SoxProspects News

June 15, 2017 at 7:01 AM

Welcome to the Signing Period!


Now that the 2017 First-Year Player Draft is in the books, the signing period is upon us. This year's signing deadline is 5:00 pm ET on July 7, 2017. As most of our readers know, each team's spending on draft pick bonuses is capped. The bonus cap is determined by the number and placement of each 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 $125,000 on players taken after the 10th round (the excess on any late-round bonuses will count against the bonus pool). Boston's cap is $5,667,100 this year. If the club exceeds its pool: (1) by 0-5%, it will be charged a 75% 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 first- and second-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, making it highly unlikely that the Red Sox will go more than 5% over the pool limit this year. However, the team has shown that it is willing to pay the requisite tax and go up to 5% over the cap, which would place the team's spending limit (not counting the first $125,000 given to any pick after the 10th round) at about $5,950,455. One other wrinkle to remember is that if Boston fails to sign any of its picks from the first 10 rounds, the team's pool will be reduced by the slot amount for the unsigned player's draft position. Here are the bonus slots for each of Boston's top picks:

1st round (No. 24): $2,614,500
2nd round: $993,900
3rd round: $532,800
4th round: $397,800
5th round: $296,500
6th round: $230,000
7th round: $180,700
8th round: $150,900
9th round: $138,600
10th round: $131,400

At first blush, it appears that all of Boston's picks in the first 10 rounds appear to be signable. The toughest sign will be fifth-rounder Alex Scherff, a prep right-hander from Colleyville Heritage High School in Texas. Given his pedigree and commitment to Texas A&M, it's possible he could require a bonus in the $800,000-to-$1 million range. The organization should be able to make up some of that money by signing the college seniors in rounds 8-10 to well-under-slot bonuses.

After the 10th round, the Red Sox didn't take many high profile prospects who slipped. 14th rounder Aaron Perry, a right-hander out of Hurricane High School in West Virginia, probably has the highest profile of the bunch. He was ranked #261 overall in this draft by Perfect Game and #438 overall by Baseball America. He also has a commitment to pitch at Kentucky. That type of prospect often gets a bonus in the $300,000 range, if he signs at all. 23rd rounder Donny Diaz and 26th rounder Trenton Denholm were also in the top 300 at Perfect Game. 

We'll be sure to keep you updated as signings occur throughout the signing period. There will also be projections and discussion in the 2017 MLB Post-Draft Discussion Thread in the SoxProspects Forum.

Mike Andrews is Editor-in-Chief of SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikeAndrewsSP.

 
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