Vanderbilt lefthander Mike Minor, the seventh overall pick, agreed to terms with the Braves on a $2.42 million bonus yesterday and is expected to officially sign today. Minor’s bonus is the highest in club history and the highest ever for a No. 7 pick.
Minor’s bonus also was $242,000 over the recommendation by the commissioner’s office, making him just the second first-rounder to receive an over-slot deal this year. The other was California high school shortstop Jiovanni Mier, who got $1,358,000 ($26,000 above slot) from the Astros at No. 21. MLB slashed its slot guidelines by 10 percent across the board this year, and Minor’s bonus equals the 2008 recommendation for the No. 7 choice.
Nineteen of the 32 first-round picks remain unsigned.
Two sources said that Minor could have signed months earlier if not for interference from MLB. Minor and the Braves agreed in principle on the $2.42 million bonus before the draft—but before Atlanta received official word that the slots were reduced. The commissioner’s office pressured the Braves not to make the above-slot deal official so they wouldn’t hurt the Reds in their attempt to sign Arizona State righthander Mike Leake, the No. 8 pick, to a below-slot bonus.
MLB’s recommendation for the No. 8 pick is $2,043,000.
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