Draft notes

* The signing deadline is one week away, and I’ve finally gotten around to updating the draft picks page. The Phillies have signed 7 of their first 9 picks (Colvin and Hudson remain), and have signed 31 of their 49 picks. Check below the fold for more

* According to Baseball America’s draft database, Inch’s bonus was $300,000. As I’ve outlined before, for picks after the first five rounds, the general guideline is nothing more than $150,000, and the normal averages are anywhere from $25,000-$100,000. So you can look at this as 1.5-2x the recommended guidelines. 8th rounder Jonathon Singleton received $200,000, or about double what you’d expect the average 8th rounder to receive. 9th rounder Aaron Altherr received $150,000, which is right at the top end of what is “recommended” by the Commish. 5th rounder Matt Way and 10th rounder Josh Zied both signed for much less than the recommended figures.

* To this point, the Phillies have spent $1.37M on the bonuses that have been reported. This figure isn’t exact, as some of the later guys have received 4 figure deals that don’t get factored in, but this number is fine for comparison to last year. Last year, when the Phillies had 4 more picks than 2009, they spent $6.5M on bonuses. So, just looking at that, they’ve spent $5M less this year. If the draft budget was unchanged from last year, they’d have enough money to sign the rest of their picks in the first 40 rounds.

* The biggest prizes are still the same; Hudson, Colvin, Stewart and Susac. As I mentioned the other day, the Pirates announced the signing of 8th rounder Colton Cain for $1.13M. Today it was announced the Pirates also came to terms with 6th rounder Zach Von Rosenberg for $1.2M. ZVR was ranked #2 in Louisiana and #41 overall, while Brody Colvin was ranked #3 in Louisiana and #43 overall. The blueprint is now right there for Colvin’s agent. $1.2M and Brody should be Phillies property.

The overslot deals are starting to filter in, and will do so for the next week. I expect one or two signings this week, and maybe one more on the last day of the signing period. Hudson looks like a lock, which leaves the three-headed monster of Colvin, Stewart and Susac remaining. Should be a fun week of anticipation. The money is clearly there to sign them, its up to the Phillies brass to do whats right for the team and not worry about Bud Selig getting angry. That horse is already out of the barn, as the Pirates have demonstrated.

34 thoughts on “Draft notes

  1. The big prize is Colvin. I heard they agreed to terms with Susac and Stewart but that they wont announce it until the deadline gets closer. Not sure about Hudson. He could go and play college football.

  2. Also, we do have a lot of OF’s and we could see a huge logjam in the system for OF’s especially considering the Phils kept BOTH Brown and Taylor.

  3. PP , do you think the commish gives alittle more “slack” to the pirates and teams of the same (small market) ilk in terms of how high they go on signing thses picks? Im thinking he might, since he knows they have no shot competing without doing it completely thru their own farm(cant ever sign big free agents)..Was wondering your thoughts on if you think the commish may turn acheek on these clubs, and maybe give the big market teams alittle more tongue lashing in terms of busting slot?

  4. If you want to build a powerhouse farm system you HAVE to go over slot though and sign the pick. If they can end up signing Colvin, Stewart, Susac, and Hudson on top of their other draft picks this year and on top of what they already have they will have a DIESEL farm system.

  5. Geoff…good news about Stewart and Susac if true. How reliable is your source? Stewart seems like a heck of a hitter…would love to have Susac to replace Marson…but more than either of these, I really want Colvin. Can’t have enough pitchers!

  6. MLB tries to restrict the bonuses across all 30 clubs, but what they don’t realize is that they are hurting the small clubs more than the big clubs by implementing these unwritten rules. If you believe Peter Gammons, the Commish’s office has threatened to take the All Star Game away from KC if they sign three of their elite picks to 7 figure deals. Its completely asinine and trying to encourage teams to spend 6 million on a washed up reliever instead of spending that 6 million on potential all stars in the draft is what is killing these small-mid market clubs

    After the signing deadline, I plan on writing an indepth piece on the flaws in the current system and my proposals for fixing the draft.

