Its signing deadline day

For me, Draft Day is the most exciting day of the season with regard to the minors aspect of the Phillies organization, and a close second is deadline day. Teams have until 11:59 tonight to finish signing their draft picks. College seniors with no remaining eligibility do not apply, they have until 1 week prior to the 2010 draft to sign. But the Phillies don’t have anything to worry about on that front. Its going to be a crazy day with all of the signings, especially the high profile Scott Boras clients, but the Phillies have some decisions to make as well. Check below for more..

I’m going to withhold my verdict on this draft until Tuesday, when we should have all the info at hand in terms of who signed and who didn’t. As it stands, the Phillies have the following guys unsigned

High School: Colvin, RHP (7th), Stewart, OF (14th), Susac, C (16th), Kidd, RHP (39th), Amaro, 3B (40th), Gelalich, OF (41st), Bain, OF (45th), Ames, RHP (46th), Nunez, OF (48th), Gosik, 3B (49th)

JuCo: Kohlscheen, RHP (30th), Laney, LHP (42nd), Lafreniere, RHP (43rd), Feekin, LHP (44th)

College: Griffin, RHP (34th), Greene, 2B (37th)

If you’ve been following along, the big prizes here are the first three names on the list. Susac, it appears, is 99.9% locked into college. Colvin should have been a must sign, but the latest rumblings are mixed. Last week there was word that the Phillies brass went to Colorado to visit Stewart and presumably talk dollars. The remaining guys here are a few tiers below the big 3. Would I be happy if we signed a bunch of them? Sure. But Colvin, Stewart and Susac were the three biggest upside guys the team drafted, and not signing any of them would be a big disappointment.

I wanted to take this space to update the money spent and compare it to the last 2 drafts. Here’s a chart, I’ll explain below

2007 Draft Chart

2008 Draft Chart

2009 Draft Chart

A few notes. These charts contain only the bonuses reported by BA. Some guys in the later rounds receive small bonuses, if its not noted, then I didn’t add it in the charts above. The info comes from BA, I wanted to be consistent. The Phillies had a conservative draft in 2007, they had one extra pick (a supplemental first), and they ended up spending $3.6M. They went over slot on Sampson and gave nominally notable bonuses to Jiwan James and Matt Rizzotti, but the Rizzotti bonus wasn’t really over slot, I just use 100K as the average for the 6-10th rounds, the rule is no more than 150K, and most bonuses are somewhere around 85-125K, so no big thing there. The Phillies did not sign Workman, who looks like he could be a supplemental round pick if everything clicks in his upcoming junior year. They also went really cheap on Mach, Chapman, Brummett, Kissock, and Rocchio. Joe freaking Rocchio. Anyway, they spent $3.6M, and the two best picks of the draft (at this point) are d’Arnaud and Taylor, Taylor looking like the best value signing of the entire draft.

Last year, the Phillies blew the doors off. I’ve raved about the draft so many times, I’ll spare you the details. But they had 3 extra picks (supplemental 1st and 3rd, extra 2nd), and they went over slot to sign 2 of those picks. In total, they spent about $1.22M more than the slot recommendations, including one of the biggest bonuses of the last 20 rounds with the $550K given to Cosart. They significantly busted slot 4 times, 5 if you count Jason Knapp. All told, they spent about $6.5M on the draft.

Now, when you look at the 2009 chart, you see how it really lines up. In this case, the Phillies didn’t have a 1st round pick, and they didn’t have any supplemental picks. They’ve already given 3 significant bonuses to Hudson, Inch and Singleton, which offset the “cheap” deal they gave to Way. The total spending, as of this writing, is about $1.84M. This represents just a touch over half of the amount spent in 2007, a year in which the team had extra picks. The $1.84M is $4.7M less than they spent last season.

If you would have assumed that 2007 was a “normal” draft budget, then the team would still have about $1.75M left to spend on picks. Last year appears to not be the norm, since they had 3 extra picks and they were extra aggressive with their signings. Even thinking of 2009 in the context of 2007, with $1.75M to spend, they could easily afford Colvin. If he does indeed want what ZVR or Cain got, you can give him $1.25M and still come in under 2007’s draft budget. And you’d still have $500K to spend, which should get you Brodie Greene and maybe one of the less heralded JuCo guys like Kohlscheen.

I’m going to wait to pass initial judgment until the deadline comes and goes. And of course we won’t know for a few years whether any of these guys will pan out. Looking at 2007, that draft clearly hinges on Taylor and D’Arnaud, because the cheapies they went after the 5th round don’t figure to be big league contributors of any meaningful kind. We don’t know what will come of the 2008 draft class, but it certainly looks a lot more promising. Stay tuned.

My final prediction is that Stewart signs and they also sign one of the other high school kids no one is focusing on. Maybe Kidd or Gelalich.

Update 1–> No sooner do I finish this up and hit submit, I check in at the LSU forums and see this comment

Might be old news by now, but my daughter talked to Brody Colvin today an he told her he’s taking orientation this week and we be enrolled at LSU.

Update 2 –> According to a article, Covlin is on the LSU campus but still negotiating.

Meanwhile, LSU is also waiting on right-handed pitcher Brody Colvin of St. Thomas More in Lafayette. The 6’4, 190 pound Colvin worked out for the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park last week. Colvin, who throws in the low 90’s, has a good breaking ball and is a fine hitter as well. He was a seventh-round pick of the Phillies. He is on campus at LSU today but is still negotiating with the Phillies.

Update 3 —-> Colvin signed for $900K!

213 thoughts on “Its signing deadline day

  1. So are these just signing bonuses? Do they get a daily salary for food and housing? For those making $25,000, they can’t possibly live on that if they have a family. What about the guys making $10,000?

  2. Just out of curiousity, how much approximately do the players make per year at the various minor leage levels?

  3. Very very little…go to Schwim’s archived posts on the top of the board and he gives a breakdown of their salary…its well below minimum wage.

