|Player, Pos.||Team, Year (Pick)||Bonus|
|Gerrit Cole, rhp||Pirates, 2011 (No. 1)||$8,000,000|
|Stephen Strasburg, rhp||Nationals, 2009 (No. 1)||*$7,500,000|
|Bubba Starling, of||Royals, 2011 (No. 5)||+$7,500,000|
|Jameson Taillon, rhp||Pirates, 2010 (No. 2)||$6,500,000|
|Danny Hultzen, lhp||Mariners, 2011 (No. 2)||*$6,350,000|
|Donavan Tate, of||Padres, 2009 (No. 3)||+$6,250,000|
|Bryce Harper, of||Nationals, 2010 (No. 1)||*$6,250,000|
|Buster Posey, c||Giants, 2008 (No. 5)||$6,200,000|
|Tim Beckham, ss||Rays, 2008 (No. 1)||+$6,150,000|
|Justin Upton, ss||Diamondbacks, 2005 (No. 1)||+$6,100,000|
|Matt Wieters, c||Orioles, 2007 (No. 5)||$6,000,000|
|Pedro Alvarez, 3b||Pirates, 2008 (No. 2)||*$6,000,000|
|Eric Hosmer, 1b||Royals, 2008 (No. 3)||$6,000,000|
|Dustin Ackley, of||Mariners, 2009 (No. 2)||*$6,000,000|
|Anthony Rendon, 3b||Nationals, 2011 (No. 6)||*$6,000,000|
|*Part of major league contract.|
|+Bonus spread over multiple years under MLB provisions for two-sport athletes.|
|Player, Pos.||Team, Year (Pick)||Bonus||Guarantee|
|Stephen Strasburg, rhp||Nationals, 2009 (No. 1)||$7,500,000||$15,107,104|
|Mark Prior, rhp||Cubs, 2001 (No. 2)||$4,000,000||$10,500,000|
|Bryce Harper, of||Nationals, 2010 (No. 1)||$6,250,000||$9,900,000|
|Mark Teixeira, 3b||Rangers, 2001 (No. 5)||$4,500,000||$9,500,000|
|Danny Hultzen, lhp||Mariners, 2011 (No. 2)||$6,350,000||$8,500,000|
|David Price, lhp||Rays, 2007 (No. 1)||$5,600,000||$8,125,683|
|Pat Burrell, 1b/of||Phillies, 1998 (No. 1)||$3,150,000||$7,523,481|
|Dustin Ackley, of||Mariners, 2009 (No. 2)||$6,000,000||$7,500,000|
|Anthony Rendon, 3b||Nationals, 2011 (No. 6)||$6,000,000||$7,200,000|
|Rick Porcello, rhp||Tigers, 2007 (No. 27)||$3,580,000||$7,000,519|
|Josh Beckett, rhp||Marlins, 1999 (No. 2)||$3,625,000||$7,000,000|
|Eric Munson, c||Tigers, 1999 (No. 3)||$3,500,000||$6,750,000|
|J.D. Drew, of||Cardinals, 1998 (No. 5)||$3,000,000||$6,680,249|
|Pedro Alvarez, 3b||Pirates, 2008 (No. 2)||$6,000,000||$6,335,000|
|Dylan Bundy, rhp||Orioles, 2011 (No. 4)||$4,000,000||$6,250,000|
Updated Aug. 24 with additional information on the pro-rated first-year salaries for Burrell, Drew, Porcello and Price.
What each team spent on draft bonuses in 2011. The figures below don't include additional guarantees included in major league contracts.
What each team has spent on draft bonuses during the current collective bargaining agreement, which introduced a signing deadline and strengthened compensation for unsigned picks in the first three rounds. The figures below don't include additional guarantees included in major league contracts.
