The Giants are usually pretty quick signers of their picks in their first 10 rounds, but it's been slow this season, relatively. Of course, that could be a function of the Giants taking higher round talents in later rounds and paying according to talent and not round, which leads to a huge overslot bonuses, and the MLB Commissioner office delaying approval of the contract until much later.
Baseball America just announced that the Giants signed Matt Graham, RHP, for $500,000, which is the 3rd highest bonus given in the 6th round thus far, and is over slot by $350,000 (slot recommendation is $500,000 max after the 5th round), which as I noted, is a no-no and thus approval was delayed.
Here is what BA noted about Graham:
A righthander from Oak Ridge HS in Spring, Texas, Graham flashes first-round talent but lacks consistency. At his best, he’ll pitch at 90-93 mph with his fastball and back it up with a power curveball. He had committed to North Carolina.They also noted that the Giants had not signed three of its top five picks thus far:
- Zack Wheeler, RHP (first round),
- Tommy Joseph, catcher (second), and
- Brandon Belt, first baseman (fifth)
Discussion of What Current Signings Suggest They Are Slotted to Sign ForBasically, Wheeler's #5 pick spot has pretty much been market valued at $2.42M, as the pick ahead and the pick behind got that much (long ago, I might add, and getting invaluable professional experience) plus the #3 pick got $2.5M. What is he asking for, the moon? This is disappointing because he seemed like he was eager to sign and start his pro career. Still, I would expect the Giants to sign him: he did not seem to be ego driven, plus was not represented by Boras, and it has to be hard to turn down around $2.5M and to go to college instead.
Tommy Joseph's bonus should be around $650,000. The pick behind him got $643,500 and 3 picks ahead that guy got $670,000, and he was from high school too. And there were a bunch of high schoolers behind that got basically $625,000. So the value is pretty set, how much is he asking for, $850-900,000? No way he can demand and expect to get $1,000,000, not even the late first rounders are getting that. Some wonder if Tim Alderson getting traded has affected him, but he did not seem to be that close to Alderson, and friend or not, it would be tough to pass up $650,000 and then go to college.
Then again, Lincecum passed up similar money because he wanted a million, though I would add that he was already in college and could expect to move up in the draft, assuming hard work and so forth would help him advance, while Joseph has no idea how he will fare in college, and if he is over his head, he would be lucky to ever get drafted again, let alone get a big bonus. Lincecum could reasonably expect to get a similar bonus, whereas Joseph could potentially be passing up on a lot of money if things don't go well for him in college. Still, there are players that cocky that they bet on themselves.
Chris Dominguez signed for $411,300, which is right in range with all the other picks in that general pick vicinity for the third round. And he is benefiting from signing earlier, he's been getting into games and he has already hit 7 HR in 109 AB (though poor BA and 35 strikeouts). He could be a fast mover and would easily make up the $100-200K extra he could have held out for by making the majors one year earlier due to his playing and doing well now.
Jason Stoffel signed for $254,700, which is right in range for all the other picks in that general pick vicinity for the fourth round. He has done OK in limited innings (8.0 IP) in rookie league, not striking out a lot, but walking nobody.
Brandon Belt is in the 5th round where picks around him got between $160,000 and $200,000. Since Graham signed for $500K, I can only assume that Belt wants more than that, at least $600,000. That is the high bonus in the 4th round right now, and there are none higher than $200,000 in the 5th round currently. There is a $750,000 bonus in the 6th round, which would be the max I would expect.
The Giants as usual have been pretty good in signing most of their draft picks. With the Graham signing, the Giants have now signed every pick from the 6th round to the 17th round. And have signed 30 of their 50 picks. Check out this website for the picks who have not signed. Check out this website for the bonuses for the first ten rounds.
They are a bit behind their usual pace with 3 of their top 5 unsigned, but I'm not too worried about those players signing, as I have not heard of any hard stands from any of the Giants draft picks. Still, they might not sign, for whatever reasons. I would expect Wheeler to sign almost no matter what, that is too much money to leave on the table.
Both Joseph and Belt could go either way. I think Belt is more likely now that Graham has signed and given a window on what Belt might be asking for. I don't see the Giants balking at that. Plus 1B is a position that is not taken yet, though Ishikawa and Garko probably has a hold on it for at least another year. But beyond that, Belt could be in line for that if he hits well enough and play good enough defense.
Joseph might not want to be in the same organization as Posey, as Buster would be blocking his way, realistically. Still, the rookie facilities are near home, which I think is a good consideration for a young player. Plus Posey looks to be so good offensively, that he probably will be like Biggio and move from catcher to 2B (or even SS, his former position) at some point in his career. And that is a lot of money to turn down, unless his family is rich enough already. I think he will eventually sign.