  4. If that Brody Colvin thing from the comments section is indeed true, and Colvin was down in LSU (now that’s the downside of the possibility) and he was talkin’ to a girl on the college campus, perhaps he had ulterior motives for saying he would be there long-term, if you know what I mean.

    According to the chart , it appears Buschini’s bonus was $300 over slot. Good he can use that education to wheedle that extra $300. And that Hollywood guy , you know he had to have that extra $100.

    On the minor league salary thing, seems to me that Schwimer himself said they rake in around $1200 a month, that’s plenty, considering they likely have some sort of dormitory arrangements and/or host families and the like. Meal money also. Those who claim it is less than minimum wage must be computing off of the 24 hour a day clock. After all they are but trainees, the real job is in MLB, nobody makes anything from their labors until then.

  5. Who knows what’s real. Everyone on those boards claims to be a pal and know 99 percent sure that he’s doing one thing or another. I don’t think there’s anyway they can’t sign him but the conflicting reports lead me to believe that it’s 50/50 right now.

  6. I know this sounds weird but on his facebook page he’s not signed up with the LSU network so take that for what it’s worth.

  7. First year at High A Clearwater player receives $1200.00 a month and only for the months they play, (April-August).
    They receive $20.00 per day meal money on away trips.
    They pay for their own housing, and also pay a clubbie fee for laundry.
    They average 2 days a month off from work. Reference their schedules. They practice before they play each day while at home not sure about road games. More than 40 hour work week every week.
    There is no pay for spring training session in March.
    Second year players in High A receive $1300.00 per month, with third year players taking home $1400.00
    They are not Trainees, they are working professionals.

  8. Eh, lets just wait it out. Pretty soon something else will come out saying that Colvin is a lock to sign. Its wildly conflicting in my opinion. This is not unusual with rumors of this nature. Lets just wait and see. Im not convinced hes not going to sign yet. They still have time to throw MAD money at him.

  9. Working pofessionals? What working professionals don’t generate enough revenue from their activities to even equal the rather miniscule in relation to the entire economyThey are awarded. And even at the $1200 a month figure, given the lack of any housing issues, is plenty.
    It is more than enough to maintain the player at the level necessary to play ball until they might get to MLB and get the real job. Minor Leaguers as presently constituted do not contribute one positive cent to the bottom line of the organization that pays the bulk of their salary. Hopefully MLB and the Players Union will come to their senses and agree to a stable system which will prevent Money Grubbers of the Agent Class from gaming the system and deviously enriching themselves to the detriment of all , save themselves and a select handful of Money Grubber prospective players.

  10. Let’s not sugarcoat it, being a minor leaguer is a pretty tough life, even if you are living a dream. The smart ones get a bonus (if they can), don’t spend it all, and also get a scholarship that they use. But, other than that, it’s a lean existence. Now you know why Schwim apparently stops what he’s doing when there’s a good post-game spread – that one more good meal he does not have to pay for. Seriously, it’s been a long time since I lived like a student, but $20 a day for big, professional athletes is a joke. They’d be a lot better off offering meals at the team facilities. But, you know baseball, this is the way it’s always been done, so guess how it’ll be done in the future? You know the answer.

  11. He was around the 40th ranked player in BA’s prospect list right?

    I wouldn’t think the Phillies would be that stingy, especially when they see what Pittsburgh did with comparable players. Who knows…he might be asking for a BIT more than those others. I keep on hearing, “just give him what those players received”…well he may not want that. It may be incomprehensible to us, but, haha, we really don’t know anything at all right now.

  12. If there is $1.75M left by 2007 standards, but they budgeted knowing they wouldn’t have a 1st round pick would they have:

    1.75 – 1.3 = $450,000 left?

    I know, it’s silly, but I don’t think anyone is ‘in tune’ enough with the front office to say exactly how they budget these things. If this was the case though, why even take Colvin? If Dugan and Hudson didn’t sign? I would have rather Colvin, but the equation is more like Dugan + Hudson +Inch = Colvin, dollar wise at least.

  13. HYPOTHETICAL: Phillies establishing case with MLB that they had a six-figure deal in place with Colvin, and Pittsburgh’s signing messed them up. Once this is done, they can then sign Colvin for $1.2 without MLB objecting too much.

    If the Phillies get Colvin and Stewart, the draft is an A-, in my book. I still wouldn’t be shocked if Susac is somehow signs. He’s not officially gone, so I think he’s still got a number in mind that he’d accept.

  14. blues, That could be possible, but Wolever’s quote on CSN Philly doesn’t make it sound like he was asking for more.

    “They’re getting from the college coaches,” Wolever said. “And some of them think they know what other players have gotten and think they are worth that, too.”

    Of course he doesn’t mention Colvin by name, but it sounds like he is talking about him.

  15. I heard from my wife’s friend’s cousin’s boyfriend’s uncle who played golf in a foursome behind Colvin’s grandfather’s neighbor…

    is it midnight yet?

  16. Kind of tough to raise a family on $1,200 a month. Per anonymous these guys also pay for their own housing. That’s tough.

    I’m hopeful that we get Colvin today. For some reason I’m cautiously optimistic that both he and Stewart sign. On a non-Phillies note, I’m very anxious to see whether or not Strasburg signs. My guess is that he doesn’t sign and that he’s off to Japan for a year before coming back to MLB as a free agent.

  17. marfis,

    At each facility in the minor leagues merchandise is sold that is a licensed product of MLB baseball whose revenues are shared across the league. Considering the tremendous attendance at Lehigh Valley, Reading and Lakewood it is reasonable to suggest that minor league Professionals contribute to the bottom line of the Phillies Organization.
    Minor Leaguers EARN just enough to meet their needs and accept this situation due to the carrot their chasing. They do not make minimum wage based on hours worked, but history demonstrates there are many waiting to take their place and chase that same carrot

  18. Current draft grade = C.
    If they sign one of Colvin, Stewart, Susac, it goes up to B.
    If they sign 2 of them, grade goes up to B+/A-.
    If they sign all 3, it is an A.