We've broken down how the 50 highest bonuses in the 2011 draft stack up against MLB's top 50 slot recommendations, as well as how each team did in the first 10 rounds spending money versus their estimated slot allowance. The complete charts are available to subscribers here, and we give everyone a brief taste below.
|TOP 50 BONUSES VS. TOP 50 SLOTS|
|MLB's slot recommendations are lower than they were in 2006, and the below chart shows how out of touch the current guidelines are with reality. We've lined up the 50 highest bonuses in the draft against the top 50 slots (to clarify, those are the first 50 slots in the draft, not the corresponding slots for each player). The bonuses total $120.5 million, 72 percent above the slot total of $70 million. Teams paid out 24 bonuses of $2 million or more, compared to just eight slots worth that much.|
|Rk||Player, Pos, Team (Round/Overall)||Bonus||Slot|
|1||Gerrit Cole, rhp, Pit (1st round/No. 1)||$8,000,000||$4,000,000|
|2||Bubba Starling, of, KC (1st round/No. 5)||$7,500,000||$3,250,000|
|3||Danny Hultzen, lhp, Sea (1st round/No. 2)||$6,350,000||$3,000,000|
|SPENDING VS. SLOTS|
|How much money each team spent in the first 10 rounds of the 2011 draft, and how that compares to its estimated slot allowance in those rounds from the commissioner's office:|
|Team||Picks||Signed||Bonus Total||Slot Total||Slot Spent|
MLB teams combined to spend $228,009,050 on draft bonuses in 2011, and a total of $236,059,050 including additional guarantees in major league contracts for Danny Hultzen, Trevor Bauer, Dylan Bundy, Anthony Rendon and Matt Purke. Those are both records, up from $195,782,830 and $201,832,830 in 2010.
On the day of the Aug. 15 signing deadline, the clubs spent $132,098,500 in bonuses and a total of $139,098,500 in guarantees. Those are two more new marks, up from $91,155,600 and $97,205,600 in 2010.
The Pirates, who gave a record $8 million bonus to No. 1 overall pick Gerrit Cole and set another mark for non-first-rounders by paying $5 million to second-rounder Josh Bell, spent a total of $17,005,700. That obliterated the old bonus standard of $11,927,200 set by the 2010 Nationals.
The Nationals didn't relinquish that record without a fight, spending $15,002,100 in bonuses. Additional guarantees to Rendon and Purke bring Washington's overall total to $17,602,100. The record for the most guaranteed money spent in a single draft remains $19,118,604 by the 2009 Nationals, the bulk of which was a $15,107,104 big league contract for No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg.
The Royals ($14,066,000), Cubs ($11,994,550) and Diamondbacks ($11,930,000) also surpassed Washington's old bonus record. The Rays ($11,482,900), Mariners ($11,330,500), Padres ($11,020,600), Blue Jays ($10,996,500) and Red Sox ($10,978,700) brought the total of teams spending $10 million or more to 10. Only seven teams previously had topped $10 million in bonus spending, all in the previous three drafts.
At the other end of the spectrum, the White Sox ranked last at $2,786,300. The Tigers were the only other team below $3 million at $2,878,700–less than the $3.45 million they paid supplemental first-round pick Nick Castellanos in 2010.
Update: The original signing data didn't include two Canadian players awaiting visas. The appropriate totals have been updated.
Six unsigned choices from the 2011 draft will yield compensation choices in 2012:
22. Blue Jays (for Tyler Beede)
SUPPLEMENTAL FIRST ROUND
55. Padres (for Brett Austin)
89. Yankees (for Sam Stafford)
tba. Mariners (for Kevin Cron)
tba. Marlins (for Connor Barron)
tba. Rockies (for Peter O'Brien)
For the fifth year in a row, Major League Baseball tried to clamp down on draft bonuses . . . and for the fifth year in a row, teams spent big money anyway.
Entering the final hour before the midnight ET signing deadline, 22 out of 33 first-round picks had not been signed—twice as many unsigned as last year at the same point. As expected, there was a flurry of activity right at the deadline and, in the end, teams dished out signing bonuses worth a total of $69.6 million to lock up 21 of the 22 unsigned first-round picks.
The money spent this year broke several draft-bonus records. Six draftees received bonuses of $5 million or more: first-rounders Gerrit Cole (No. 1, Pirates), Danny Hultzen (No. 2, Marlins), Bubba Starling (No. 5, Royals), Anthony Rendon (No. 6, Nationals) and Archie Bradley (No. 7, Diamondbacks), as well as second-rounder Josh Bell (Pirates). The previous high was four in 2008 and 2010.
Cole's $8 million is the largest bonus in draft history, surpassing the $7.5 million Stephen Strasburg got as part of a big league contract two years ago. Starling matched Strasburg, giving him the records for biggest bonus for a high schooler ($6.5 million by Jameson Taillon, 2010) and a position player ($6.25 million by Donavan Tate in 2009 and Bryce Harper in 2010), and for the largest guarantee for a prepster ($7 million by Josh Beckett in 1999 and Rick Porcello in 2007).
