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Friday’s MLB Draft Deadline

As Zak Kurtz pointed out earlier today, tomorrow is the signing deadline for those players selected by MLB organizations in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.  Besides Pedro Alvarez, many early selections remain unsigned with the deadline looming over their heads.  Some will be content to forego signing with an MLB club and will attend a Junior College or Four-Year University, instead (most likely leaving said school before graduating).  Others will succumb to the offers submitted by MLB GMs.  A few will have the GMs back down and give in to the figures that the players’ advisors are whispering in their ears.

Number-one overall pick, Tim Beckham, received a $6.15 million signing bonus.  Word is that Beckham’s bonus will be trumped by Buster Posey, who may get a whopping $7.5 million.  Posey was the fifth player taken in the draft (by the San Francisco Giants).  The aforementioned Pedro Alvarez (Boras), Eric Hosmer (Boras), and Brian Matusz were all taken earlier than Posey and remain unsigned at the moment.  After Posey, there are six players who will probably not be signed until the final minutes before the deadline (if signed at all).  They are Yonder Alonso, Aaron Crow, Justin Smoak, Josh Fields (Boras), Allan Dykstra (Boras), and Gerrit Cole (Boras).  I do not know what is more remarkable: the fact that Boras has five players in the first round or that five of the ten players still holding out in the first-round are Boras clients.

Out of all of the first-round players yet to sign, only one seems to be for a reason other than the belief that he feels he deserves higher than slot figures.  Allan Dykstra has medical issues, which has delayed progress between the Padres and Boras Corp in signing the former Wake Forest first baseman.

As of writing this post, here are the bonus babies (highest signing bonuses) in the first ten rounds:

  • 1st round (pick 1) – Tim Beckham – $6.15 million (Rays)
  • Supplemental 1st (pick 1) – Shooter Hunt – $1.08 million (Twins)
  • 2nd round (pick 9) – Destin Hood – $1.1 million (Nationals)
  • 3rd round TIE (pick 5) – Roger Kieschnick – $525k (Giants) and (pick 10) – Danny Espinosa (Nationals)
  • Supplemental 3rd (pick 1) – Ross Seaton – $700k (Astros)
  • 4th round TIE (pick 1) – Ty Morrison – $500k (Rays) and (pick 19) – Matt Cerda (Cubs)
  • 5th round (pick 9) – Adrian Nieto – $376k (Nationals)
  • 6th round (pick 28) – Brett Marshall – $800k (Yankees)
  • 7th round (pick 29) – Tim Fedroff – $725k (Indians)
  • 8th round (pick 4) – Bobby Bundy – $600k (Orioles)
  • 9th round (pick 15) – Steven Caseres – $250k (Dodgers)
  • 10th round (pick 12) – Rashun Dixon – $600k (Athletics)

For a team with a small payroll, the Nationals seem to be spending quite a bit of money on their early draft picks.  Other notes:

  • Out of 16 Supplemental 1st round picks, only one remains unsigned: Jeremy Bleich (Yankees)
  • Only one player in the entire 3rd round has yet to sign: Chase Davidson (Astros)
  • Every single player selected in the 8th round has signed a deal with the club that drafted him.
  • The 10th round sticks out, containing ten players that have not yet signed.

For a great breakdown of the reasoning behind why certain players remain unsigned, check out this article published by BaseballAmerica.  Friday shall be an interesting day, indeed.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

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