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Signings Thread #4

Since more and more are trickling in. The most recent are at the top, so check in continuously:

Kevin James, LHP, Whitefish Bay HS (WI), Tampa Bay Rays’ 9th Rounder
Jim Callis is reporting that the Rays and James have agreed to a $625,000 bonus, the largest for a ninth rounder this year. I was high on the James pick as the draft neared, as he became one of the most intriguing late-season risers in the entire country. Cold-weather players are notoriously under-scouted, and the Rays got a serious bargain in getting James as low down as they did. He’s a big kid, has good stuff, and his arm is also quite fresh. That’s a great combination, though the Rays did have to pay a fair amount to get him signed. This is second round money, and it’s roughly even to the slot number assigned to Detroit’s Andy Oliver, the ninth pick of the second round. I wouldn’t say that James is necessarily a second-rounder, as he does lack the polish that most prep second rounders have, but he’s got the talent and projectability, and I like this signing quite  a bit. This was expected to happen this weekend, so there’s no surprises here. What’s surprising is that there’s a report that came out last night that LeVon Washington’s signing is now in doubt. Marc Lancaster says that the issue with Washington is that they haven’t allowed enough time to do a full physical on Washington, who is coming off the notorious shoulder injury that moved him to second base. My answer to that is simple: START IT NOW! Teams know that their picks will be going down to the wire, so most bring in those picks for a preemptive physical, getting that formality out of the way before terms are agreed upon. Maybe it’s Boras that’s getting in the way of this, but if this is muffed, along with the possible screwup of not signing second rounder Kenny Diekroeger, the Rays’ draft starts to sink greatly in my eyes. They need to get this done.

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Garrett Gould, RHP, Maize HS (KS), Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2nd Rounder
Jim Callis is finally reporting that Gould’s deal is finalized, and his bonus is $900,000. This now represents the highest second round bonus to date, and it’s also the Dodgers’ highest bonus given out this year. The Dodgers won’t be giving anyone else a $900K bonus, so I think Gould keeps this distinction. The Dodgers now have a few days to possibly take a run at guys like Connor Powers (11th), Daniel Palo (20th), and maybe their run in the 24th to 27th rounds of solid prospects. They’ve spent somewhere around $4 million by my own calculations, and that’s right around where they’ve spent the last couple of years. They spent $4.4 million a year ago, so maybe there’s some leeway to get another prospect or possibly two signed up, though I wouldn’t necessarily count on it. Their draft was solid, though not spectacular, and Gould represents their best player from this class. I’m glad he ended up getting the highest signing bonus, and that bonus is roughly equal to slot for the 35th overall pick, the third in the supplemental first round this year. It’s just barely more than the Dodgers’ first pick, Aaron Miller, who got slot money for his slot at the 36th overall pick, so I’m guessing that this amount was by design, and not just a random amount for Gould and the Dodgers. Gould wanted to get paid like he was the Dodgers’ top draft pick, and the Dodgers didn’t want to spend any more than the slot right above Miller’s, so this all makes sense to me. The Dodgers are quite possibly done, and definitely don’t expect any major signings from them.

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Luke Bailey, C, Troup County HS (GA), Tampa Bay Rays’ 4th Rounder
Jim Callis is reporting that the Rays and Bailey have agreed to a $750,000 deal on the Friday before the signing deadline on Monday. I’m a little surprised the bonus is that small, as Bailey was a surefire first rounder before he went down with an elbow injury that ended up causing him to have Tommy John surgery. It’s not an insignificant amount, but it’s just not the first round money I was expecting Bailey to hold out for. After all, he had a good commitment to Auburn, and he’s expected to at least be able to hit at the beginning of the year, if not catch a few times a week. However, the Rays did pay him what he was apparently looking for, and he’ll be in uniform next spring, as he shouldn’t be able to throw with any sort of velocity for fall instructs. Looking at how this affects the rest of the Rays’ draft, I’m not sure it will have any sort of trickle down effect, other than allowing Rays’ management to concentrate more time on their unsigned picks. First rounder LeVon Washington, third rounder Todd Glaesmann, fifth rounder Jeff Malm, and ninth rounder Kevin James are all expected to sign soon, so the remaining dominos are second round shortstop Kenny Diekroeger from California and possibly Dylan Floro, though I think a deal there is unlikely. Diekroeger’s supposedly a very tough sign, and I’m not sure they’ll have the kind of money he’s asking for if they sign all the guys that are supposedly close to a deal now. Perhaps they take that little surplus they’ll have if they don’t sign Diekroeger and throw it at Derek Dennis, their tenth rounder who supposedly will not sign and will be headed to school. Or perhaps Floro is the recipient of it. Either way, the Rays’ draft has probably been completed successfully in terms of signing their most important players, those supposedly pretty much done. I didn’t like the Diekroeger pick much to begin with, so if it turns into a signing of Dennis or Floro, it might actually be a win, as they would get a pick in a similar spot next year. With Bailey’s signing official, this is step one in the Rays’ slow-moving plan.

