On the evening of the MLB draft, I reported that Justus Sheffield had signed with the Cleveland Indians for a reported $1.6 million plus 4 years of Vanderbilt tuition to be held in an escrow account. It was reported by Jim Callis of MLB.com (formerly of Baseball America), and that guy's juuuuuuust a bit more in the loop than I am, so I trusted his reporting.
Soon after, Sheffield's father claimed his son had definitely not signed, which, while technically true, didn't mean an agreement hadn't been reached in principle - which it had, kind of. Apparently, the lone financial sticking point was the Indians wanted to pay for a University of Tennessee scholarship instead, but Sheffield's family replied, "No, he wants an education." Then they slowed down their cadence so the Indians front office could understand them. "Ed-u-ca-tion..."
In short, Sheffield basically agreed with the terms on draft day, but wanted some time to hem and haw about his decision, and make sure the 4 years of tuition were for an actual place of learning.
It's official now, though. He's heading to the Arizona Rookie League today.
We wish him good luck, as very few of us would have been able to turn that deal down if we were in his shoes, but we also hope his older brother, Jordan, is the better of the two.
We're not perfect.