  19. I agree with ZG. I think Wolever’s quote is telling us that Colvin wants ZVR and Cain money to sign and the Phillies aren’t willing to pay what the Pirates did.

    I am just guessing that the Phillies offered somewhere between $600K and $800K to Colvin.

  20. Well crap, the same LSU guy that’s been telling me that Colvin was a sure fire MLB guy just told me it now looks like he will be at LSU after he talked to a guy connected to the staff.

    Not what I wanted to hear.

    I’m still hoping that my A&M guy was right about Greene because he’s a very good prospect IMO.

  21. @ Nobody:

    But wasn’t the conjecture and ‘reports’ after Colvin was drafted that the Phillies did their homework and called his people up to see if he would sign at a certain bonus (probably around the bonus you just listed) at an earlier round, when he said “no” they drafted someone else and when he was still available later on, they picked him anyway.

    So I don’t see why they would continue to offer the same thing when, on draft day, he rejected that deal.

  22. well it looks like colvin isn’t blinking…let’s see if the phils cave to his demand. i must admit, i find it kinda silly that they worry about a few hundred grand, which in the grand scheme of a baseball payroll is a rounding error. i hope that they aren’t so small minded.

  23. Just for the record, put me down as the president of the Kyrell Hudson fan club.

    I’ve seen the discussions about him being a Greg Golson type guys, but I know Greg decently (my best friend is very close to him) and they don’t have the same make-up.

    I actually think Greg is a more natural baseball player, but there’s something about Hudson that I really like. HIs athletic upside is so tempting that I like the gamble. PLus, after watching him as a football prospect, I really liked him in that sport as well.

    Anyways, I’ll kickoff the adopt a Phillie prospect program and I’m taking Hudson. I’ll leave the rest of the draft class for you guys to sort through. 🙂

  24. Ketch – The Phillies raved about Golson’s make-up upon selection. Can you clarify your view of Hudson’s make-up? Is he a great athlete with questionable make-up? Thx.

  25. does Hudson really profile as an OF (we have a logjam there already)? does he have a cannon? as in, could he play shortstop?

  26. Ice-9, Golson is a great kid, but Hudson’s football background, his toughness and his athleticism combined make him a different guy than Golson (who was a baseball only guy in high school, although he would have loved to have played) – at least to me.

    I like guys with football player mentalitys and Hudson has that in spades.

    My hope is that he can play second and project much better than a guy like Tim Moss, who was similar in a lot of ways.

  27. It really makes no sense for the Phillies to spend a 7th rounder on Colvin, a guy ranked inside the Top 50 by BA, if they weren’t willing to at least throw high Round 2 money at him.

    I think the Pirates deals with ZVR and Cain for Top 25 money (at least based on slot recommendations from MLB) set the new bar for Colvin. I can’t really blame his agent for asking for a similar deal from the Phillies.

  28. The stupidity of a penny wise/pound foolish approach is illustrated by the following example.

    Let’s say you could have spent $1.5 million to go over slot to get an outfielder who, ultimately, will become roughly the equal of a player like Raul Ibanez (type A free agent) and let’s say you won’t keep that player when he becomes eligible to be a free agent. So what is the comparison?

    Let’s say, conservatively, that an Ibanez-level athlete is worth $12 million per year – that $72 million over a six year period. However, you also lose a draft pick by taking this player. So the player costs you $72 million plus a draft pick.
    By contrast, the replacement player is very cheap over the first 3 or 4 years of his contract – let’s say the first 4 years are worth $17 million. The last 2 years would be slightly less than the free agent, perhaps $10 million per year. So, now you are talking about a player who you will probably pay $35-45 million or so. That’s a big savings, plus, if the player leaves when he’s done, you’ll get a compensatory pick. Furthermore, during his early years, the player has great trade value as well.

    My overall point is this. Just one big signing “hit” can save the team an enormous amount of money and provide other real benefits. As such, even if you have a low “hit” ration (1 out of 5 or 6), you will generally do much better economically, if you invest extra money in young players, assuming you know how to choose them, and it appears that the Phillies do.

  29. I might be able to answer for Ketch – When I hear “football player mentality” I think of an intense player. The first time I heard someone described that way was Kirk Gibson (when his intensity was being compared to another guy who played football: Jackie Robinson).

    I’ve actually been on edge today, wondering when/if a signing announcement will be made. Hopefully we aren’t disappointed

    – Jeff

  30. Ketch – thank you for that on Hudson/Golson. Gillick wasn’t around when Golson was selected, so maybe I made the mistake of thinking the Phillies perception of his make-up then would be the same by today’s front office. Wolever is still there, but Gillick, Looper, Proefrock, Lamar, and the scouts they rely on, could evaluate make-up much like you, where toughness is better accounted for.

    I have a lot of confidence in the Phillies decision-making capability these days. I expect a good signing day!

  31. Ketch,

    I’ll have to throw a caveat in there about baseball players who also played football and bring a football player’s mentality. Sometimes that is a bad thing. Football players can express their emotions thru physical aggressiveness.

    But I think that can hurt a player in baseball. Baseball requires a more channeled and disciplined approach. Sometimes the guys with football player mentalities are the guys that smash water coolers, throw bats and helmets, and can sometimes choke in big situations because they are pressing too much. Even if they have the talent, they can’t ever make it translate on the baseball field the way they can on the football field. Some football guys can make a seamless transition to baseball, but some can’t. And not because they lack talent, they just don’t have the right personality for it.

    Not including Hudson in my remarks. I don’t know anything about his personality. I am just making a general statement.