The biggest surprise of the night came when the Pirates signed Bell for $5 million. Bell had written a letter to the Major League Scouting Bureau before the draft to announce that he was dead-set on attending Texas. His bonus set a record for a player drafted outside the first round, eclipsing the previous mark by $2.25 million (Jason Young in 2000. The $13 million for Cole and Bell by themselves broke the record for bonus spending by one team in a single draft ($11,927,200 by the 2010 Nationals).
Washington also blew past its old mark by giving $11 million in bonuses to its first three picks (Rendon, Alex Meyer, Brian Goodwin) and a $4.15 million major league contract to third-rounder Matt Purke, who hadn't been expected to sign. Other huge deals outside of the first round included the Nationals inking sandwich pick Goodwin and the Padres signing second-rounder Austin Hedges for $3 million each, the Cubs giving 14th-rounder Dillon Maples $2.5 million and the Blue Jays snagging second-rounder Daniel Norris for $2 million.
The top player to not sign was Blue Jays first-rounder Tyler Beede (No. 21 overall), who opted to attend Vanderbilt. Padres supplemental first-rounder Brett Austin decided to attend North Carolina State, and Yankees second-rounder Sam Stafford decided to return to Texas.
After weeks of waiting, a flurry of draft picks were signed in the final 10 minutes before the midnight deadline. Here is a list of the players who signed for bonuses of $500,000 or more right before the deadline—or at least, their deals were announced just before or after the buzzer.
• Righthander Gerrit Cole (No. 1 overall pick) signed with the Pirates for $8 million, the highest straight bonus in draft history.
• Lefthander Danny Hultzen (No. 2) signed a big league deal with the Mariners for $8.5 million guaranteed. His bonus is $6.35 million and the maximum value is $10.6 million.
• Righthander Dylan Bundy (No. 4) signed a big league deal with the Orioles for $6.225 million guaranteed. The bonus is $4 million.
• Outfielder Bubba Starling (No. 5) signed with the Royals for $7.5 million, which will be spread out over three years.
• Third baseman Anthony Rendon (No. 6) signed with the Nationals for a major league deal worth a guaranteed $7.2 million. The bonus is $6 million. It's a four-year deal with an option.
• Righthander Archie Bradley (No. 7) signed with the Diamondbacks for $5 million. [...] Continue Reading »
The Blue Jays continue to spend heavily in the draft, signing 7th-round shortstop Christian Lopes for $800,000.
Lopes matured early and has been a nationally prominent player for a long time. As a high school freshman he looked like a future first-round pick, but he never developed premium tools and other Southern California high schoolers leapfrogged him. He has good hands and smooth infield actions, but he tends to sit back on balls and sometimes adds unnecessary flash. He was an average runner when he was younger, but as his 6-foot, 180-pound body has matured his speed has regressed to well below-average. He lacks the range for shortstop but should be all right at second, where his fringe-average arm should play. Lopes' best tool is his righthanded bat. He has an advanced approach for a high schooler and does a good job using the opposite field, though scouts would like him to tinker less with his swing.
The Twins have signed supplemental first-round pick, third baseman Travis Harrison from Tustin (Calif.) High. Harrison, who was committed to Southern California, agreed to a deal worth $1.05 million.
Harrison may move to left field or first base, but has some thunder in his bat. Harrison established himself as one of the top power hitters in Southern California early, homering off future Rockies first-rounder Tyler Matzek with a wood bat as a freshman in scout ball. He easily rates as the region's best high school bat this year. Harrison has a physical 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame and above-average righthanded power potential. Some scouts think he could be an above-average hitter, too, if he does a better job protecting the outer half and adjusting to breaking balls. He can make loud contact, but he centers balls on the barrel inconsistently, and other scouts see him as just an average hitter.
Righthander Dillon Howard, the Indians' second-round pick (67th overall), has signed for a $1.85 million bonus. The estimated slot for that pick was $545,400.
Howard, an Arkansas signee, has a fastball with above-average life and velocity. It can sit 92-94 mph and at times has heavy sink. Command can be an issue, but he's a solid athlete whose arm works well, so scouts can project average big league fastball command. His secondary pitches, a curveball and changeup, have their moments but have been inconsistent this season. He has more feel for his secondary offerings than many prep pitchers, which had some scouts surprised that he didn't have a more dominant season.
