Yesterday, Mets outfielder Brad Marquez announced that he was leaving the Kingsport Mets to return to Texas Tech for his junior season of football.
— Bradley Marquez (@BradMarquez_4) July 29, 2013
This decision will cost Marquez $250,000.
The Mets drafted Marquez in the 16th round of the 2011 draft and worked out a two-sport deal where he was allowed to play football at Texas Tech in the fall and play baseball beginning in May after spring practice. Baseball America reported that Marquez’s signing bonus was $325,000. However, unlike most bonuses, which are paid nearly immediately, Marquez’s came in parts. He has already received a bonus of $100,000 from the Mets. However, his contract specified that if he chose baseball full-time by September 15, 2013, he would receive the other $250,000. This is the money he is forfeiting now.
Marquez’s agent, Kyle Dison thought that passing up the money displayed Marquez’s maturity, “To me, it shows his character on his part to turn down the money. He wants to finish what he starts [at Texas Tech]. His family is ok with it. I’m ok with it,” he said.
Marquez saw action in 12 games as a freshman for the Red Raiders in 2011, making 25 catches for 240 yards and a touchdown. He was limited to six games in 2012 when he tore his LCL ligament in his left leg and he was held out of contact during Spring Practice 2013. His role in the offense has evolved moving from running back to outside receiver and now to flanker this year where he is expected to start. He will be playing in a new offense under new Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury, who was hired in December of 2012.
Marquez, who will turn 21 in December, hit .250/.286/.345 in 27 games this year for Kingsport. After a slow start, he hit .306/.328/.371 in 19 games in July with four doubles, two walks and 17 strikeouts playing mostly leftfield.
“It’s a big decision,” Marquez told me earlier this month. “I just love playing both sports and love competing.”
Dison thinks that despite returning to football in the fall, there might well still be baseball in Marquez’s future. “Baseball is not ruled out,” he said emphatically. “Baseball is not over. This [playing both football and baseball] is what he wants to do. He is still happy to be a part of the Mets’ organization.”