Thursday, June 21, 2012

2012 Draft: Over Budget After 5 Signings of Top 10 Rounds

Perfect Games and Baseball America have reported 5 signings by the Giants among their Top 10 round selections, after two weeks have passed since the draft ended (roughly).  PG has the bonus figures:

  • #1:  Chris Stratton:  $1,850,000 (slot same)
  • #4:  Steven Okert:  $270,000 (slot $299,900; +$29,900)
  • #5:  Ty Blach:  $224,500 (slot same)
  • #8:  Joseph Kurrasch:  $134,500 (slot same)
  • #9:  Shilo McCall:  $200,000 (slot $125,600; -$74,400)

So where do they stand with their bonus slot budget?  And who are key unsigned draft picks?
Giants Thoughts

In total, the Giants are over budget by $44,500, which is well within the 5% overage the MLB allows before taking away future draft picks (for these slots, that's $131,725).  I think that there is a luxury tax of 75% of the overage tacked on, which only adds on $33,375, and more importantly, does not take away any future draft picks.  If they sign everyone, they can go over roughly $200,000 and not lose a draft pick.

Oddly enough, the two draftees that I thought would be the easiest to sign, for different reasons, are still unsigned, #2 Martin Agosta and #3 Mac Williamson.

In Agosta's case, he grew up loving the Giants and he was a slight overdraft - he was the 84th pick, Sickels had him at #91, Baseball America #106, Mayo #92 - so I figured he would sign for around slot, maybe slightly under, and perhaps that is the sticking point.  But we already have 4 picks signed to slot or slightly under and yet he's still not signed.

If he expects to get more, he's kidding himself.  If he goes to his senior year, his leverage goes down to zero and teams might low-ball him, as many commenters have noted teams would do to college seniors in this draft.  This is his best bet for this much money ($593,300 slot).  It could also be that the Giants started really low with him and he wants close to slot, so good for him if that's what he's doing.  But if he's holding out for less than $100K, he's missing development time that could cut his time to the majors by half to a whole season, that would make up the difference in bonus money, if it is under $100K.

In Williamson's case, he was the 115th pick but BA ranked him #236, more than four rounds later.  His slot is $412,300 but the 236th slot is only $144,300, a difference of $268,000.  I figured the Giants might save up to $200K on slot for use with later picks, in particular those high school students they drafted near the end of the draft (each can be paid $100,000 without affecting their penalty budget), and he would get a much higher bonus than he could have expected.  Win-win.  Yet he's still unsigned.

He could be holding out since he has some leverage in being a red-shirt junior, he could come back for his senior year, but I think he's kidding himself if he does that because in this new CBA, college seniors have almost zero leverage and will get minimally paid, according to all that I've heard so far.  He would need to get drafted in round 6 or higher to get slotted to a higher amount, and teams might low-ball him, as many commenters have noted teams would do to seniors in this draft.

I think the key signing was Chris Stratton, but almost as key is getting Agosta's name on the dotted line as well.  I have also heard a lot of good word about Stephen Johnson, the #6 round pick, there are some who think he could reach the majors first among draftees.

He is still unsigned, and he fell a lot, his BA rank was #63 and he was selected 208.  #63 is slotted for $818,500, so I can see why he is not signing so quickly.  His pick is slotted for only $168,300.  I have to think that his signing is dependent on signing Williamson to a much lower figure and tacking on that plus up to the 5% limit, which probably could get Johnson up to around $500,000 or so.  But with our bullpen getting older and more expensive, finding a good young reliever who can jump to the majors relatively soon is valuable.

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