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2013 draft

Nick Buckner’s Bonus Announced — Draft Bonus Pool Updates

Jim Callis has the signing bonus for 14th round pick Nick Buckner, and the amount is surprising.

The Pirates signed Buckner and 16th round pick Billy Roth last week, both to over-slot deals. Both players were expected to be difficult to sign, although Roth only took $190,000 and Buckner is now at $135,000. Players after the 10th round can get $100,000 before they start to count against the bonus pool. For bonus pool purposes, the Pirates only spent $125,000 in pool money to get both of these over-slot players.

A look at the Draft Pick Signing Tracker shows that the Pirates now have $107,800 left for over-slot deals with no penalties. They currently have two top ten round picks to sign — 6th round pick Adam Frazier and 7th round pick Buddy Borden. The Pirates have a combined $528,800 to sign both players. Slot for Frazier is $240,600, while slot for Borden is $180,400.

Frazier just ended his season with Mississippi State, and the talks with him are expected to go smoothly.

Borden talked with the Pirates after the draft, but is holding out for an above-slot deal. If the Pirates don’t sign Borden, they lose his $180,400 from the bonus pool.

There are other potential over-slot players the Pirates could turn to with their remaining money. One of the more intriguing options, 24th round right-hander Carson Cross, doesn’t look to be signing this year, according to Jessica Quiroli.

Other options could be 11th round pick Erich Weiss, a third baseman who has been playing in the Cape Cod league this summer. Bryan Baker, a 40th round right-handed pitcher, is a good option, as are the other late round prep pitchers. At this point the Pirates could offer a little over $200,000 to a guy after the 10th round, and that’s assuming they don’t go over-slot for Borden. That $200,000 figure is about 6th-7th round money.

The Pirates could spend an additional $435,345 by going over their bonus pool. They would be taxed 75% of that amount, but wouldn’t lose any draft picks if they only spent to that amount. That could allow them to add a few more players, but even if they gave all of that to one player you’re looking at third round money. If they went that route, it would make more sense if the money was going to multiple players, similar to Buckner and Roth.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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