  32. He’s a tough sonofabitch on the football field – fearless almost. It takes a different kind of guy to play special teams and love it. There’s nothing passive about Hudson’s approach to competing from what I can tell.

    That’s what I love about Dom. Brown as well. You can take the guy out of the sport, but you can take the sport out of them. There’s a speed and aggression that they have to play with to feed the competitive hunger.

  33. Nobody, I don’t disagree at all. It’s can go in either direction. I don’t know enough about Hudson to know how well he’ll take being forced into a tough life at 19.

    How can you ever know?

    But, I love the tool set. I’ll take that guys physical ability and raw baseball skill set over a more natural player who has physical limitations.

    I’ve got no problem swinging for the fences on guys like Hudson. Of course, we can argue about his round selection, but what’s done is done.

    He’s a Phillie now. Let’s hope he’s the 1 in 10.

  34. Ketch,

    Hey, I hear you dude. I love the new Phillies approach to drafting young toolsy players and seeing what they can do with them. The late 80’s and early 90’s were so underwhelming on the farm with what seemed like every draft loaded with college seniors who provided little upside or excitement.

    I don’t mind the Hudson pick. I don’t mind the Colvin, Stewart, or Susac picks either. I just think that if you are going to take the approach of drafting young high school players with huge upside you need to sign them.

    The Phillies want to start drafting high school lottery tickets with high risk but also huge upside? Fine. Just get them signed then and don’t complain or give us excuses about the sometimes inflated cost you have to pay to keep them out of school or re-entering the draft the following year.

  35. Ketch Quote: “He’s a tough sonofabitch on the football field – fearless almost. It takes a different kind of guy to play special teams and love it. There’s nothing passive about Hudson’s approach to competing from what I can tell.”

    Impressive. I will take my chances with fearless athletes who love to compete. Carl Crawford as a comp?

  36. Nobody, we’re completely on the same page. I think the repeated failure of toolsy athletes has made most of us gun-shy, but I guess I’m gluten for punishment.

    Not even the memory of Jeff Jackson scares me away from having high hopes for Hudson. Fool me once, shame on you… fool me twice…umm… yes sit, may I have another?

    I also am not going to be happy if we have a Brandon Workman situation with Colvin in two years.

  37. should read: “yes sir, may I have another”. Nothing like blowing your Animal HOuse reference…

  38. … and you blew it twice – isn’t it “Thank you sir, may I have another”? 8^) It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Animal House though, so I could be blowing it too.

    I was about to say that Philadelphia has never struck gold with the toolsy draft picks, but Brown and Taylor are (in all likelihood) going to buck that trend in a big way.

    – Jeff

  39. Yeah, Brown suddenly becomes the holy grail of toolsy guys and we will be looking for the next one for the next 30 years.

  40. Wasn’t the main reason Brown fell because scouts thought he had chosen football over baseball? I remember reading that people thought it was a major coup for the Phillies because of that reason.

    I still don’t think the club has “hit” on the tool shed players who haven’t necessarily had a solid hitting foundation. We do have some players showing signs and all, but I consider Taylor and Brown safer bets than the less polished players in Hudson and our *crossing fingers* future beastly 3rd baseman.

  41. Could Ibanez’s salary be figured in decision-making for draft budget? Hope not.

  42. Why would it be? Burrell was paid more than him last season. He actually made about double of what Raul is making this year.

  43. The people are discussing Ibanez’s salary as it relates to the budget for signing draftees are, I think, missing the point. My point is this – it is generally far more expensive, both in terms of money spent and draft picks lost, to acquire free- agent talent than it is to develop talent, even assuming you overpay somewhat for those you sign. Of course, in order to make this model work, you, as the drafting team, really need to know what you’re doing. But if you do, the net cost/talent differential is extreme.

  44. ****but $20 a day for big, professional athletes is a joke.****

    To put that in perspective, I get about $60 a day (give or take on the city) when I travel for my food.

    They get enough to survive but not enough to go out and party or hit the bars. From what I remember of my 18-22 time period, giving young guys a lot of money and free time was basically like giving a bag of C4 and detonators to a 5 year old…usually ends bad.

    Still, as a professional, they should be paid far more than they are now. Giving up a high life as a college athlete (no responsibility, lots of parties, free ride through school, perks galore), to toil for no pay in the minors is a tough sell sometimes…particularly to the non-7 figure deals guys.

    Still, I am amazed that a person like Colvin wouldn’t sign and assure himself financial stability at the age of 18.

  45. Recently we have seen that with J-Roll and Chase. Jimmy’s contract is WELL below market value and Chase got a massive contract a couple years ago that looks like fantastic business. Sometimes players like the team they are playing on and do give hometown discounts or MAJOR first options when you have advisers telling you to wait it out for a bigger offer. Mad dog was a great example this winter. Boras wanted to sell him as a future closer and didn’t want Madson to sign the extension but he wanted to be here.

    Clubs should work towards home grown. Not only will they feel the colors more (some anyway), but you will save a lot of money long term. Of course, like you said, they have to know what they are doing. Recently, the Phils act like they know what they are doing.

  46. Not missing your point, Catch. Just hoping Ruben isn’t cooking up a really bad rationalization.

  47. Ill be updating the main post a number of times today as new info comes out. All praise Google Alerts.

    According to the info I just added, Colvin is on the LSU campus but still negotiating.

  48. The $20 I believe is just for dinner. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks during the day are provided for them since they spend all day at the facility. But despite that, it’s not ideal to eat on $20/day every day.

  49. If you’re going to consider the big club’s payroll in the discussion, forget individual contracts, as a whole it’s at a record level. So, yes, the possibility of a ‘we spent our money on the big club’ rationalization exists.

    College is an amazing experience. Would I pass my time up for $1.27 million? It’s a tough call, honestly, considering I would have ate through part of that surviving on $1,200/month, $20 per diem for 5 years. So let’s not question the decisions of these guys. I’d rather Colvin signs but at the same time I can’t question his reasoning if he doesn’t.

