Thursday, August 14, 2008
Ten of the top 30 picks unsigned heading into Friday's deadline
ESPN.com news services
NEW YORK -- Ten of baseball's 30 first-round draft picks
were unsigned heading into Friday's midnight deadline, including
picks two through five.
Among the unsigned first-rounders were five players represented
by agent Scott Boras: No. 2 selection Pedro Alvarez (Pittsburgh Pirates),
No. 3 Eric Hosmer (Kansas City Royals), No. 20 Joshua Fields (Seattle),
No. 23 Allan Dykstra (San Diego Padres) and No. 28 Gerrit Cole (New York Yankees).
Other high picks without deals included No. 4 Brian Matusz
(Baltimore Orioles), No. 5 Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants), No. 7 Yonder
Alonso (Cincinnati Reds) and No. 9 Alan Crow (Washington Nationals).
"I wouldn't be surprised if the process goes all day and into
tomorrow," Royals director of player development J.J. Piccollo
said Thursday of his talks.
Posey, a former Florida State catcher and Golden Spikes award winner, will bypass his senior year and sign a contract with the San Francisco Giants for a team-record signing bonus of approximately $7.5 million, The San Jose Mercury News reports.
The draft deadline began last year, when all first-round picks
agreed to deals, including 11 whose signings were announced on the
final day. Not every first-rounder will sign this year -- Cole has
told the Yankees he will attend college at UCLA because of his
Among the top 10 players in this year's draft, deals have been
announced for just four. Tim Beckham, a high school shortstop taken
by Tampa Bay with the top pick, received a $6.15 million signing
No. 6 pick Kyle Skipworth, a high school catcher, got $2.3
million from Florida, and No. 8 Gordon Beckham, a catcher from the
University of Georgia, will receive $2.6 million from the Chicago
White Sox in an agreement announced late Wednesday.
Stanford catcher Jason Castro, selected by Houston with the 10th
choice, received $2.07 million.
The commissioner's office recommends "slot" values for draft
picks, which some teams adhere to and others ignore.
Last year, top pick David Price agreed on the final day to an
$11.25 million, six-year contract with Tampa Bay, a deal that
guaranteed him $8.5 million.
Alvarez, a third baseman who finished his junior season at
Vanderbilt, has an interesting negotiation because new Pirates
president Frank Coonelly used to be chief labor counsel for MLB and
was in charge of the slotting system.
If Pittsburgh fails to sign Alvarez, it would receive an
additional pick in the first round of next year's draft, selecting
third overall. Teams that don't sign first- or second-round draft
picks receive similar selections in the next draft as compensation.
Perhaps hoping to increase his leverage, Crow signed with the
Forth Worth Cats of the American Association in a deal announced
Thursday. That agreement doesn't mean the pitcher won't sign with
The Associated Press contributed to this report.