac-10 and second team All-American honors in his junior season, will first play with the Batavia Muckdogs of the short season class A New York-Penn league, foregoing his senior campaign.
Gaviglio chose to not push the August 15 deadline for drafted players to sign with a team.
"I love the program, it's great up there in Corvallis, and I had a good time with the team last year," Gaviglio, 21 tole the Mail-Tribune. "Obviously I could've gone back to school for another year, but I've got a scholarship plan worked out for that, and I feel like I'm just ready to play."
"I just didn't want to be holding onto a deadline," Gaviglio said. "I'm happy, and when it comes down to it, I just want to play. Money's one thing, but it's not the end of the world or anything like that."
Gaviglio, who has been working out, but hasn't thrown a pitch from a mound since the Super Regionals against Vanderbilt in June, is expected to see only limited action on the mound in Batavia (24-27) by the Batavia Daily News, since he’ll have to put in some time to get his arm back into form, and there are only three weeks left in New York-Penn League regular season.
"I’ve always been a starter," said Gaviglio. "But I think I’m pretty versatile. I'm going to go out and probably throw one or two innings at a time for a while, and then maybe toward the end of the season move in as a starter," Gaviglio said of the Cardinals' short-term plans for him.
Gaviglio became the fifth player from last year's Oregon St. team to sign a professional contract this summer.
(RVM also contributed to this story)