In yesterday’s Day 2 rundown on the Blue Jays’ selections in rounds 2-8, I wrote that the most of the college picks were “likely” going to be signed below their recommended slot amounts so the club could bank money from their bonus pool to spend on higher-profile picks, like 50th-overall selection Matt Smoral and third rounder Anthony Alford.
That’s exactly what everyone thought the Blue Jays were doing when they selected the most college seniors on Day 2 than any other MLB club, but no one could have predicted that the pre-draft agreements between the teams and players would have been for merely four figures, and so far below their recommended slot amounts.
According to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Georgia Southern third baseman Eric Phillips, the Jays’ sixth round pick, has signed for $5,000, or $168,200 below slot. In the article, Phillips said that “a lot of the seniors are only going to get $1,000″ and that he “was happy to get above that”.
So when Tucker Donahue, the Blue Jays’ fourth round pick, said in an interview with Baseball America that he had already signed a “four-figure bonus” with the Blue Jays, it’s safe to assume that it was around $1,000, meaning that he has saved his new club somewhere in the neighborhood of a whopping $307,700 in bonus pool funds to use on other picks.
10th rounder Alex Azor, selected out of the United States Naval Academy, has already signed for $1,000 as well, according to MLB.com’s Chris Toman via Gregor Chisholm’s North of the Border blog. Chisholm added on Twitter that guys like Azor “likely never would have been drafted under the old system”, and with a recommended slot amount of $125,000 for their 10th round selection, the Blue Jays will be able to apply nearly that entire sum to other players. Toman also added, via Twitter, a great quote from Azor about his signability:
#BlueJays 10th rounder, Alex Azor, who signed for $1,000: “I told them I will sign for a hot dog.”
— Chris Toman (@Chris_Toman) June 7, 2012