Signing Deadline Chat

Moderator: Jim Callis will answer questions about the
draft’s winners and losers plus any other signing deadline questions
beginning at 12 p.m. ET.

    dave (houston): Was there anything that
    surprised you? Someone not signing/ someone who did who you thought
    wouldn't, amount of money someone got etc...

Jim Callis: Sorry I’m a couple of minutes late, was
just totaling up the Nationals’ bonuses and realized they had set a new
draft record (
Anyway, not a ton of surprises, probably because of all the hours we
spent on the phone in the days before the deadline. The biggest
surprise in the draft for me was Cameron Coffey getting $990,000 from
the Orioles in the 22nd round while coming off draft surgery.
Yesterday’s biggest surprise was that the Rockies signed Tyler Matzek
for $3.9 million. My gut feeling was that he was happy to go to Oregon
if it worked out that way, and I thought if he signed he would have had
a deal closer to Jacob Turner’s.

    Dan (Bristol, UK): What are your final
    thoughts on the A's draft now the dust has settled? Green, Stassi, Krol
    and Leyland seems to be a good haul considering they had no 2nd rounder.

Jim Callis: I concur. Green and Stassi, especially,
were tremendous value picks (talent wise) for where the A’s got them.
Krol and Leyland, too, and Mike Spina (11th) is one of my favorite
sleepers in this draft.

    JP (MO): Any clue what LeVon Washington will do now? Juco right sounds most likely?

Jim Callis: Attending a junior college is the most
likely choice. A lot of the reaction I’ve heard from fans is that
Washington was a big loser yesterday, not signing with the Rays and not
being able to get into Florida. I don’t know about that. If his
shoulder is fully healthy and he plays to his capabilities, he could be
one of the first JC/college position players taken next year and get
more money than he would have this year.

    Chuck (Wichita): What have you heard about Aaron Crow? Will he sign before the season is over?

Jim Callis: I believe Crow will sign in time to get
his feet wet in the Arizona Fall League this offseason. And he’ll be a
nice pickup for the Royals.

    JP Riccardi & The Rest of Jays Management (Toronto):
    We brilliantly saved the club millions by letting Rios walk and even
    more brilliantly, we didn't bother signing 3 of our top 4 draft picks
    (they take too long to arrive anyways, whereas we can have money now in
    our pockets). Please, tell us how amazing our signing decisions were
    this year - feel free to compliment us on letting Paxton, Eliopoulos
    and Barrett walk.

Jim Callis: Hmmmm, sarcasm. I haven’t talked to the
Jays or seen a post-mortem yet, but their draft strategy seemed odd, to
say the least. They’ll recoup compensation picks for their unsigned
sandwich-, second- and third-rounders, but why take that many over-slot
guys at the top of the draft if you can’t or won’t sign them? They did
land Jacob Marisnick for $1 million and got a couple of other guys done
late, but they let a lot of talent walk away.

    alexei (St Jay, VT): Tyler Matzek signed at a
    "reasonable" number. So, were there other reasons that teams passed on
    him besides signability? And, first take - who do you think had the
    best draft (besides Washington getting Strasburg)?

Jim Callis: No, it was pretty much pure signability.
There may have been a couple of clubs that didn’t want to take a high
school pitcher that high, but others thought Matzek was the second- or
third-best player in the draft.

    Ryan (RI): Did the Red Sox sign Brendon Kline or is he going to Virginia?

Jim Callis: The Red Sox didn’t sign Kline. He didn’t
pitch anywhere this summer, they couldn’t evaluate him, that deal never
was going to happen.

Jim Callis: I’ve got a quick phone call, will be back in a minute. Sorry about the delay.

    Joe (DE): Keeping in mind the lack of a first
    round pick, overall what grade do you think the Phillies get on this
    draft? I think actually signing Colvin was a major coup and they are
    already getting decent returns from a few of their picks(Singleton,
    Way, Buschini).

Jim Callis: Sorry about that delay . . . We rated
Colvin as a sandwich-round talent, so signing him makes up a lot for
not having a first-round pick. Kyrell Hudson is a tremendous athlete
and Jonathan Singleton was a steal in the eighth round. Solid draft.

    Chris (Mashpee): Although the nationals signed strasburg which was huge, what do you think about them signing nate karns

Jim Callis: Karns has a first-round quality arm. He just needs to figure out how to use it. His raw talent is worth the $225,000 gamble.

    Eric (Michigan): How does the tigers overall draft rank? How will this impact there top 10 prospects?

Jim Callis: The Tigers shelled out a lot of money to
beef up their farm system last night, an approach that has worked very
well for them in the past. Jacob Turner, Andrew Oliver and Daniel
Fields cost roughly $8 million between them and you can bet all three
will be on our Tigers Top 10 list, with Turner most definitely No. 1.

    andy (brooklyn park, mn): so with the twins signing of kyle gibson and the prefomance of their draft picks so far how would rate the twins draft?

Jim Callis: As most of you know, I’m a huge Kyle
Gibson fan. A healthy Gibson is a steal at No. 22, and the Twins signed
him for $1.85 million. Their next picks are a solid bunch too: Bashore,
Bullock, Tootle, McCallum—I like all of them. Maybe Brad Stillings
bounces back and proves to be a steal in the seventh round. Good draft.

