There's suddenly a 6-foot-9 hole in the Louisiana State University starting rotation.

Faced with what he called "a choice between two dreams come true," Emerson's David Palladino chose the Yankees, passing up a full scholarship to the Division I baseball power to begin a professional career with the team he grew up rooting for.

Palladino, a fifth-round selection (No. 164 overall) in last week's Major League Baseball draft, agreed to terms with the Yankees on Monday. He'll be given a physical exam today, and is expected to sign his first contract Wednesday.

Palladino declined to discuss the terms of the deal. The draft slot was valued at $278,100 for the Yankees, but they reportedly had the flexibility to go above that.

"It was a difficult situation," said Palladino, The Record 2011 high school Pitcher of the Year. "It was a difficult decision."

The choice got a little more complex four days before the draft when LSU, anticipating Palladino being drafted, increased its scholarship offer to a full ride. Palladino said LSU's decision caught him by surprise, and he said that the call to the Tigers' staff declining the scholarship was going to be one of the hardest things he's ever done.

"LSU is certainly one of the greatest programs ever," said Palladino, 20. "I wanted to play there, but I've always wanted to be a professional baseball player."

Palladino said his whole family was involved in the decision-making process, making a list of the pros and cons for each potential path as they discussed his options. That's the same thing the family did in 2011 when the Los Angeles Dodgers picked him out of Emerson High School in the 13th round.