One man’s assessment of the winners and losers as the first annual Draft Deadline Day Madness is behind us:
Thaaaa Yankees: No John Sterling call necessary. The Yankees did what many clubs feared they might do: Flex their financial muscle in the draft and sign whoever they want, for whatever they want to pay. The Yankees spent more than $7.4 million in bonuses to sign their picks in the first 10 rounds, with even more committed to first-round pick Andrew Brackman in the form of a major league contract.
That said, giving so much money to Brackman may not work out. But the Yankees are unique in that they can absorb such mistakes with little consequence. Remember Cuban defector Andy Morales ($4.5 million), or Japanese pitcher Kats Maeda ($1.5 million)? Neither do the Yankees.
Tigers: The Tigers don’t quite have the Yankees’ financial muscle–who does?–but they aren’t afraid to spend in the draft. It has already paid dividends in the form of Justin Verlander and Andrew Miller, with Cameron Maybin on the way. That 2011 rotation of Bonderman-Verlander-Miller-Rick Porcello could look pretty dominant.
Scott Boras Corp.: The draft may have been held in Orlando this year, but the road to getting the top talent went through Newport Beach, Calif., home base of Boras Corp. Not every client got the top-end contract he was seeking, but no one controlled the days leading up to the deadline more than Boras.
The Royals and Orioles signed the Boras clients they wanted, and didn’t pay $17 million for them . . . but they still spent $10 million for Mike Moustakas and Matt Wieters. And then there’s the Andrew Brackman contract, which could end up paying him more than $13 million–to a pitcher who’s having Tommy John surgery and has never thrown more than 78 innings in a season. Speaking of which . . .
Andrew Brackman: How exactly did a player with his resume–elbow injury, overrated basketball skills, fewer than 150 career college innings, and post-surgery pro debut of late ’08 or 2009–get a major league contract with a $3.35 million bonus, guarantee of $4.55 million, possible contract of eight figures? He’s probably the biggest winner of the whole draft.
Orioles & Royals: Minutes from getting extra first-round picks in next year’s draft, these clubs were rewarded for holding the line. They both still paid dearly for their first-rounders, but they got deals done without giving up major league deals, and they can both say they weren’t pushovers for Boras.
Astros & Angels: Houston had no first- or second-round pick, then failed to sign its third- and fourth-round picks. Say hello to Collin DeLome, Astros fans, your top draft pick, a solid but not spectacular player. A thin farm system gets little help. The Angels, always willing to take a gamble in the draft, came away empty-handed this year on Matt Harvey, their highest-ceiling pick, in the third round, and didn’t sign hard-throwing Utah prep lefty Tanner Robles (14th round).
Joshua Fields & Kyle Russell: Fields, a righthander who was the second-round pick of the Braves, hasn’t recaptured the magic of his 2006 summer on the Cape but will head back to Georgia for his senior season. Russell, a fourth-round pick of the Cardinals, is a Texas outfielder who at least has the advantage of heading into his junior season, but he’ll be hard-pressed to do better than the Longhorns-record 28 homers he hit this spring.
Commissioner’s Office: The new draft rules, which included a signing deadline and improved compensation for unsigned picks in the first two rounds, were designed to drive down bonuses, and bonus recommendations were down 10 percent this year. We’re still sorting through all the numbers in the first 10 rounds, but with the flurry of late signings that were above the recommended slot, despite the new rules and all of MLB’s posturing and memos . . . the average first-round bonus went up.
Stanford: The Cardinal still has young talent coming back next year, but Jack McGeary might have batted third and been the ace (or No. 2 behind righthander Jeff Inman) to try to lead the program back to prominence. Instead, he gets $1.8 million from the Nationals, a record for a sixth-round pick, and still gets to go to Stanford for three academic quarters a year. McGeary’s deal is amazing, but a blow to coach Mark Marquess’ program.
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog