Jim Callis Chat: Aug. 17
Jim Callis will answer your questions beginning at 1 p.m. ET.
Kyle (Fort Lauderdale): Which teams spent the most on the draft? Which teams spent the least? Were the Marlins last in terms of spending on the draft?
Just did a blog post highlighting some of this: http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2011/08/teams-spend-236-million-on-11-draft/
... The Pirates set a draft record by spending $17,005,700 on bonuses.
Counting money in big league deals, the Nationals spent more than that:
$17,602,100. The White Sox spent the least of any team on the draft:
$2,756,300 on bonuses. The Marlins came in 23rd in bonus spending at
Mike (Chicago): How would you rate the cubs draft now, since they got a lot of tough signs?
They got the best pure HS hitter in the
draft in Baez, and they essentially got an extra pick in the 14th round
in Dillon Maples. I've heard very good reports on under-the-radar
13th-rounder Trey Martin. Tony Zych was a steal in the fourth round. I
could go on, but in a word, yes, they had a good draft.
Roger (Greenville, SC): Is Bubba Starling more
likely to start 2012 in low A or in short season? Or extended followed
by a late low A debut a la Cuthbert?
The Royals have sent all of their
big-ticket high school bats (Moustakas, Hosmer, Myers) to low Class A at
the start of the next season, though Starling is more raw at the plate
than they were. I still bet we see him in the Midwest League next April.
Brian (Ohio): Stephen Tarpley and Dillon Peters
were both asking for 7 figures. Were the Indians wise for letting these
two go back to school, or will they regret not giving them what they
Both are interesting arms ... I look at the
draft this way: Most of the players a team signs aren't going to make a
significant impact, but those that do will deliver such a huge rate of
return on the investment that they more than pay for everyone else, if
that makes sense ... So on one hand, I'd sign anyone I thought was
promising, but on the other, teams have a budget and have to draw a line
somewhere. The Indians spent $8.2 million on the draft and added
payroll in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, so I can't call them cheap.
Larry (Manhattan): Thanks for the chat, Jim. Any final thoughts on the Yankees' draft haul?
This probably won't make me any friends in
New York, but I continue to be surprised the Yankees aren't much more
aggressive in the draft. They went all in in 2007 on guys like Andrew
Brackman, Brad Suttle and Carmen Angelini who haven't worked out, and
New York has dialed it back since. The Yankees spent $6.3 million on
this year's draft, while the average team spent $7.6 million. Huh? Money
doesn't guarantee success in the draft, but teams a) generally get what
they pay for and b) the more they spend, the more it can pay off ...
Top pick (sandwich round) Dante Bichette can hit and is off to a great
start. They did go over slot on a few guys they obviously liked more
than Baseball America did, such as $1.1 million on Greg Bird. I admire a
team's conviction to spend where it sees fit, but this wasn't one of my
Mitch (Texas): Ok, not sure if this is just for
draft questions or what...but I'm wondering. What is the deal with
Rangers 1st base prospect Andrew Clark? Is he forreal, because he has
put up some pretty legit numbers.
Not just a draft chat, though that's where
my mind is and will be the focus of most of my questions. (The Prospect
Hot Sheet team will cover plenty of prospect questions on Friday.) Clark
is old for Class A at age 24, and he's one of those guys who will have
to prove himself at every level. He was a good college player at
Louisville, though, and so far, so good. Not sure he has the true HR
power you want in a big league first baseman.
ryan (DC): Given, the Nats signings on Monday,
they have the top player from the 2010 draft (Harper), many beleive the
top player from the 2011 draft (Rendon) and Purke could have been in the
mix for the top player in the 2012 draft. Add to that improved depth,
AJ Cole, Goodwin, and Meyer, and development of other players in the
system, Peacok, Hood, Lombardozzi and Marrero. What would the Nats Top
10 look like now and how would ther system rank?
Off the top of my head, I'd start their Top
10 like this: Harper, Rendon, Peacock, Cole, Meyer, Goodwin, Purke
(move him up if he proves to be healthy). Looks like a possible top-five
system, definite top-10.
John Havok (Lethbridge, AB): Lets take you back
in time Jim. You're 18 years old, a pretty good pitcher with alot of
projection and you have committed to go to college. You get drafted, get
offered 2.5 million. How fast do you sign?
If I'm the kid, I'm jumping at the money.
If I'm his father, I might want him to go to college but that would be
hard to stand in his way if he wants to be a big leaguer. I assume this
alludes to Tyler Beede, and I have no problem with someone turning down a
reported $2.4 million. He's allowed to make that decision.
David Yuen (Portland, OR): Do either Baez or Vogelbach pass Brett Jackson as the Cubs' best power hitter?
Vogelbach has the most pure power among Cubs farmhands now.
John Havok (Lethbridge AB): Now that all signings have been finalized... top 5 drafts in order?
Send this question to
firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll answer it more in depth. Quick
analysis: Nationals, Pirates, Diamondbacks, Red Sox ... not sure yet of
No. 5. Jays are close, Beede would have put them over the top. Royals
also in running for fifth spot.
Joe D (Everson, PA): How shocked are you that Josh Bell signed? I thought that the Pirates would stop around $3 million.
Shocked. I do believe he was sincere about
attending Texas, and if I had a dollar for every person who told me he
might not sign for $10 million, I could have come close to covering the
$5 million tab for signing him. On Aug. 15, I though his chances of
signing were no more than 1 percent, and that's only because I'd never
say never. I thought it was going to take somewhere close to $8 million
at a minimum. Great move by the Pirates to take Bell and get him signed.
John Havok (Lethbridge, AB): Chances of a hard cap slot system being introduced in the next CBA in your opinion and why/why not?
I'm hearing next to zero. MLB wanted it,
but it's not going to happen. If MLB got hard slotting, they'd also have
to a) give up something worth more than what hard slotting would save;
b) and cause more unintended consequences for the draft. I'll be very
surprised if the MLBPA ever agrees to a cap of any kind. I think we'll
get an earlier signing deadline (July 15?) next year, and maybe lesser
free-agent compensation as part of the new CBA, but not hard slotting.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Jim - please rank these
events in order of "shock" factor - 1) Purke signing, 2) Bell signing,
3) Goodwin's bonus, 4) Cole not getting a big league deal. Thanks.
Interesting. In order from most to least
shocking: Bell, Purke, Goodwin (all shocks), Cole (not really at all). I
covered Bell already. I didn't think there was anyway the Nationals
would come up with a number high enough to sign Purke when he hadn't
pitched in a game this summer, but they did. Goodwin's $3 million
dropped a lot of jaws, though the industry chalked that up to the tight
Mike Rizzo-Scott Boras relationship (see Jayson Werth, among many
examples). It really doesn't matter whether a guy gets paid huge money
as a bonus or in a big league deal. Cole set a draft record with an $8
million bonus, and he'll be earning big league salaries soon enough.
Frank (Baltimore, MD): Who is the O's top overall prospect now - Machado or Bundy?
I love Machado, but I'm going with Bundy.
Drew M (Toronto): Hey Jim,
The Jays signed 2 out of their 3 hard to sign draft picks (Norris,
Comer). Were they the 2 best out of the trio or would you have dropped
one of the 2 they signed and used that money to get Beede?
Beede turned down $2.4 million, so it
wasn't that simple with Norris getting $2 million and Comer getting
$1.65 million. I'd rank them Norris, Beede, Comer.
Jeff Sullivan (Belchertown, MA): How close were the red sox to signing Golson, Gossett, Lake, or Gaines?
They offered Golson more than seven figures
and Gossett close to seven figures, but the lure of Ole Miss football
(Golson) and Clemson (Gossett) was too much. Not sure how close they got
on Lake or Gaines.
Matt (Va): Jim, the Nats obviously had one of
the better drafts. Three or four years down the line do they have a
chance to compete for the NL East?
Won't take that long, especially if Strasburg and Harper become everything they're supposed to.