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Bobby Borchering, 3B, Bishop Verot HS (FL), Arizona Diamondbacks’ 1st Rounder
Jim Callis reports that Borchering has signed with the Diamondbacks for $1.8 million. That’s close to $300,000 over slot for the 16th overall pick, making it roughly even to the assigned slot for the 11th overall pick. It represents more than last year’s slot, too, so it appears Borchering was holding out for a specific amount, not just last year’s slot. I have to admit I’ve become a pretty big Borchering fan, as I continually heard reports of how much he was improving as the year went along. After first thinking he might have to move positions, I now think Borchering has what it takes to stick at third base full-time, and his fellow Arizona draftee Matt Davidson will be the first baseman of the pair. Borchering’s bat is quite good, but it’s not on the level of recent top prep third base prospects in the draft, such as Mike Moustakas. However, he’s got roughly the same potential, and I’d bet on Borchering being successful in the pros. He’s part of a very successful draft for the Diamondbacks, as they’ve signed all but one of their picks in the first 24 rounds. That one last unsigned pick, third baseman Matt Helm from a high school in Arizona, is actually close to signing this weekend according to some reports, though he has to work out for the Diamondbacks before anything is official. Anyway, I love this draft, as anyone with so many picks should make out like a bandit. Borchering, AJ Pollock, Matt Davidson, Chris Owings, and Marc Krauss all got consideration at one time or another for the first round, and Arizona didn’t even have to break the bank for them. I’m really going to enjoy doing their draft review.

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David Renfroe, SS, South Panola HS (MS), Boston Red Sox 3rd Rounder
Jim Callis is reporting that Renfroe’s deal is finally done, and the bonus is $1.4 million. The catch is that it’s going to be spread over five years, as Renfroe’s a two-sport star including baseball and football. As a result, MLB is calculating the present value to be less than Boston’s first round pick Reymond Fuentes, who received $1.134 million. This ends a very successful run of over slot signings over the last week plus, as I don’t fully expect anyone else to sign in their class. Sixth rounder Branden Kline is supposedly heading back to school, and Kendal Volz hasn’t really shown enough to deserve the bonus he’s likely asking for. Therefore, I think it’s quite possible the Red Sox are done signing picks altogether. Their recent haul of Renfroe, Younginer, Brandon Jacobs, and Jason Thompson help round out their class.

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Chad Bell, LHP, Walters State CC (TN), Texas Rangers’ 14th Rounder
Jim Callis reported earlier this evening that Bell signed for a bonus of $450,000. Bell was a fairly highly-regarded JUCO pitcher at Walters, but he really kicked it up a notch pitching on the Cape this summer. His summer effort was highlighted by the only no-hitter in the entire league for the season. This probably wraps up the signings for the Rangers for today, though they might work for Jabari Blash (9th) and Thomas Lemke (10th) over the weekend, in addition to unsigned first rounder Matt Purke. I’m starting to like this philosophy of the Rangers’ in terms of putting together a huge group of pitchers in tiers, but I still am not a fan of their draft overall. Their first two picks went amazingly well, as they were able to get two consensus first round talents. However, starting with Tommy Mendonca, their draft really went downhill for me, and I don’t think I’m a big fan of a single one of their hitters. Mendonca strikes out way too much and doesn’t walk enough, but the rest of the hitters are either extremely raw or extremely old. They don’t have enough hitting depth in their system to put together drafts like this. However, their pitching group is probably one of the best in any draft, so I’ll give this a pass for now.

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August 15, 2009 - Posted by | Draft Pick Signings | , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Rangers continue with pitching theme. No idea on the money but Paul Strong signed. http://www.dailypilot.com/articles/2009/08/14/sports/uci/dpt-spbriefs081509.txt

    They can always trade an arm later for a bat. I just hope this was Blash’s money and not Purke’s.

    Comment by Hull Fan | August 15, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] Signings Thread #4 ” Andy Seiler’s MLB Draft Blog […]

    Pingback by Saturday Royals Links- Royals Sign Wil Myers | August 15, 2009 | Reply

  3. Angels sign Jake Locker . . .

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/huskies/2009669878_uwfb16.html

    Comment by j cruz | August 16, 2009 | Reply

  4. […] of the picks (Malm is expected to receive at least the 625.000 $ Kevin James got). Check out what Andy Seiler wrote about Luke Bailey and Kevin James. This leaves 1st round pick LeVon Washington, 2nd round […]

    Pingback by The Draft Board! Four Top Draftees Sign! | August 16, 2009 | Reply


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