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July 11, 2023 at 5:15 PM

Welcome to the 2023 Signing Period

Now that the 2023 First-Year Player Draft is in the books, the signing period is upon us. With some limited exceptions, this year's signing deadline is 5:00 pm ET on July 25, 2023. As most of our readers know, each team's spending on draft pick bonuses is capped. The overall 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 $150,000 on players taken after the 10th round (the excess on any late-round bonuses will count against the bonus pool). Boston's cap is $10,295,100 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.

Those are obviously harsh penalties, making it highly unlikely that the Red Sox will go more than 5% over the pool limit in any 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 $150,000 given to any pick after the 10th round) at about $10,809,855. 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: $4,663,100
2nd round: $1,698,000
3rd round: $846,800
4th round: $580,200
4th round $492,700
4th round $487,800
5th round: $408,500
6th round: $320,00
7th round: $250,300
8th round: $201,000
9th round: $178,600
10th round: $167,900

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 has been reported that first-round pick Kyle Teel has a pre-draft under slot deal in place, and that second round pick Nazzan Zanetello has an overslot deal in place in excess of $2 million. 

After the 10th round, one of the more intriguing signability draftees is 15th rounder Phoenix Call. He's a well-regarded prep shortstop with a commitment to UCLA. Can the organization find somewhere north of $600,000 in the draft budget?  Would that get a deal done with Call?  Will be interesting to watch.

For some additional detail, my initial projections on who will sign are in the 2023 Draft Signing Period 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.