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08/14/08 6:33 PM ET

Rangers close to inking Draftee Ross

Southpaw should sign soon; first-rounder Smoak negotiating

BOSTON -- The Rangers are close to signing Robbie Ross, a left-handed high school pitcher from Kentucky who was their second-round pick in the June First-Year Player Draft.

The deal is expected to be completed before the 11 p.m. CT Friday deadline. Ross was 5-2 with a 1.51 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 51 innings pitched this year at Lexington Christian Academy and had committed to the University of Kentucky.

The Rangers are not yet close on a deal with first-round pick Justin Smoak, but both sides continue their discussions. Smoak and Ross are both represented by the same agent, Dustin Bledsoe.

"We haven't reached an impasse but we haven't made demonstrative headway either," Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said.

If Smoak doesn't reach an agreement with the Rangers by 11 p.m., he could either go back to the University of South Carolina for his senior season, or he could sign with an independent team.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.