First Pitch: Players Are Signing Quickly

The MLB draft ended today, and we’ve already heard word of four first round picks who will be signing. The Astros have agreed with Carlos Correa, the Blue Jays with Matt Smoral, the Braves with Lucas Sims, and the Brewers with Victor Roache. That’s a huge change from the old system, where most first round picks would wait until late July to sign.

It’s not just the first rounders though. Baseball America looked at a few college seniors who were taken in the top ten rounds. Toronto’s fourth round pick, Tucker Donahue, received less than $10,000. Kyle Barraclough, the Cardinals’ seventh round pick, is hoping to crack five figures.

As I pointed out yesterday, the players don’t have much leverage in this system, especially college seniors in the middle round.

For the Pirates, if we assume all of their seniors sign for $10,000 (which based on the above article, sounds like it would be high), then they’ll have an extra $372 K to spend. Add sixth round pick Eric Wood to that group, and the number goes up to just under $551 K. That, plus the $100,000 for picks after round ten, could be enough to land 14th round pick Walker Buehler. And if you find an extra $400-500 K from rounds 1a-5, you might be able to throw a bit extra to Mark Appel to keep him happy and make sure that he signs.

I’ve already heard a lot of talk that the Pirates are aggressively negotiating with players. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a huge list of signings right off the bat. And so we begin my favorite time of the year.

Links and Notes

**The Draft Street Freeroll has returned! You can win money just by playing a one night fantasy baseball league. There’s a $150 prize pool, and it’s FREE to join. Click here for the information.

**Draft Day Three Recap: Prep Players, Pittsburgh Kids, and Tommy John surgery.

**For all of the draft coverage, check out the 2012 Draft archives.

**Bookmark the Draft Pick Signing Tracker to keep up with all of the player moves. Also includes links to all of the player pages.

**The Pirates lost 5-4 to the Reds. Kristy Robinson’s notebook looks at Brad Lincoln’s role with the team after he struggled in his spot start.

**Prospect Watch: Tim Alderson struggles, Nick Kingham has a decent start.


  • Hey Tim, wasn’t sure if you heard but Sandfort was on the Fan yesterday talking to Siebel, Starkey, and Miller. He said he is going to be down in Bradenton Monday or Tuesday so it looks like he is a done deal.

  • I guess the new system has really turned this into a system that favors management over players. Getting players signed quickly is a big plus. A 4th round pick signing for only $10,000 shows slotting system is a joke, IMO, it would be better if the slots had a minimum and maximum.

  • How can guys afford to sign for under 10K? Once they get in the system, aren’t minor league salaries really low? I know the economy isn’t that good, but it almost seems like a lot of them would pass on baseball given the low bonuses and long shot chance of making it.

    • Kevin_Creagh
      June 7, 2012 7:33 am

      As college seniors, they have no leverage. Either sign now or start their “working life”. Even if in their hearts of hearts they know they won’t make the majors, they are playing baseball.
      For a lot of these guys it is the love of the game and the hope that they can stay involved in baseball after their days as an “org soldier” — scouting, coaching, etc.

      • the only leverage they have that I can see in top 10 rounds is if they don’t sign the team picking them doesn’t get to use the money for other players. Probably not enough of an incentive to cause these players to hold out.