  7. TY for your insights and response>if indeed they made that threat maybe the courts should take mlb to court instead of waste their time on steroids…The only chance of competing for these small market teams is thru the draft, you have to let overslot deals or theyll be losing some clubs in the next 5 years

  8. Everything that needs to be said about Colvin has been said. I’ll only add that I hope the trade of Marson has added that extra bit of pressure to ensure that a Susac deal gets done.

  9. PP, a great idea to write on the flaws of the draft system and proposals to fix it. Be careful about a bonus cap, because we have a bunch of capitalist owners who are going to try to implement a socialistic draft system.

  10. The draft is the best and dare I say cheapest way for teams to build a winner. If the Phils spend $6M on 30 or more picks, and 2 or 3 of them make the big club eventually, isn’t that far cheaper than bringing in 3 good to very good Free Agents. Teams spend a lot of money bringing these kids up through the system but I’ll bet its less costly to grow them on the farm. Plus a well stocked system can yield you an ace or impact hitter through trades.

    If the commish wants to control things, the draft isn’t where he should start.

  11. I saw someone on here source one of the area papers in the Delaware Valley saying that that particular beat writer hear they were close on those two or had agreed but arent allowed to announce them both because of the slot thing…take it for what its worth. Just hearsay, but given the fact that the Phillies havent even spent that much on the draft yet this year its believable to say that they will liekly sign most or all of their over-slot quality picks.

    If they signed Hudson, thats good. You can never have enough OF prospects but who knows, maybe they could switch positions with him – does he have a cannon for an arm (liek good enough for a 3B or SS?) I dunno. But he profiles as a leadoff/2slot hitter which is good.

  12. They have to loosen up on the slotting thing. Pretty much the ONLY way teams like the Pirates can build to become like the Phillies is if they bust slot repeatedly. To threaten the Royals like that is a disgrace and I actually doubt that its true. The ONLY way the Royals can win is through overpaying for their over-slot draft picks. Thats how the Phillies built a winner, now they have extra revenue from winning to builda great sytem like they have done so far. Thats what you do, thats HOW you win. Not through having $200M payrolls every year.

  13. According to BA, they signed Hudson for $475k vs a slot of $300k. Nice work on part of the Phillies. Now we just need two of the remaining big three

  14. Id argue Colvin and Susac. Stewart is nice but they have a lot of OF depth in their system. Even in 3 years time with, say, Taylor, Brown and someone like Susdorf, Hudson, Gose, or Dugan barring trades or signings presuming they all develop to their projections. They would STILL have a logjam up there.

    Stiill, in 2-3 yrs time. Its likely that they will let Ibanez walk. Werth – if he continues his power numbers – will get big $ elsewhere. Victorino could get some kind of extension, but also they could let him walk. Ben Francisco will still be under team control. So they could let 3 of those guys walk and have several guys to plug the holes.

    I think Susdorf would be a good utility 4th OF type.

  15. Sweep the Leg, Rube…Sign all 3. We have the money and this is the best way to get long-term success as a franchise.

    I personally expect the draft procedures to be a huge point of contention in the upcoming CBA negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA. I would expect a proposal by MLB for a hard slotting system & an international draft that closes the Latin America/Japan/Korea/Australia loopholes in the current system. A Cuban defects? Fine, but he’s going in next year’s draft. A hard-slotting system like that of the NBA would make sense too as it would ensure that the best talent is drafted by the most deserving team as the current system screws teams that can’t afford to pay or don’t like being held hostage by Scott Boras. However, MLB would have to give up a huge concession to get both of those approved so it would likely be some sort of Salary Floor for competing clubs to avoid fiascos like the Marlins and Pirates current situations. If you can’t afford to put in place a payroll of more than $25 million, you have no business owning an MLB franchise. A salary floor of something like $50-60 million would make sense…or even higher. That would help ensure that the players don’t get screwed. Or maybe teams could lose another year of control on drafted players (hit FA sooner perhaps??). Either way, a huge change is coming.