  50. Yes but Ibanez was a known quantity with a long track record of steady performance. Colvin and others are unknown quanties. You might need to draft three or more Colvin types to get one solid Ibanez type. I’m all for drafting talent and not avoiding the Boras clients, but it is harder to justify paying a kid who hasn’t even proved himself in college.

  51. The Yankees signed 2nd rounder J.R. Murphy for $1.25M. For guys that are still unsigned, and have 2nd roundish talent, it seems like the starting point for negotiations is around $1M.

    Colvin, Stewart, and maybe Susac seem to fall into that category. I am not sure if the Phillies are going to get any of them signed. I hope I’m wrong.

  52. How does anyone turn down the opportunity to be $17 million dollars richer today than yesterday and not break any laws.

  53. The philosophical debate about how much money is enough to live on and so forth is probably more appropriate for the “Fix the Draft” post. Lets just focus on the notable signings around baseball and what the Phillies do today.

  54. If they turn down 17M + incentives then Boras loses even more credbility. Thats an obscene amount of money for someone whos never played in the pros before and may never make it.

    I know – the NFL is way worse with that but still.

  55. I am buoyed by the comment that they are still negotiating. I am trying hard not to be negative. However, it does kind of feel like Rube gave Marti a lousy budget and he’s squeezing it as far as it will go.

  56. You have to like the “still negotiating” part. Gives us all a little bit of hope. It’s like christmas day as a kid. Right before you open up your presents and know whether you’re either going to be incredibly happy and want to hug everyone in sight or ready to give your parents the silent treatment for the next couple of days.

    Come on Phils! Get something done!

  57. rodeo t
    hat is stupid 1 million gives you 40 to 50 thousand in interest alone so 12 hundred a month plus another 4000 is enought to live on. college experience doesnt pay the mortrage. Remember a lot of these kids aren’t college material expect they are great athlethes

  58. No problem – consider discussions about meal money and minor league salaries to be terminated. I picked up on a string and followed it. My bad.

    On Ruben, he’s been so savvy about so many things that I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt and not just assume he is being penny wise/pound foolish on this issue.

  59. my gut feeling is, they have an $800K level bonus available, they’re keeping it there for Colvin until he flat out says no, and if/when he does, the same bonus is on the table for Stewart. Frankly, I don’t think its enough to sign either guy.

  60. Based on PP’s original post, if they only have $1.75m or so to spend, I would guess that only Colvin or Stewart signs. I have to say I would be a tad bit disappointed in that result. That would be especially true if they end up signing Stewart – not because I don’t like him, but because we already have a whole mass of toolsy outfielders in the GCL. I hope we do sign Greene because he has at least played the infield a little.

    I’m surprised that the Phils are in line to spend so little considering that the CBA expires after next season and it is looking more likely to include hard-slotting for the draft. If a high-revenue team may not be able to use its finances to its advantage in the future, it should use them to its advantage now while it still can! Sign Colvin and Stewart!

  61. If Colvin signs, he’s our 2009 1st round pick and instantly becomes one of our top pitching prospects. Is he worth late 1st/comp round money? Absolutely; especially when we don’t have those picks in a high revenue year. With the loss of Knapp, we don’t have any high upside pitching prospects besides Drabek. We need to get this deal done. Do it Rube. Don’t be an idiot.

  62. Am I the only one who thinks the Nats would have been better off planning to spend 20 mill on the draft and skipping Strasburg and just signing primo talent that falls? Imagine how much you could get for 20 million if you spread it around rather than dumping it all into one prospect.

  63. I think Trevor May is well on his way to becoming a high level pitching prospect and, I believe, so is Mike Stutes. That having been said, we still need to sign these guys as the Lee trade did dilute the overall talent pool in the system. Ruben, re-fill the pool!

  64. so does this mean this draft will have a budget below $4 Million??????

    I don’t understand.

  65. B,

    The MLB draft thread is probably the place for this comment so I will make it short. Your comment about Strasburg is why MLB should allow teams to trade draft picks (which I think PP endorses as well).

  66. I don’t care how good Strasburg appears to be – history says that spending $ 20 m on a college pitching prospect is a crazy risk. However, the Nationals’ are so much in danger of further eroding their already limited fan base that it’s almost a necessity that they sign him and don’t think that Boras isn’t loving every minute of this.

  67. The last 10 hours or so is going to be tricky for the Phils. If they lose out on both Colvin and Stewart that would probably mean they would have money still sitting on the table unspent after this draft that they were willing to spend collectively.

  68. I know it’s really easy to spend other people’s money. That being said, good players are worth WAY more to an organization than an extra million dollars in the bank account. It’s not like the Phillies ONLY have a million or 2 to spend and that’s it. It’s 1 or 2 million out of the BILLIONS they are worth. Guys like Cliff Lee don’t fall out of trees. The only reason we got him is b/c the Phillies did a fine job of drafting, signing and developing 4 good young players. It may have taken 5 million dollars to do that but they never would have been able to get a Cy Young, MVP type guy like Lee without it.

    Also, guys like Werth, Madson, Vic, Hamels, Blanton, Ruiz, etc. are going to demand a LOT of money in the next couple of years. The Phils need to have guys ready to step in and play. If they don’t have good players available (and they really want to win another WFC) they will have to go the free agent route and that will cost a lot more money.

    Bottom line, sign the good prospects and let your coaches develop them. It’s a good investment in the future using money that they definitely have.

  69. If these guys are wiling to sign for anything less than $1.5 million, then the team’s unwillingness to pay, given the current state of the team and the fact that the team saved both money and prospects in acquiring Lee over Halliday, is utterly and complete unforgivable.

  70. They didnt really “save money” on Cliff Lee. They just didn’t spend as much money as they could have with Halladay. In other words, Clif Lee was “on sale.” Its the very same concept as a sale.