Bret (Toronto): If the Jays had given Tyler
Beede the $3.5M he asked for, or even met him halfway at $3M, would that
have been out of line given the prices similar talent was paid in the
No. Look at it this way ... If the Jays
signed Beede for $3 million, they'd control his salaries in the major
leagues for six years (three of which he'd be arbitration-eligible)
before he became a free agent. So before he becomes a FA, if he's as
good as he's supposed to become, he probably earns around $20 million
between his bonus and big league salaries. And if he's that good, he's
delivering $60 million or more worth of production. That's a whopping
ROI. If he's not that good, he's not making much on top of his bonus in
big league salaries. And the Jays obviously though he had a high chance
of being that good if they offered him $2.4 million. Not faulting them
for drawing a line, but no, $3 million would not have been out of line,
especially in this draft market. Remember, too, the bonus is not solely
dependent on talent. It's also dependent on leverage, willingness not to
sign (Beede obviously was willing) and how much the team values you.
Nick (Maryland): What do you think the Nats do with Rendon? Do they move him to 2nd base?
Assuming Ryan Zimmerman stays put, Rendon winds up at second base or on an outfield corner.
J.D. (Florida): I'm sort of surprised Logan
Verrett took awhile for the Mets to sign. Did he expect to go higher?
Also, what would you peg his ceiling at? Thanks for the chat, as always.
No. 3 starter. The MLB playbook this year
was for the teams to hold firm on going over slot for college juniors,
figuring they had less leverage than high school players. That led a lot
of those guys to wait until the end. Verrett got $425,000 (versus MLB's
john (Ashburn, VA): Jim: Cutting and pasting a
question I asked on an earlier erroneously placed posting. Please
discuss the Norris signing. From what I understand Norris' father sent a
letter to MLB that Daniel was intent on attending college and the only
thing that may entice him to sign was a Strasburg-like contract (or
words to that effect). As a result of this negotiation ploy many teams
backed off although Toronto took a chance and drafted him in the 2nd
Round. Based purely on what I have read in Baseball America, Norris
signed for ~ $2M (am not sure of the details, guarantees, signing
bonuses, etc.). In your opinion did the Norris strategy come back to
haunt them? Norris had been touted as a probable high first round
selection. If the Norris family had just laid low and not shown their
hand, could he have been drafted higher in the first round and gotten a
better deal? Am confused. Doesn't seem to be a pretty savvy move from a
money perspective. Your thoughts? Tks.
Not sure of their motivation and what
exactly transpired. We had heard a $4 million asking price before the
draft. I see what you're saying, but it comes down to which team would
have drafted him. Might have gotten more money in the first, might have
gotten stuck with a club that drew a harder line. I don't think he's
complaining about the $2 million, but I get where you're coming from.
Jay (South Riding, VA): Jim,
Great coverage as always. You know when the Washington Post is quoting
you for confirmation then you are the top dog.
As for Purke, he let the Nats perform the enhanced MRI with dye to
confirm that there was nothing structurally wrong. If he had returned
to school and pitched like he did his freshman year would he have been a
top 5 pick?
Thanks, Jay. If Purke returned to full
health and was 2009-10 Purke next year, he could have been the No. 1
overall pick. But he also would have assumed some risk, too much to turn
down $4.15 million in guaranteed money.
Bill (Phoenix): If teams knew ahead of time
that Josh Bell would sign for $5 million, where do you think he could
have gone? I'm really surprised a team like the Red Sox would pass on
him 4 times. Props to the Pirates for taking a chance.
I don't think he would have made it out of
the first round, and the Blue Jays and Red Sox would have been top
candidates to pop him.
Kevin (Boston): Seems like the Red Sox lost
quite a few high profile prospects (Golson, Lake, Davidson, Brown,
O'Dell) to college. Did they just not offer enough cash or did the kids
really just want to go to school instead of the pros?
The Red Sox always take as many tough signs
as any club and it's impossible to get them all done. As I mentioned
earlier, I know they went very hard after Golson and Gossett, to name
Mark (NYC): How much does not signing Stafford change the outlook on the Yankee's draft?
Not a great deal. Strong-armed lefthander
who couldn't nail down a spot in the University of Texas' rotation. He
didn't make our overall Top 200 Prospects list for the draft.
Rick (NY): How close were the Sox to signing Golson?
They pulled out all the stops and offered seven-figure money. But he wanted to focus on football.
Matt (KC): Regarding your answer to Brian, do
your feelings toward paying overslot make it difficult to be critical of
teams who may have grossly overpaid? We can make fun of the Nationals
all we want for the big league deal to Purke, but If I'm a Nationals fan
I'm excited about the chance for that risk paying off big time.
