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Blue Jays pick Tyler Beede is only first-rounder not to sign

Aug 16, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

tyler beede

Despite nearly every negotiation going down to the wire last night all but one first-round pick ultimately ended up signing, with No. 21 overall pick Tyler Beede turning down the Blue Jays’ offer to attend Vanderbilt.

And according to Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star the two sides weren’t even particularly close, with the Blue Jays offering $2.5 million and Beede seeking $3.5 million. MLB’s recommended “slot” bonus for the 21st pick is $1.3 million.

Now the 18-year-old pitcher from Massachusetts won’t be eligible to be drafted again until 2014 and Toronto will receive the No. 22 overall pick in next year’s draft as compensation for not signing Beede, which general manager Alex Anthopoulos admitted played a big part in the negotiations.

In the meantime the Blue Jays used some of the money that may have gone to Beede to give significantly above-slot signing bonuses to supplemental first-round pick Kevin Comer, second-round pick Daniel Norris, and 13th-round pick Matt Dean. That trio signed for a $4.4 million.

  1. kopy - Aug 16, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    Does anyone actually follow the recommended slot bonus, or it is a mere suggestion now? The Twins signed all 3 of their top picks to above-slot deals, and I haven’t heard of anyone else not being over. The league should just make the amounts artificially low so that players sign for about the actual recommended amount.

    • paperlions - Aug 16, 2011 at 12:53 PM

      Almost no one follows the slot recommendations, and many/most teams have always ignored them. The teams that religiously follow the slot recs (e.g. Houston) have paid the price by drafting only guys they knew would sign for slot.

      • JBerardi - Aug 16, 2011 at 8:16 PM

        Quite a few guys DO sign for slot, possibility the majority. There’s a ton of late-rounders who take the $1000 minimum (or whatever it is now) just to get into pro ball.

        At the high end, fewer and fewer guys have been signing for slot because teams are wising up to the fact that, even when you spend money like a drunken sailor in the draft, it’s STILL a great value. Lets say you draft five pitchers, and their combined slot bonuses are five million dollars. But they all ask for over-slot and you end up signing them all for a cumulative ten million dollars. And now lets say that four of those guys never see a day in the majors, but one becomes a solid set-up guy. Ten million for six years of control over a set up guy? Well… Bobby Jenks got $12m for a two year contract this offseason. You do the math.

  2. steve7921 - Aug 16, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    An 18yo pitcher picked 18th and he thought he would get triple the slot amount?

    I hope he pitches the lights out at Vandy because he is taking a huge gamble that he will be better in 3 years and get more than $2.5 million. Wow…that ballsy!

  3. proudlycanadian - Aug 16, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    The kid got greedy and lost his gamble. I doubt that in 3 years that he will be offered more than $2.5 million. I hope that he gets a lot out of his his college education. Norris was a first round talent who scared teams off when he said that he wanted at least $3 million in order to sign. He fell to the second round and the Jays took a flyer on him with the 74th pick. He signed for $2 million. A lot of people rated him ahead of Beede prior to the draft.

    • paperlions - Aug 16, 2011 at 3:39 PM

      He hasn’t lost anything yet. He probably hopes to play 3 years at Vandy and then still get a similar offer. If he gets to enjoy 3 years of college life…which is WAY WAY WAY better than playing in the low minors from a personal perspective, and then get the same or similar contract offer in 3 years, he is a bigger winner than if he just took the $2.5M now.

  4. Ari Collins - Aug 16, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Too bad Beede wouldn’t budge off his price, probably made the wrong decision, though maybe TOR shouldn’t quibble about $1M here or there when it comes to the draft. Then again, they used the money they saved to sign other signability picks and ended up with one of the better drafts without him.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:06 PM

      I was just reading an interview with AA. The Jays had the money to sign all their top picks: however; they had a maximum amount that they would be willing to pay to each player. The amount that they were willing to pay Beede was obviously $2.5 million. The maximum amount that they were willing to pay Norris was either the $2 million paid or possibly a bit higher. AA is saying that he expects that Beede will have a good career; but I suspect that he is just as happy with the lefty Norris who was considered to be the tougher kid to sign. Many scouts had rated Norris as the top left handed high school pitcher in the draft.

  5. mf44srq - Aug 16, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    He has less than a 1% chance of recovering that $2.5 million in his lifetime. What terrible advice he received. He is one torn ligament away from sitting behind a desk the rest of his life.

  6. theallegedone - Aug 16, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    What’s the deal with this recommended “slot bonus”. Sounds like the old NFL CBA to me. MLB needs to stop letting high school kids and 1st time draftees hold them hostage when it comes to “do I get what I want or do I go to school”. No more “recommended”. It should be “here’s your max slot bonus, take it or move on”.

    • paperlions - Aug 16, 2011 at 3:42 PM

      Is that so?

      So, you think everyone should have the market restricted on where they can ply their trade? Athletes entering pro sports already have their rights to market their wares where they would like taken away (no other career restricts who you can work for)…now you also think they shouldn’t be able to negotiate their compensation either?

      • crpls - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:58 PM

        The funny thing is, despite my comments below, I don’t have any moral issues with the idea of a draft and team holding rights for however long the league/union agree. I just find it embarrassing that the majority of people in this country think they deserve more rights than these guys because of the money involved.

        Even funnier is it often comes from the same people who would label you Russian/French/communist if you dare criticize the American economic system.

    • crpls - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:55 PM

      So I take it if you were forced to only be able to negotiate one with one business when entering the “real world” of jobs, you’d be okay? If you weren’t allowed to change jobs for over six years even if you have better offers, you’d be okay with it?

      Amazes me people think athletes should be more restricted in their job choices simply because the money is higher.

  7. killabri - Aug 16, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    In situations like these, I’m of the belief that these kids should take the money and begin their professional baseball careers. College will always be there for you later in life if that’s what you desire. Your athletic talent that commands 7 figure salaries and bonuses will not be. From a purely financial standpoint, it seems outlandish to turn down this kind of money.

    However, even with the above comment being said, every situation is different and there’s a chance that he really wanted to go to college… which he should be applauded for if that’s the case. I hope he goes in to Vandy, lights up the SEC and goes out and makes himself more money in 3 years’ time. It just seems like too high a risk for too little a reward at this point, however.

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