  16. i just have a feeling that MLB and MLBPA are about to really hurt themselves with any attempt at a hard slotting system.

    face it, without teams going overslot, the kyrell hudson’s and domonic browns of the world are playing football right now.

    and i’m not sure that there’s anyone in the negotiating room for the next CBA who is all that concern about it.

  17. When I read about this draft they said there wasn’t a lot of bats coming out, and kind of a weak draft. We are getting excited about Hudson when most said let him walk and get the draft choice next year. I personally don’t understand that. What is the opinion on Hudson from ba and on Stewart, What I read on colvin was he was only pitching for about a year if that is correct why all the hype, was he that dominate in high school? just wondering thanks if someone can help me understand.

  18. mikemike – I could be wrong but part of the problem on Hudson was that people weren’t sure if he wanted to play football and baseball in college or just baseball professionally. I read the same thing about this draft and I’m not saying he’s going to be a surefire stud but if the team decided to spend $475K on him he must be very talented.

  19. I wouldnt use the NBA as a model for anything. That is the worst piece of garbage excuse for a professional sports league. ESPN promotes it ad nauseum beacuse they have the braodcast contract, and if they didnt, nobody would care about it. Its a disgrace to all of sports.

  20. rb, that’s a really good point about MLB competing with football for their draft picks.

    phuturephillies, if you interview Keith Law again I would ask him about changes he’d like to see in the draft. He’s pretty vocal in his dislike for the system.

  21. I didn’t think Hudson would sign. I guess I was taken in by the football rhetoric. It’s all part of the negotiations. I’m also wondering how much the current economy is playing a part in signings. They might be saying that the cash is there now. Take it. No one knows what will happen in 3 or 4 years. Colvin, Stewart and Susac must be feeling that urge too. I hope they are.

  22. PP,

    Considering that the Phillies have only committed such a modest amount so far (considering the past 2 drafts) how would you feel if they didn’t sign all of the remaining Big 3?

    If they don’t get Colvin, Stewart, and Susac that would mean they would be at (or less then) $4M spent in this draft. That seems kinda low to me. If they don’t get all three of the remaining big names I hope that means they are still planning on some combination of Kohlscheen, Kleven, Griffin, or Greene at a minimum.

  23. Thinking about the three remaining big targets, my stance on the draft as a whole, knowing what we know now (ie, not what these guys will be in 5 years), I’d say

    none of the three: big failure
    only stewart or susac: modest disappointment
    colvin only: average draft, but closer to the 2007 disappointment
    colvin + stewart or susac: above average draft
    all three: a draft on par with 2008

  24. I don’t see a cap being that much of a problem in competing with football. They are two very different sports and those who really want to play baseball will still gravitate that way. I can see the need for slots for second to fifth roung picks to be higher than they are now, however. Really, the commish has totally arbitrarily slashed the slots by 20% over the past two drafts. Just restoring that money in rounds 2 – 5 probably gives viable caps. If we go an international draft, then the draft cap pool would need to go up another 20%, so 40% beyond initial caps is probably ok.

    The players association has no real reason to object. The tradeoff is likely further diminution of comp for lost FA. Perhaps teams only surrender a bottom half of second round/top half of third round pick and the rest of the comp comes from added draft slots. Further shrink the number of A/B players subject to comp. All of this makes FA more attractive. Probably also a raise in the major league minimum salary.

  25. thanks for your opinion on Hudson. PP do you think the story about stewart that was posted was true, The one where the guy was on vacation and talked to a stanford coach? And am I right that colvin is only pitching about one year?

  26. Susac’s WCL team (Corvallis Knights) finished the regular season last night, and will be in the league playoffs. The playoffs run through August 17th. I don’t think we can expect anything official on a Susac signing as long as the Knights are still in the playoff picture – Susac isn’t going to walk away from his team now – so this one looks to be down to the wire.

  27. August 10-09
    Paul Mainieri is still hopeful that that Brodie Colvin (6’2″, RHP) from STM in Lafayette will enroll at LSU in late August. Rosenberg signing to play pro baseball might help LSU’s chances of keeping Colvin who can walk in and be an instant starter. Colvin was clocked at 96 MPH by several major league scouts in an STM game that I attended this past Spring.

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