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SoxProspects News

August 16, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Draft Signing Deadline Day

As most of our readers know, the deadline for major league teams to lock up their remaining unsigned picks from the 2010 draft is tonight at 11:59 pm ET. Entering Monday, the Red Sox have signed sixteen of their fifty-two picks. Since 2005, Boston has signed, on average, about twenty-eight picks per season. This year, the Sox selected several players that were expected to be “tough signs” from the get go, and as such it’s expected that the team will be signing another crop of draftees before the clock strikes midnight tonight. One other consideration is that MLB’s Basic Agreement (the CBA) expires after the 2011 season, and there have been rumblings that a mandatory draft slotting system could be put in place with a new CBA – so some big market teams may be pondering spending the cash on draftees this season and next while the getting is good.

Of the remaining unsigned draftees, approximately eight can be placed in the “tough sign” category, meaning that these players expect to receive signing bonuses above the Commissioner’s recommended slot bonus for the spot where they were drafted. Those players are:

Round, Player, Position, School, (Year/College Commitment)
1S. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Louisiana State (junior) -- slot for 39th overall pick: $844,000
2. Brandon Workman, RHP, Texas (junior) -- slot for 57th overall pick: $634,500
3. Sean Coyle, SS, Germantown (PA) (U-NC) -- approximate slot for 110th overall pick: $280,000
4. Garin Cecchini, SS, Barbe (LA) (LSU) -- approximate slot for 143rd overall pick: $179,000
7. Chris Hernandez, LHP, Miami (junior)
8. Mathew Price, RHP, Virginia Tech (draft-eligible sophomore)
16. Adam Duke, RHP, Spanish Fork (UT) (Oregon State)
19. Eric Jaffe, RHP, Bishop O'Dowd (CA) (Cal)

Ranaudo is reportedly seeking “top ten” money and expectations are that the Sox will met those demands. As for Workman, the recent rumblings are that he may not sign, but I’m not sure if I buy it. It would be a huge risk for Workman to return to college to re-enter a much deeper draft pool in 2011 without any leverage. Moreover, the team knew Workman’s demands when they selected him in the second round (he wants late first round money). As such, the two sides can’t be more than a few hundred thousand dollars apart, and it just makes to much sense for the two to meet in the middle. Coyle is in Boston today meeting with the club and taking a physical. He likely is demanding a bonus in the $1 million range. Cecchini is looking for mid-first-round money, and there have been rumblings that the two sides have reached a deal in that range that has yet to be announced. Hernandez and Price are probable “signs”, while Duke and Jaffe are the least likely to sign of this group – but indications are that Boston has been in negotiations with Duke since late last week, and Duke has been on the fence.

A second group of players fall in the “summer follow” category, meaning the team selected the players with the intent of following their performances over the course of the summer. There haven’t been many reports on these players, so I don’t expect a lot of action here. The one name on this list that has had some buzz is Roderick Shoulders, but I haven’t heard anything from reputable sources that indicates that he will sign.

Round, Player, Position, School (College Commitment)
14. Michael Hollenbeck, C, Joilet Township (IL) (Illinois State)
15. Stephen Wilkerson, SS, Pope (GA) (Clemson)
20. Roderick Shoulders, C, Brandon HS (FL) (State College of Florida-Manatee)
24. Sean Yost, RHP, U. of Nebraska (draft-eligible sophomore)
27. Jay Gonzalez, CF, Freedom (FL) (Auburn)
31. Hunter Renfroe, C, Copiah Academy (MS) (Mississippi State)
32. Jordan Alexander, CF, Vista (AZ) (UC-Irvine)
37. Aaron Jones, C, San Clemente (CA) (Oregon)
38. Thomas Bourdon, OF, NW Catholic (CT) (Boston College)
42. Daniel Slania, RHP, Salpointe Catholic (AZ) (Notre Dame)
43. Patrick Smith, CF, Redan (GA) (Middle Georgia)
46. Jarrett Thomason, RHP, Eastside (SC) (South Carolina)

A long list of players are not expected to sign. In most cases, that means just that – the player will not be signing. However, it would not be unprecedented for the team to throw an increased bonus at one of these players at the last minute, so I'm not ruling anything out. Here's the list of players that are not expected to sign:

Round, Player, Position, School (College Commitment)
9. Tyler Barnette, RHP, Hickory (NC) (UNC-Charlotte)
11. Lucas LeBlanc, OF, Delgado College (Louisiana State)
18. Dallas Chadwick, RHP, Shasta (CA) (Sacramento State)
21. Mason Justice, RHP, Holland Hall (OK) (Kansas State)
22. Trace Tam Sing, 2B, Newport (WA) (Washington State)
23. Austin Wright, LHP, Chipola Junior College (Ole Miss)
26. Dillon Overton, LHP, Weatherford (OK) (Oklahoma)
28. Michael Wagner, RHP, Centennial (NV) (San Diego)
29. Paul Davis, RHP, Pensacola Junior College (Florida Atlantic)
30. Desean Anderson, CF, Ragsdale (NC) (South Carolina)
33. Mark Donham, RHP, Jupiter Community (FL) (Samford)
35. J.T. Riddle, SS, Western Hills (KY) (Kentucky)
36. Shane Rowland, C, Tampa Catholic (FL) (Miami)
47. David Roseboom, LHP, LaSalle Inst. (NY) (South Carolina-Upstate)
48. Jared Autrey, RHP, Stephenville (TX) (Navarro Junior College)
50. Weston Hoekel, RHP, Bishop Kenny (FL) (Ole Miss)

Ultimately, I predict that the Sox will make a big dip this year by signing seven of the eight over-slot players: Ranaudo, Workman, Coyle, Cecchini, Hernandez, Price, and Duke. But we’ll see how it plays out tonight. We’ll bring you up-to-the-minute reports on signings as they come in.