    When you buy things at a sale you are not really saving money, youre spending it, youre just spending less than you COULD HAVE SPENT. Saving money means NOT spending it. So its better to say ‘we got him at a discounted rate”

  71. The financial aspects of a signing bonus and a player’s worth is a good idea for a post, and maybe one I’ll write in great detail this winter.

    But think about this for a second. The Phillies gave Taylor $131,000 in 2007. He was coming off a really pedestrian 3 years at Stanford. He was no longer an elite college prospect. I don’t remember the exact details of his stock pre draft when he was in high school, but I’m fairly certain he got big money offers, bigger than what he signed for. He chose college, he struggled, and he got $131K to sign. Now, he’s in AAA. He’ll likely make his MLB debut in 2010, if he doesn’t get a September callup. He’ll make the MLB minimum for 3 years. Then he’ll enter arbitration for 3 years. If he is playing regularly when he’s called up (which is what the Phillies try and do, ala Utley, Howard, and others), then he’s going to more than likely be producing at a level of at least MLB average, with upside for even more. An “average” three slash line over 500 AB is worth, what, 2-3M? If the Phillies just get “average” production out of him before he hits arbitration, the value there is close to $9M. I could go into much more detail, but I won’t in this space, its just for reference.

    $1.3M might seem like a ton to give for a high school kid who’s never thrown a college or pro inning. But on the other side of the coin, when you don’t draft elite talents, you end up overpaying for mediocre talents at the big league level.

    Its a complex equation, its not simply “he’s inexperienced, he doesn’t deserve that” and its not “just give them whatever they want”….its much more intricate than that.

  72. Great point, phuturephillies. I would be interested in reading your thoughts on the topic.

    From the players perspective it is an even more complex analysis, not limited to simply $ and cents. Taylor had one shot at a Stanford eduction and two shots at MLB. Yes his decision to go to Stanford cost him money in the short-term, but the benefits of the Stanford experience and degree will likely manifest themselves over the course of the rest of his life.

  73. If Colvin and Stewart don’t sign, who’s worse off, the Phillies or Rays? It doesn’t look like Tampa will sign either of their first two picks and one of them, Levon Washington, was viewed as one of the biggest overdrafts this year. IMO, Colvin+Stewart > Washington+Diekroeger.

  74. Montyburns,

    Taylor could have gotten the same Stanford education after his playing days were over. Whether you go to college first or after pursuing a baseball career seems irrelevant. Either way you end up with a degree without any actual working experience beyond playing baseball.

    The difference is how much money you get paid over that stretch. Time, value, money ratios are important to consider here. An 18-yr old would be oblivous…or most would…that is where quality advisors are important.

  75. Though, come to think of it, they do get the comp picks next year and that draft class is far superior to this one. Sounds like they might have had a plan all along.

  76. I think the key to the Colvin deal was when the Pirate paid $1.2M to ZVR. It sounds like they were friendly, potential future teammates, and almost ranked the same by BA.

    I am about 99% positive Woelver’s comments related to the Colvin camp now wanting the same deal that the ZVR camp got. Obviously the Phillies don’t appear prepared to meet those demands.

    But that is what I think it would take to make Colvin a guaranteed Phillie by midnight. $1.2M.

  77. Though, come to think of it, they do get the comp picks next year and that draft class is far superior to this one. Sounds like they might have had a plan all along.

    Wouldnt surprise me.

    R3 – Glaesmann – $900K
    R4 – Bailey – $750K
    R5 – Malm – $680K
    R9 – James – $625K

    900K was the slot for 35th overall
    750K was the slot for 46th overall slot
    680K was the slot for 52nd overall
    625K was the slot for 58th overall

    So they can look at it as them getting 4 guys who were supplemental/early 2nd round talents, plus they will get 2 comp picks next year.

    Picking that late in the round, that’s not too bad, especially with 2010 being stronger than 2009.

  78. mikemike – I don’t want to get in a youknowwhat contest but:

    1. College experience pays my mortgage.
    2. To say ‘these guys’ are just great athletes is a gross generalization and intelligence goes a long way to making a great player, especially a pitcher.

  79. Isn’t Stewart the one with SAT issues? They’re help in gray-shirting him (or whatever it is) may be his last chance at a college education.

  80. Well, saving is a relative term. If they were going to spend the money on Halladay and had those funds allocated then, yes, you will save money in salary if you, instead, acquire Cliff Lee and there’s no reason those additional funds cannot be used to sign high-level amateur talent.

  81. Nobody – fair points. But you are assuming that Stanford was an option to Taylor w/out baseball. I’m not sure that it would have been.

  82. PP is right about this not being a black/white issue. Obviously, we’d all love them to sign all of their draft picks but – as mentioned earlier – it’s easy to spend other people’s money. You can’t just give these kids whatever they ask for. The owners need to protect themselves against salaries going up every year. If you give prospects like Colvin a blank check or pay Strasburg 17mil, you are starting down the path towards the NFL rookie salary structure. Obviously I’d like Colvin to end up a Phillie, but I’m just playing devil’s advocate here…

  83. Hudson was the one getting grey-shirted. Domonic Brown is the only Phillie draftee for whom I have ever seen the SAT come up as an actual factual issue. I think there was only speculation about Singleton, I did not read any hard evidence that it was the case.

    Edwo, I’m with you, I thought that’s what JE meant. But perhaps he did mean the Rays, as PP implied.

  84. Redeo it hard for me to believe you want to college,I said some of these kids, not all are college material. Second glad your so call college experience pays your mortrage , but these kids get both a lot of money up front and a payed college education, so instead of after 4 years owning 200 or more thousand for you edcuation plus the 4 years of not making money, if they sign they get it all. So even if they dont make it they for the most part have no mortrage, unless 1 million is not enough for a house, how much will your mortrage cost you after thrity years, Guess because I didn’t go to college I am too stupid to understand college experience= 30 of mortrage payments you wouldnt have to have. That is for doing something your love.