The Yankees signed their sixth-round pick, Jake Cave, for a $825,000 bonus. Cave was also a prospect as a lefthander, but was popped as an outfielder by New York.
Scouts were divided on whether he projected better on the mound or in the outfield. As a hitter, Cave shows bat speed, but has a loop in his swing that could be a long-term problem. He has a lean frame at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds and figures to move to a corner as he fills out. He also lacks the speed for center field. His arm allows him to stick in right field, though he might not have the power to profile there. On the mound, Cave ranged from 86-93 mph with his fastball this spring, usually sitting around 90-91 and touching 94. His best offspeed pitch is a changeup. He has tinkered with a slider this season, but it needs work and scouts hadn't seen it much.
The Marlins signed first-round righthander Jose Fernandez for $2 million. The 14th-overall pick got $398,000 over MLB's suggested slot for that spot.
Fernandez has a 6-foot-3, 235-pound workhorse fame and power stuff, including a heavy, 90-95 mph fastball and a pair of breaking balls. He has also shown flashes of a changeup.
The Cubs have signed 11th-round outfielder Shawon Dunston Jr. from Valley Christian High in San Jose. Dunston will receive a signing bonus of $1.275 million. Dunston's father was the Cubs' first-overall pick in 1982 and spent 18 years in the big leagues, mostly with the Cubs. Dunston Jr. was committed to Vanderbilt.
Unlike his father, Dunston Jr. swings from the left side of the plate. He is raw at the plate for the son of a big leaguer, but has above-average speed and scouts love his passion for the game. Dunston, who was committed to Vanderbilt, has a slender, 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame and it's obvious that his best baseball is in front of him.
The Twins have signed supplemental first-rounder Hudson Boyd for a $1 million bonus, according to industry sources. The slot for that selection, No. 55 overall, was $653,400.
Boyd, a Florida signee, helped Bishop Verot High in Fort Myers, Fla., win the state 3-A championship. He's a physical 6-foot-3, 235-pound righthander whose body and power repertoire earned comparisons to Jonathan Broxton this spring from scouts. His fastball has reached 95-96 mph at times and he has a power curveball that generally sits in the upper 70s.
The Phillies and second-round outfielder Roman Quinn from Port St. Joe (Fla.) High have agreed to terms on a $775,000 bonus. MLB's guideline for his No. 66 draft slot was $555,000.
Quinn was the fastest player in Baseball America's Top 200 list heading into the draft. A shortstop in high school, his speed projects best in center field. Quinn is a slender, 5-foot-9, 165-pound righthanded hitter that has been learning to switch-hit over the last year. He was committed to Florida State.
The Royals have signed third-rounder Bryan Brickhouse for $1.5 million. That's the second-largest bonus outside of the first 18 picks so far, and the equivalent of mid-first-round money. MLB's recommendation for his No. 95 draft slot was $358,200.
Brickhouse is a righthander from The Woodlands (Texas) HS, which also produced first-round righties Kyle Drabek (2006) and Jameson Taillon (2010). A North Carolina recruit, Brickhouse has a pair of plus pitches in his 90-95 mph fastball and his spike curveball.
The Pirates have signed Clay Holmes. His asking price was $1.2 million and he's believed to have gotten it–making his bonus an all-time draft record for a ninth-round selection. The previous standard was the $750,000 the Padres gave Jason Middlebrook in 1996.
A Slocomb (Ala.) HS righthander, Holmes has a strong frame (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) and fastball. His slider has its moments but lacks consistency. He had committed to Auburn.
The Red Sox still haven't signed any of their top four picks and are trying to persuade eighth-rounder Senquez Golson to accept a seven-figure deal that would curtail his football career, but they have gotten their first deal done on deadline day. Boston signed fourth-rounder Noe Ramirez for $625,000–more than three times MLB's $180,000 recommendation for the No. 142 selection.
A Cal State Fullerton righthander, Ramirez had as good a changeup as any pitcher in the 2011 draft. He sets it up with a fastball that sits at 88-91 mph and tops out at 93, and also has a solid slider and very good feel for pitching. He went 29-7, 2.57 in three seasons with the Titans.
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