Last-Minute Shopping

There were almost as many bonus records set at baseball's Aug. 15 signing deadline as there were in the Water Cube at the Beijing Olympics. Before the clock struck midnight—and in one case, afterward—teams spent like never before. Three of the four largest up-front bonuses ever were paid out, led by the Giants giving No. 5 overall pick Buster Posey $6.2 million. The 27 first-round picks who signed received an average bonus of $2,484,963, more than $300,000 than ever before, and an increase of 18.4 percent from 2007, the biggest jump in the era of Major League Baseball's recommendations for bonus slots.

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