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SoxProspects News

June 7, 2012 at 7:33 PM

The Signing Period

Now that the 2012 First Year Player Draft is in the books, the signing period is upon us. This year's signing period should be a lot different than the past five years, primarily due to the new CBA draft rules.  First, the signing deadline has been pushed up to 5:00 pm ET on July 13, 2012.  Second, each team has a bonus cap that it may spend on its draft pool, determined by the number and placement of that team's selections. 

The bonus cap sets an aggregate limit for a team to spend on its selections in the first ten rounds, and also limits teams from spending over $100,000 on players taken after the tenth round (the excess on any late round bonuses will count against the bonus pool).  Boston's cap is  $6,884,800 this year.  If the club exceeds its pool: (1) by 0-5%, it will be charged a 75 percent tax on the excess; (2) by 5-10%, it will pay the same tax and will also lose its first round pick next season; (3) by 10-15%, it will be charged a 100% tax on the excess and lose its 1st and 2nd round picks next season; and (4) by more than 15%, 100% tax on the excess and lose its next two first round picks.

These are obviously harsh penalties, and it's unlikely that the Red Sox will test the waters by going more than 5% over the pool limit this year. However, the team very well may be willing to pay the requisite tax and go up to 5% over the cap, which would place the team's pool number at about $7,229,040.  This figure does not include the first $100,000 spent on any single bonus after round ten.  Another wrinkle is that if Boston fails to sign any of its picks from the top ten rounds, its pool will be reduced by the amount of the slot amount for the undrafted player's draft position.  Ultimately, the new cap will undoubtedly make this signing period an interesting one, as  the club spent over $10 million on the draft in each of the last two years. 

Here are the bonus slots for each of Boston's top picks:  

1st round (No. 24): $1,750,000
1st round (No. 31): $1,575,000
Supplemental round (No. 37): $1,394,000 

2nd round: $565,600 
3rd round: $400,500 
4th round: $291,300 
5th round: $218,100 
6th round: $163,500 
7th round: $143,000 
8th round: $133,500 
9th round: $125,000 
10th round: $125,000 

It is expected that Boston's first pick, Deven Marrero, will sign for at or around the $1,750,000 slot figure, and its next two picks, Brian Johnson and Pat Light, may sign for under slot – it's just not clear how far under slot they'd go. Fourth rounder Ty Buttrey, considered a top 50 player in the draft, is likely to require an over-slot bonus in excess of $1 million. 

It's been reported that second rounder Jamie Callahan, fifth rounder Mike Augliera, and sixth rounder Justin Haley have all already agreed to deals in principle.  Callahan's and Haley's deals are likely at slot, while college senior Augliera's deal is likely below slot.  The four other college seniors selected in rounds 7-10 are all also likely to sign for well below slot, perhaps as low as $5,000 to $10,000 per player.  Third rounder Austin Maddox should sign for slot, which is $400,500 for his draft position. 

Altogether, that should leave somewhere in the realm of $1 million to $1.5 million for the Red Sox to spend on picks after the tenth round – and that does not include the initial $100,000 permitted for each pick. 

Some late round Sox draftees who could be recipients of $100,000+ bonuses this season include 11th rounder Jamal Martin, 14th rounder Dylan Chavez, 15th rounder Carson Fulmer, 18th rounder Shaq Thompson, 29th rounder Alex Bregman, 30th rounder Justin Taylor, 33rd rounder Chris Carlson, and 34th rounder Xavier Turner.  Fulmer and Bregman are the most highly-regarded prospects of that group, with Fulmer being the more likely of the two to sign.

We'll be sure to keep you updated as signings occur throughout the signing period.