For the fourth straight year, the Tigers are going to make a huge splash with an above-slot deal in the first round. After signing Justin Verlander (2004), Cameron Maybin (2005) and Andrew Miller (2006), Detroit is closing in on a record deal with New Jersey high school righthander Rick Porcello.
Porcello, a consensus top-five talent in the 2007 draft, fell to the Tigers at No. 27 overall because of reports he and adviser Scott Boras wanted a deal comparable to the $7 million major league contractÂ Josh Beckett received as the No.Â 2 overall pick in the 1999 draft. Porcello reportedly willÂ match Beckett’s record for the highest guarantee ever given to a high school player, getting a $7 million big league deal that includes a $3.5 million bonus.
[Editorâ€™s note: Porcello's contract information was updated on Aug. 14.]Â
MLB’sÂ bonus recommendation for the 27th pickÂ was $1.17 million. Had Porcello not signed, he would have attended North Carolina.
Porcello’s deal will tie for the fourth-highest guarantee ever given to a draft pick signing with the club that selected him. Mark Prior (No. 2 overall, Cubs, 2001) signed a $10.5 million big league contract, followed by Mark Teixeira (No. 5, Rangers, 2001) at $9.5 million and Pat Burrell (No. 1, Phillies, 1998) at $8 million. Besides Beckett, J.D. Drew (No. 4, Cardinals, 1998) also received $7 million.
Matt White signed a $10.2 million contract with the Devil Rays as a high schooler in 1996, after a draft loophole rendered him a free agent.
Contributing: John Manuel.
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