June 8, 2011 at 9:49 PM
After three days of picks, the Red Sox have made 53 selections. You've followed the draft tracker with bated breath, Googled each player as each pick was made, and generally put your life on hold for a few days (with no help from the Bruins either). So... now what?
Now begins the signing period, as clubs will negotiate with and in some cases, continue to scout their picks. The signing deadline will be on August 16, and the amount of contact between the picks and the club will vary greatly from player to player from now until that date. If history holds, the club will sign between 20 and 30 of their selections, plus five or so undrafted free agents. About 15 players will sign before the Lowell Spinners and GCL Red Sox begin their seasons on June 17 and June 20, respectively. As for the "draft follows," keep an eye on the SoxProspects Wiki for our annual Summer Draft Follows page, which will keep up with all of the news about the players the Sox are scouting this summer with an eye to sign them at or near the August 16 deadline.
That said, do not worry if the Red Sox do not announce many, or any for that matter, over-slot signings early in the signing period. The Commissioner's Office typically requests that teams not announce such signings until the deadline so that other players may not use those signing bonuses for leverage in their own negotiations.
In the meantime, you can check out the Sox' first pick of this year's draft, pitcher Matt Barnes of Connecticut, take on the South Carolina Gamecocks in this weekend's NCAA Super Regionals as the only Sox draft pick still alive in the college championship tournament. Note that supplemental round pick Jackie Bradley, Jr. of South Carolina is injured and will not play in those games.
Until the deadline, be sure to keep checking the SoxProspects News for the latest signings, and if you want to go a level deeper, the SoxProspects Forum for the latest rumors. If you're new to following the draft, trust us, the exciting part is just beginning!