  85. Boston so all the kids are college material, only brown wasn’t. interesting? funny pennstate had to let a 4 star go for grades but rutgers said he is fine, wonder if he couldnt play football if those marks would have got him into rutgers.

  86. my gut feeling is, they have an $800K level bonus available, they’re keeping it there for Colvin until he flat out says no, and if/when he does, the same bonus is on the table for Stewart. Frankly, I don’t think its enough to sign either guy.

    I kind of get that same feeling, unless the organization is really lying in the weeds. When you add it all up — the massively increased payroll, the addition of Lee to that payroll, the strong college commitments of Colvin/Stewart/Susac — it wouldn’t surprise me at all if what you see is what you get from this year’s draft class.

  87. Anyway…

    Jim Callis at BA says he’d be “stunned” if a deal for Strasburg doesn’t get done. Probably a lot of posturing by Boras, if anyone can believe that.

  88. So as I leave my pc behind and head out to job numero dos, the chances we sign any of the big 3 are…..????


    Oh well.

  89. did the rays just pull the ultimate move in deliberately not signing their top 2 guys so they can get 4 picks in the top 2 rounds next year?

  90. Jim Callis of Baseball America reports that the Orioles signed 11th round pick Michael Ohlman for $995k. Now the Orioles, who signed 22nd rounder Cameron Coffey for $990k last week, have awarded the two biggest bonuses to players drafted after the 10th round this year. Ohlman is a catcher with good power and arm stength, Callis says.

    The market seems pretty crazy right now. I want the Phillies to get this done.

  91. great find Will. That’s awesome news for the Phillies organization and awesome for Colvin to get his career started.

  92. MikeMike, not to go off topic, but the 4 star you’re referring to was cleared by the NCAA to play this year. Penn St supposedly had a clerical mix up and asked him to take the wrong class during the summer which had no bearing on him qualifying or not. I’ll trust the program that has been in the top 5 in APR each of the past three years along with Army, Navy and Stanford.

  93. Phillies fan living here in Baton Rouge. The LSU coach was just quoted as saying he thinks Colvin is taking the money, although he hasn’t spoken to him personally. If true, kudos to the Phils.

  94. Wow, I’ve been stalking the site all day to hear this news…GREAT. My guess is that $800,000 was the Phillies number, but they were looking at the possibility of a very mediocre draft without any of the big three and busted budget to get this done – perhaps borrowing money they had slotted for some of the lower picks.

    I still think Stewart wants to sign. Not sure if the Phils have the dollars left in the budget to make it happen?

    Be curious to know how many hits the site had today when it’s all said and done.

  95. Guys,

    Great work with the link. Thanks for posting it. It’s a good signing IMO. I’ll feel better, though when I see it on the Phillies website as a press release.

  96. Colvin makes it a solid “B”. Stewart would push it into the “B+/A-” range. If Stewart can play CF, he’d be an especially valuable signing, considering his rare power at the position.

    How about an expanded look at newest Phillie top prospect Brody Colvin? I’m sure we’ll get that soon enough. I’m excited to get another power arm in a system that desperately needed them after losing CC and Knapp.

    Is Colvin the top prospect added in 2010? I’d think so, based on his pre-draft status. Santana, Singleton, Dugan and Hudson would probably be the other contenders.

  97. RE: Colvin

    That’s awesome, even impressive at 900K, it sounds like their was a serious game of cat and mouse going on, with Colvin even going onto campus, but I guess he wanted to sign all along. I’d love to hear the backstory on this whole process someday.

    Let’s get Stewart so we can just give this draft an A and everyone can be happy.

  98. I’m doing this list for a blog post, and I’ve been checking this site all day and thought it might be relevant (and funny/depressing). Happ made his 21st start as a Phillie last night and I was curious as to how many Phillies pitchers, drafted by the Phillies have started 20 games for the Phillies since 1990 (not counting Ashby and Eaton who came back from other squads)… There are only 15… and it’s not pretty.

    1. Randy Wolf, 190
    2. Brett Myers, 183
    3. Cole Hamels, 107
    4. Tyler Green, 68
    5. Brandon Duckworth, 58
    6. Mike Williams, 54
    7. Matt Beech, 53
    8. Kyle Kendrick, 50
    9. Pat Combs, 48
    10. Mike Grace, 40
    11. Bruce Ruffin, 40
    12. Carlton Loewer, 34
    13. David Coggin, 29
    14. Jason Grimsley, 23
    15. J.A. Happ, 21

    It’s astounding how bad this organization used to be at drafting and developing pitchers. Hopefully Happ is just the first of many to break this list and that Colvin finds himself on there one day as well.

  99. Baxter – one of the list makers, I forget who, had Colvin as our #7 or #8 prospect two weeks ago.

  100. Pete
    Just curious what year was Happ drafted … why do I think he came to the Phils in a trade?

  101. Happ was our 3rd round pick in 04, drafted between Jaramillo and Marson in rounds. Guys drafted ahead of him in the 3rd include a bunch of nobodies and Adam Lind, Steve Register, Garrett Mock. Matt Tuiasosopo was drafted the spot after Happ.

  102. Law:

    K_Law (8/17/2009 at 4:52 PM)
    Report Violation
    I filed Colvin a while ago – just waiting for it to show up here.

  103. i think that we are all still jaded by the terrible years of ed wade and the losers before him where they under invested in the farm. but it is clear that one of gillick’s legacies is a strong investment in the farm system. Amaro seems to have learned the lesson well with the Lee trade too.

  104. I think it means he filed an update about Colvin that hasn’t appeared in the blog updates yet. Hopefully a signing confirmation.

  105. another example of how little keith law knows. based on him, it wasn’t getting done as of yesterday. our own Ketch had better sources than that joker. i mean, how does he have a job. he is wrong all of the time.

