A Quickly Evaporating Draft Budget

Two weeks ago, we discussed some of the hard-to-sign players the Padres selected in this year’s amateur draft. Those names included Peter Soloman, Logan Sowers, Brendan McKay, Cobi Johnson, and Bryce Carter, a quintet of late-round high school picks that have strong college commitments and fell in the draft primarily due to signability concerns. While the Padres have signed (at least) 26 of their 40 draft picks — and 16 out of their first 20 — they haven’t locked up any of those five.

The signing deadline isn’t until July 18th, so the Padres have plenty of time to make additional signings. The big question, though: will they have enough money left to go after any of the pricey late-rounders?

The table below shows San Diego’s picks through the first 10 rounds, along with the slot bonus accompanying each pick and each player’s actual bonus received (if he has signed):

Round/Pick Player Slot Bonus Actual Bonus
1/13 Trea Turner, SS $2,723,300 $2,900,000
2/51 Michael Gettys, OF $1,083,400 $1,300,000
3/86 Zech Lemond, RHP $631,900 $600,000
4/117 Nick Torres, OF $445,000 Unsigned
5/147 Austin Bousfield, OF $331,100 Unsigned
6/177 Zach Risendorf, C $249,400 $175,000
7/207 Ryan Butler, RHP $186,900 $186,900
8/237 Mitch Watrous, RHP $158,700 $120,000
9/267 Nick Vilter, SS $148,400 Unsigned
10/297 Thomas Dorminy, LHP $138,500 $60,000

The Padres have spent almost $400,000 over slot to sign their first two picks, college shortstop Trea Turner and high school outfielder Michael Gettys. While under $200,000 over slot to sign Turner may not sound like much, consider Jim Callis’ tweet:

That tradition has held this year, as well. Out of the 10 college first-round picks that have signed thus far, only Turner took over slot money. It’s not a huge deal, but it might show that the Padres negotiating skills could use a little work. Gettys was expected to take above-slot money to lure away from Georgia, and the $1.3M it took to sign him seems quite reasonable. Maybe the Padres negotiating skills don’t need much work.

The rest of the Padres top 10 picks have signed for either slot or below-slot money. The Padres have $6,098,600 to spend this draft (not counting post-10th-round picks that sign for $100,000 or under) and so far they’ve spent $5,341,900. If we assume the remaining three unsigned picks in the first 10 rounds sign for slot money, the total tab will run to $6,266,400. The Padres can actually spend five percent more than their bonus pool without losing a future draft pick, which puts their effective spending limit at $6,403,530.

Unless they can save money on one of the three unsigned first-round picks, there’s little room to work with. As it stands under this scenario, San Diego could go up to $237,130 to sign a player after the 10th-round. Would any of the big five take that amount? It seems unlikely, though certainly not impossible, especially for someone like Soloman who is reportedly signable. The following weeks will be interesting to follow … if you’re really into the draft, anyway.

Draft data from Baseball America

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  • Sac Bunt Chris

    I imagine having 3 GMs will add to the drama.