SoxProspects News

June 5, 2019 at 7:00 PM

Welcome to the Draft Signing Period!


Now that the 2019 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 12, 2019. 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.  (Editor's Note: on June 17, the date of the signing deadline was updated in this post from July 15 to July 12).

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 $4,788,100 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 $5,027,505. 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:

2nd round (No. 43): $1,729,800
2nd round (No. 69): $929,800
3rd round: $543,500
4th round: $406,000
5th round: $304,200
6th round: $237,000
7th round: $187,700
8th round: $159,700
9th round: $148,200
10th round: $142,200

At first blush, it appears that all of Boston's picks in the first 10 rounds are signable, and some draftees may already have pre-draft deals in place. It seems likely that No. 43 overall pick Cameron Cannon could sign for slightly under slot, while No. 69 overall pick Matthew Lugo could go a bit over slot.  The draftees in rounds 3-8 all appear to be approximately slot-type picks (although 4th rounder Noah Song is a wild card), and the picks from rounds 9 and 10 should come in under slot. 

After the 10th round, the Red Sox took a few high profile talents.  11th rounder Sebastian Keane, a highly-regarded RHP out of North Andover (MA), will likely require a signing bonus in the $200,000 to $400,000 range to sign him away from his scholarship to Northeastern. 13th rounder Blake Loubier, 14th rounder Jordan Beck, 15th rounder Aaron Roberts, and 16th rounder Oraj Anu are all prep players committed to Division I college programs, so they may require bonuses at least in the range that 21st rounder Brandon Howlett received in 2018 ($185,000). Those are the players where you could see some variability.

As is the case in most years, there were a few other draftees picked in the 20s and 30s who were ranked by nationally-recognized outlets such as Baseball America and Perfect Game that may not end up signing. For some additional detail, my initial projections on who will sign are in the 2019 MLB Post-Draft Discussion Thread in the SoxProspects Forum.  The projections will be updated regularly, and that thread will include detailed discussion and snippets of info from across the web.

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

 
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