  106. PP,

    What are the odds now on Stewart signing? Reports suggested the Phillies spent alot of time scouting him and even visited him at home over the weekend.

  107. This from KLAW

    Sounds like the Colvin article jumped the gun – making some confirmation calls and I was told it’s “not done.”

  108. When I read earlier that Colvin was on LSU’s campus enrolling for classes I had a feeling he would sign. I’ve seen this gambit before. If the quoted # of 900K is correct then I think the Phils did well. If remaining dollars are limited then Susac should be next given the catching depth we traded although Stewart sounds like the better player. Either one would be great.

  109. Not a surprise that it’s the LSU coach that was quoted. I was told that he was not very happy with Colvin.

    He shouldn’t be the one leaking that.

  110. BA says they’ve “confirmed he’s signing”, but this could be using the Advocate article.

    Obviously we have to wait for confirmation from the official website.

  111. “Not a surprise that it’s the LSU coach that was quoted. I was told that he was not very happy with Colvin.

    He shouldn’t be the one leaking that.”

    Yep, he should keep his mouth shut.

    And the kid SHOULD sign. Why would he risk 900 Gs to try to improve his bonus at extremely long odds. In this economy, take the money, get professional instruction, and get on with your career. Attend college in the winter. And the coach should want what’s best for his potential athlete, at least if he wants other kids to negotiate with him in good faith.

  112. Keith Law in denial? After all he’s been reporting that Colvin would be going to LSU. BA is “confident” in their information after being queried about the Keith Law report

  113. in the article’s comments section, the author (John Manuel) said he is “confident” with their information after someone pointed out Keith Law’s conflicting report.

  114. I know why he said the deal isn’t done.

    Patience is key here. If the LSU coach says that Colvin is gone, I trust him. The 900K might change. But it seems like this has gone far enough as to where there’s a mutual willingness to get the deal done.

  115. What are the chances of snagging Stewart too? I will never underestimate’s Rube’s negotiating ability (though in this case its probably largely a Wolever-led effort.

  116. Wolever warms them up then Rube comes in and nails down the deal, I can see it now, bwahahaha.

  117. Not surprising. Stewart’s commitment to Stanford was one of the strongest in the draft, no big deal though we will get him in 3 years when they screw his swing up and he falls to the 5th round.

  118. yeah, i thought when gillick got involved it was a done deal just like the other players he was involved with (dugan, inch, hudson and kleven). hopefully, he can get stewart.

  119. I wish there were some infield prospects that we could get excited about. The Phillies have some very good pitching prospects, excellent outfield prospects, some catching prospects a couple of years off. Even if they sign the big 3 still left today, none of those address infield. I wonder if the Phillies could trade Taylor or Brown for the best 3b prospect in baseball? Maybe just one of those two for a top flight infield prospect?

  120. You don’t trade top prospects for top prospects…it simply doesn’t happen. Thus Brown and Taylor will be Phillies barring a trade for MLB level talent next year.

  121. not sure where to put this but K Hudson is 0 for 3 with K in with the GC Phils not sure if this his debut

  122. Does anyone else think its kind of weird that Inch hasn’t thrown yet for the GCL? He was signed quite a while ago.

  123. Well crap, I just got a text on Brodie Green and my A&M guy says he’ staying. Hell, I wished he had never told me anything about it.

    I didn’t even bring Greene up to him and now it looks like he was wrong.

    Jesus, my track record sucks. Thank goodness I do a better job of covering football recruiting than this mess.

  124. Well at least we got Colvin. He ought to replace Knapp as the youngest primo pitching prospect in the system.

  125. Haha, all because of Colvin watch. We have a nice group of young arms in the lower levels. Here’s hoping we get to see a couple of them dominating a couple of levels, at the least. If for nothing more than to increase the depth for some big league flexibility. Colvin being confirmed makes the constant refreshing, google alert and blackberry surfing well worth it!

    Thanks for the site, PP!

  126. PP here is to hoping there is another surprise … maybe as you stated earlier Kidd or Gelalich.

  127. Any chance in hell Stewart gets signed? Maybe the old Stanford coach worked some magic after I talked to him. It appeared, at the time, that he felt Stewart was as good as gone.

  128. It’s done… Colvin was the last…
    The signing means that Philadelphia was able to bring in their first 12 picks in the draft and 34 of 49 players overall. The Phillies were unable, however, to sign Colorado prep star Jake Stewart [14th round] or California prep star Andrew Susac. Stewart, an outfielder, will be heading to Stanford, while Susac, a catcher, is going to Oregon State.

    “We tried like crazy with Stewart,” Wolever said. “We didn’t try as hard with Susac because his demands were high in relation to what we thought he was worth. We wish them both well at school. We also made a run at some late-round picks that didn’t work out.”

    Wolever also said the club made an offer to Rob Amaro, a 40th-round pick and the nephew of general manager Ruben Amaro, but he opted to head for the University of Virginia.

  129. Definitely shocked on Matzek. A shame the Phils didn’t have one Cosart-esque surprise in them, but getting Colvin done made this a successful day — and made the draft a solid one, if still not spectacular.

  130. good thing for baseball that top 3 signed. Even though I dont like the nationals, they had to sign Strasburg.thanks PP for the site cause I am obsessed with the draft and prospects and this is the only site for phillies prospects. Great site

  131. Good for the Nationals.

    I wonder how good in the Marlins, Braves, Mets drafts were compared to ours?

  132. I dont see much about the drafts of those three teams in terms of raving about it. Colvin is our price, about 3/4 of this draft class are probably going to be mlb players at the least.

    I wonder if they toss Strasburg out there around the time of the season finale, see what he has. I would not be shocked if they had him jump right in.

  133. He’s quoting from the article at

    Obviously, Washington had the best draft in our division. I think Florida’s draft is comparable to ours but I like ours better than the Braves and way better from the Mets.

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