That's how I look at it. Teams are
investing a lot of money in the draft, but the payoffs are so huge that
if you have faith your scouting department is identifying the right
players, you should spend, spend, spend and spend some more.
Ken (Alabama): Is Archie Bradley's football career over?
Yes. Diamondbacks did not pay him $5
million so he can get beat up playing quarterback. When we refer to
two-sport deals in the draft, it means the team can spread the bonus
over as many as five years. Whether the player can still play the other
sport has to be negotiated. Usually the answer is no, though the Reds
are allowing Amir Garrett to play basketball at St. John's after paying
him $1 million.
Matt (New york): What's the deal with the mets
two sport star who they signed . I've heard he will be in camp for only
two months a year. Why didn't he just go to school and play ball for
Bradley Marquez, who has great speed.
They're letting him play football at Texas Tech, and he gets $325,000 to
make baseball his summer job.
Mike (toronto): People complain about the
dollars thrown around Aug 15, what about the money given to 16 year old
internationals in July. Isnt that looked upon as more of a crapshoot
that the USA draft
Totally agree. Wrote a column making that same point a month ago.
frank (oregon): jim, there's strong opinions
from other baseball publications that bryce harper will be a .265
caliber hitter at the ML level. i know you felt that way at one point as
well, but do you still? i find it hard to believe an 18 y.o. that
nearly hit .320 in full season ball will only have an average hit tool.
jason heyward hit .323 in the SAL league at the same age harper hit .318
and heyward was projected as a 70 or better bat. what gives?
He has a big swing of times, and you're
right, I saw him as more of an average hitter with some swing and miss.
I'm giving him more credit than that now after his performance this
year. You have to.
Kevin (Newport): Jim,
Long time reader, first time asking a question. Were you shocked that
the Rays signed all their first 12 picks? I couldn't believe it and
think they should be considered one of the winners in this draft.
Not particularly, to be honest. They had a
record 12 picks in the first two rounds, and they spend a few of them on
guys who were going to sign quick or sign for slot (or both). Good
draft, and I realize it would be hard to be ultraagressive with all
those picks—they did spend $11.5 million—but I thought they drafted
Kyle (Maine): Westmoreland is facing live
pitching today for the first time since his surgery. Sox hope to get
him into game action in Florida Instructs by the end of the year.
Awesome day for a kid with tons of potential.
Hadn't seen that. Great to hear. He's made amazing progress to get to where he is now.
John (D.C.): If I visited Durham for work, could I take you and Manuel out for lunch for being the best in the business?
Thanks, John. You could take John Manuel out to lunch, but I work out of suburban Chicago, so I'll just accept your praise.
Doug (Phoenix): I'm assuming Trevor Bauer has a
good shot of being the first, but who would you rank as the guess will
be the first five 2011 draft picks to make the majors?
Bauer definitely No. 1, perhaps in September. After him: Hultzen, Cole, Gray, Rendon. Bundy is the obvious first high schooler.
Jeff (Calgary): I know most American's are not
interested, so I promise this will be the last Jays questions...
I understand that getting Norris and Comer are great, but I can't help
being a little bit disappointed in the Jays draft.
Suarez, Wiper, Garza and Nola were all risky picks, but how much better
would the Jays draft have been if they had been able to snag those guys?
It's like with the Red Sox—the Blue Jays
take as many tough signs as anyone. They landed several, but some are
going to get away. I'd be happy my team was aggressive and grabbed more
than their share of talent rather than rue the ones who didn't sign.
Richard (Brampton): Jim with the exception of
Beede, the Jays managed to get some tough signs done (Norris, Dean,
Lopes, Stilson). Where would you rank their farm system at this point?
I'd put them behind the Rays at number 2.
Definitely in the top five, in the
discussion for the top spot. Since Alex Anthopoulos has taken over as
GM, no team has improved its farm system as much as the Blue Jays have.
Kris (Philly): Can you give us one sentence that sums up the Phils draft class?
Spent just $4.7 million, but got some
intriguing high schoolers in Greene (huge power), Quinn (huge speed) and
Walding (good middle-infield bat).
I could talk draft all day, but unfortunately I have other BA-related work to get to. See you next week!