MLB Draft Signing Deadline Passes With Few Surprises

Drew Rasmussen (Photo by Karl Maasdam)

The draft signing deadline passed Friday at 5 p.m. ET with few surprises.

But the process already has had one significant surprise with the Rays’ announcement that they will not be signing Oregon State righthander Drew Rasmussen. MLB.com’s Jim Callis first reported the news.

“As has been reported, we were unable to reach an agreement with Drew Rasmussen,” the Rays said in a statement. “We wish Drew the best as he moves forward. We will have no further comment on the matter.”

Two sources familiar with the situation said Rasmussen’s initial MRI exam from before the draft and his MRI at his physical conducted by the Rays had discrepancies that caused the Rays to balk at signing the redshirt sophomore, who missed parts of the last two seasons due to Tommy John surgery in 2016. Rasmussen returned to the mound and was throwing in the upper 90s even after the draft in relief stints during the College World Series.

However, the Rays also are petitioning with MLB to still receive a compensatory pick in 2018, contending there was problem with how Rasmussen fulfilled his part of MLB’s program that has 50 pitchers submit to an MRI exam.

Rasmussen likely will return to Oregon State after MLB concluded he would not be eligible to become a free agent.

Meanwhile, No. 2 overall pick Hunter Greene got the largest signing bonus of the bonus-pool draft era. Greene will receive $7.23 million, according to BA’s Hudson Belinsky, making Greene the third player in this year’s draft to get $7 million or more. Kyle Wright (Braves, $7 million) and Brendan McKay (Rays, $7.005 million) had previously reached that level.

Greene joined the trend of the capped-draft era (2012-present) with the No. 2 overall pick getting the largest bonus. That happened in ’12 (Byron Buxton), ’13 (Kris Bryant) and ’16 (Nick Senzel).

Other significant unsigned players who did not sign include a pair of high schoolers in Orioles fourth-round pick Jack Conlon, who’s signed to Texas A&M, and Angels fifth-rounder Joseph Booker, a South Alabama commit.

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