A source familiar with the terms of Rick Porcello’s yet-to-be-finalized contract with the Tigers says the four-year big league deal is worth $7 million, matching the highest guarantee ever given to a high school draftee. The Tigers also are close to completing two other deals well in excess of MLB’s bonus recommendations.
Porcello’s contract matches the $7 million that Josh Beckett got from the Marlins as the second overall pick in the 1999 draft. Porcello’s bonus will be $3.5 million, second in Detroit franchise history to the $3.55 million Andrew Miller received as part of a major league contract in 2006. Beckett’s bonus was $3.625 million.
In addition to Porcello, the Tigers are close to wrapping up fifth-rounder Casey Crosby for $748,500 and sixth-rounder Cale Iorg for $1.4975 million. Crosby went 181st overall, and his slot recommendation was $126,000. MLB recommends that players taken in the sixth round or later not exceed the slot for the last choice (No. 184) in the fifth round, which was $123,300.
Iorg’s bonus is a record for a sixth-round pick, surpassing the $825,000 Quan Cosby received from the Angels in 2001.
Crosby, a lefthander, was the best of a deep crop of Illinois high school pitchers this spring. He’s a 6-foot-5, 200-pounder with a low-90s fastball. A star wide receiverÂ whoÂ hadÂ 76 receptions for 1,150 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior, he’ll have his bonus payments spread over five years under MLB’s provision for two-sport athletes.
Iorg hit .280 with 15 steals as a freshmanÂ shortstop at Alabama in 2005, then took two years off to serve a Mormon mission in Portugal. Both his father (Garth) and uncle (Dane) played in the major leagues. Iorg has all-around tools and could have played his way into the first round of the 2008 draft if he shook off enough rust next spring. He had planned on transferring to Arizona State had he not signed.
The Tigers have completed a slightly over-slot deal with Oklahoma high school lefty Matt Hoffman. A 26th-rounder, Hoffman signed for $175,000.
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