Scattered Thoughts on the MLB Signing Deadline

  • Josh Bell signed a contract with the Pirates! I did not see that one coming. It was expensive to be sure, but it was absolutely worth it.
  • Speaking of 'worth,' I saw a lot of people questioning the bonus amounts that players received yesterday. We need to keep two things in mind:

    1. These players are getting significantly less than they would if they weren't forced to deal with only one team. All of these deals are in the owners' favor.

    2. A player's bonus is not driven solely by talent. Thanks to note 1, the teams have much more leverage than anyone admits; all they have to do is offer the player enough to forgo college. The strength of the commitment is what ultimately determines a player's pay day.
  • I really like the fact that Pirates got Gerrit Cole done without an MLB contract. His stuff is major league caliber, but the command needs significant of work. He could be a fast mover or he could be a candidate for the slow fastball command centric promotion schedule that the Pirates employ with their projectable RHPs. Keeping the promotion pressure that an MLB contract demands out of this situation is great.
  • Danny Hultzen got his pay day. I hope that dispels any idea that he was overdrafted. He is a legitimate 1.02 type of talent.
  • Dylan Bundy DID get an MLB contract. While that certainly isn't ideal, Bundy is advanced enough where this shouldn't be a problem.
  • Tim Corbin (Vanderbilt's Head Baseball Coach) seems to have performed some more New England magic. Despite being taken in the first round, Tyler Beede will honor his commitment. Vanderbilt already had the pitching depth to survive the blow of losing their entire weekend rotation to pro ball but having Beede in the mix will certainly make it easier.
  • Usually, failing to sign your first round pick would be a disaster. That is not true for the Blue Jays. If you're a fan, you have to come away from the deadline happy. Daniel Norris - the most talented player they drafted - signed for $2M less than he was asking. Comer, Matt Dean, and Christian Lopes getting paid made it a good day in Toronto. This is a top 5 class.
  • Speaking of top 5 classes, Washington managed to get the most important pieces of their class to sign. I'm not the biggest Matt Purke fan - he's an excellent athlete, however the stuff and command were way down this year and the delivery/arm action has never had many supporters - but landing him in the third round is nice. There were other high upside guys that didn't get done, but they were all taken in the "probably not going to sign" territory.
  • There were quite a few rumors about San Diego having difficulties with their top draft prospects. Brett Austin ended up on campus (NC State has to be happy about that), but they managed to get the other three: Joe Ross, Austin Hedges, and Michael Kelly. It's a very solid class.
  • Amir Garrett was a surprising sign. He got $1M from Cincinnati in a deal that allows him to play basketball at St. John's. A posteriori, this type of deal makes complete sense.
  • The University of Texas had their hearts ripped out yesterday. I'm sure they were figuring at least one of their big offensive recruits - all of whom were considered heavily committed - would make it on campus. Bell, Swihart, and Dean will all forgo Austin; Texas's pitching staff will once again have to carry that team. Sam Stafford will return for his Senior season.
  • Kevin Cron will honor his commitment to TCU. He shouldn't have any problems mashing there. Jason Coats will also be back to help out offensively. Despite losing Purke and Winkler, TCU shouldn't have any issues dominating the Big East.
  • Finally, this system isn't what I would describe as "good," but it sure as hell beats hard slotting. Hopefully the changes in the CBA are limited to free agent compensation and the deadline date.
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