No major activity as Draft signing deadline passes
Of nine remaining unsigned players from top 10 rounds, only one inks deal
The signing deadline for players selected in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft passed quietly Friday at 5 p.m. ET. A plethora of early signings meant only nine players picked in the first 10 rounds entered Friday without having at least agreed to terms.
Of those nine, only one -- Red Sox fourth-rounder Myles Smith -- signed Friday. Among those left unsigned were California high school pitchers Phil Bickford, picked 10th overall by the Blue Jays, and Matt Krook, picked No. 35 by the Marlins. Neither was expected to sign Friday, and the Blue Jays and Marlins will each receive a compensation pick in next year's Draft, at Nos. 11 and 36, respectively.
Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Thursday he did not expect to get a deal done with Bickford, who will now attend Cal State Fullerton. While Anthopoulos did not go into detail about why an agreement could not be reached, he hinted the impasse was not simply about money.
"I wouldn't jump to conclusions to judge and things like that," Anthopoulos said Thursday. "Out of fairness, I would just say, like anything, offers are made, no doubt about it. We've definitely made an offer, and it doesn't look like it's going to be accepted. I wouldn't jump to conclusions ... there's sometimes a lot of information that's not out there."
Though the Blue Jays didn't get Bickford, they were still active Friday. Toronto signed California high school first baseman Rowdy Tellez and Missouri high school left-hander Jacob Brentz in the final minutes before the deadline. Tellez, ranked No. 99 on MLB.com's Top 100 Draft Prospects list, was the Blue Jays' 30th rounder. Brentz was their 11th-round selection.
The Marlins and Krook had agreed in principle to a deal, but his physical revealed a left shoulder ailment. The two sides could not come to a new agreement, and Krook will attend Oregon instead. The Marlins were also unable to sign Florida high school shortstop Ben DeLuzio, their third-round pick. DeLuzio will attend Florida State and the Marlins will receive a supplemental third-round selection next year as compensation.
The average bonus for first-round picks was up this year. Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, the second overall pick, led the way with his $6.708 million bonus, and the average bonus for the 32 players who signed was $2.64 million, up from last year's average of $2.40 million. While spending on first-round selections went up, teams still came in well under the combined assigned values for the 32 picks who agreed to terms. Teams combined to save $3.746 million compared to the assigned values.
This was the second year of the new Draft rules, which instituted a pool of bonus money teams must stay within or face penalties, such as a tax or the loss of future selections. Once again, no team went over their Draft pool so much as to lose a 2014 selection. Unofficially, several teams -- including the Royals, Yankees, Phillies, Rangers, Braves, Dodgers, Mariners, Cardinals and Cubs -- went over far enough to incur the tax.