    Kevin (San Diego): This draft appears to be
    top heavy in pitching. What are the top threee bats do you see sticking
    in the Bigs? I can't see much to rival the 2008 draft....pretty
    depressing for MLB..........

Jim Callis: That’s an accurate comparison of 2008 vs.
2009 with the bats. My top three position players are Ackley in a class
by himself, then Green, then . . . give me Borchering.

    Andrew (York, PA): What are your thoughts about Bobby Heck's second draft with Houston?

Jim Callis: The Astros weren’t in the news yesterday
because they got their guys signed earlier. Jiovanni Mier at No. 21, he
might wind up as the best player who stays at shortstop in this draft.
Kind of like Jason Castro last year, went a little higher than some
clubs might have popped him, but moved up because of positional value.
He jumps out for me the most. A lot of guys the Astros took, they took
a round or two ahead of where we rated them. They did the same thing
last year, and the early returns on 2008 are good so far, so no reason
for Bobby Heck to listen to us!

    Carlos (San Diego, CA): Please tell me the
    Padres hit a homerun by signing Tate, Williams and Sampson. They've
    been more fun to watch over the last month and I'm hoping the infusion
    of toolsy, athletic outfielders (Tate, Williams) is another step in
    that direction.

Jim Callis: Instead of taking a lot of lower-ceiling
and/or one-dimensional college players, the Padres swung for their
fences. There’s some question on Tate’s bat, but no question that he
was the best athlete in the draft. I thought Williams had the best bat
among the top athletic outfielders in this draft. Sampson has frontline
starter stuff. Getting Jorge Reyes for $200,000 in the 17th round after
he tore up the Cape Cod League was another nice move.

    Nathan (Milwaukee): How did the Brewers do in this year's draft?

Jim Callis: I liked their draft a lot. Their top three
picks—Arnett, Davis and Heckathorn—were good talent values for where
they went. Max Walla can really hit, they spent to add Brooks Hall’s
upside in the fourth round and Del Howell was a steal in the 15th
round. Ditto for Scooter Gennett in the 16th.

    Jim (WV): Where would you rank the Oriole's draft class? Who in the draft do you see making it into the top 10 prospect list?

Jim Callis: The Orioles were very aggressive, and I
have counted, but they may have had more total over-slot signings than
any club. Hobgood and Givens could make the Top 10, and Berry and
Coffey will push for the Top 10 in the future once they’re fully
healthy. They obviously are very high on Ohlman as well, and last
year’s Top 10 has graduated several players to the majors.

    Nick (Philadelphia): How good was the Indians'
    draft? They signed White, and signed their top 20 picks. It sounds
    pretty good, but yet they're not listed as a winner?

Jim Callis: John Manuel’s winners/losers story focused
on the major stories from the deadline, good and bad. The Indians had a
decent draft but it doesn’t jump out to me as one of the very best.
They got a very nice pick in Alex White at No. 15, and most of their
other guys went about where they should have in the draft. Decent
picks, but not many steals or big talents who dropped because of

    Dennis (Denver): How surprised are you that Matzek signed? Should he have gotten more given what Turner signed for?

Jim Callis: Kind of surprised. I thought he was the
first-rounder most likely not to sign, at least until the Rays issued
their press release on LeVon Washington. Matzek and Turner were
comparable talents, and I thought Matzek was fine either way with
signing or going to Oregon. So the $3.9 million bonus surprised me a
little too.

    Sam (Missouri): Is Shelby Miller now the top prospect in the Cardinals Organization?

Jim Callis: Yes.

    Joseph (Fort Worth, TX): How far apart were the Rangers from signing Jabari Blash?

Jim Callis: Don’t think that was ever really close to happening, even though the sides were only a couple hundred thousand apart.

    Nick (NJ): so im guessing the mets did not sign magnifico?

Jim Callis: They did not. Our draft database is
completely updated through the first 10 rounds. We’re probably missing
a few random signees after that but are working to get complete signing
data for all 50 rounds.

    JUST (TEXAS): Will Strasburg Play in the majors this year?

Jim Callis: Haven’t heard. I’m not sure what kind of
pitching shape he’s in, but I could see the Nationals trotting out
their newest prize for at least a cameo in September.

    Ian (Pittsburgh): Why doesn't the MLBPA just
    go crazy about all of the stuff that Bud Selig does regarding the
    draft, like making teams wait to announce signings and bullying teams
    on bonuses? Are they waiting to address it during the next CBA?

Jim Callis: They aren’t happy about it because the
agents aren’t happy about it, but there’s not much they can do about
it. Their constituents (which don’t include the current crop of
draftees unless they sign big league deals) aren’t real upset about it.
It’s possible new reporting procedures could be part of discussions for
the next CBA, where the draft will be a major focus.

    Teddy (Stockbridge, GA): Strasburg or Harper?

Jim Callis: Strasburg. Sorry I’m not my usual prolific
self answering questions today, but my phone keeps ringing and I have
to go. Maybe we’ll shoot for another draft chat later in the week. You
always can submit questions to Ask BA at
(please include your full name and hometown). Thanks.