Wahl to A’s in 5th; Bjork talks Bianco

Update 2:56 p.m.

Since last we spoke the Oakland Athletics selected Bobby Wahl in the fifth round with the No. 161 pick overall.

According to Baseball America, the No. 161 pick is valued at $286,200. The last pick in the first round belonged to the Yankees and was valued at $1,650,100, a difference of more than $1.36 million.

That’s the type of money Wahl could make next year if he returns to school and plays his way into a first-round selection in 2014.

I hope to speak to Wahl shortly, but no one should expect a definitive statement on his future right now.

Also …

I spoke a few minutes ago with Ross Bjork about the Mike Bianco contract extension. Bjork said he didn’t mandate that Bianco host a regional next year. He says he doesn’t like mandates. But he was very clear about the importance of hosting regionals at Swayze Field and about the expectations for the baseball program.

“I don’t believe in mandating those things, but when they are in the room making decisions on who will host, we have to be in that conversation. We were very close. I know for a fact we were in that conversation until the last couple of weeks. We talked about putting ourselves in the best possible position where there are no excuses,” Bjork said.

He spoke also of the investment by the university into the baseball program. More in tomorrow’s Daily Journal.

It’s been a busy Friday for Ole Miss baseball.

Somewhere between the end of Vacation Bible School, lunch and home, Stuart Turner and Mike Mayers were drafted, but Rebels ace Bobby Wahl remains on the board.

Meanwhile, the school has announced that one year has been added to coach Mike Bianco’s contract. Financial terms remain the same. Athletics director Ross Bjork and Bianco met Thursday in their standard end-of-season get-together.

Under state law, Bjork could have advanced Bianco’s contract up to four years. Bianco makes more than $600,000 annually through salary and other funding sources.

However, there has been visible discontent among a segment of fans through social media for a program that hasn’t hosted a regional or reached a super regional since 2009.

Ole Miss has reached the NCAA tournament 11 times in Bianco’s 13 seasons, missing only in 2002 and 2011.

“The last couple of years have been tougher than usual, and we haven’t lived up to those high expectations. By being ultra-competitive, we still have a platform of a program that can excel at the highest level, even though we haven’t recently matched the expectations. Our program is on solid ground as evidenced by the many accomplishments of Coach Bianco and the program he has created,” Bjork told OleMissSports.com, the school’s in-house web stie.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

Posted in Baseball
  • JB

    Its looks as Bjork has put Bianco on notice “he was very clear about the importance of hosting regionals at Swayze Field and about the expectations for the baseball program” host a regional at home or your services is no longer needed. I still believe Bianco blew that regional at NC State when he failed to start Wahl in the first game and thereby getting into that losers bracket, of which was the death sentence for his Rebel team.

    Could it be that Wahl will be around for another season at Ole Miss, picked at 161 lots of younger inexperienced pitchers were a head of him in the draft, is Bobby’s arm sound or some other problem that he stayed on the board so long before being selected.Guess Stuart Turner’s duty at Ole Miss is over. Who will be the Rebel catcher next season, Will Allen or who?? Anderson, Mathias, Mistone and some of the others probably gone. Oh well the sky is not falling!!!

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