Yesterday the Indians signed left-handed high school pitcher Sean Brady to by far the largest bonus given to a fifth round pick this year:
CLEVELAND- The lure of professional baseball was enough to get Southwest Florida's top high school pitcher to sign his first pro contract.
Ida Baker graduate Sean Brady has signed a seven-year minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians.
Brady was in Cleveland on Wednesday to sign the deal, which he says includes an $800,000 signing bonus.
Jim Callis notes that until the Indians signed Brady, the largest bonus paid out to a fifth round pick this year had been $450,000.
Sean Brady was the only unsigned high school pick in their "pool picks," so you figured that he'd be getting an overslot bonus. Until yesterday, the Indians had (by my estimate) a $573,000 surplus to play with, so the Brady signing used up most of that. Sean was one of the better high school pitchers in the state of Florida, and was committed to the University of Florida. He probably could have been selected a couple rounds higher, but probably fell because of signing demands. Brady is already 19, but he is more advanced than many other high school pitchers. He doesn't have a blazing fastball (89-91 mph), but his curve and changeup are considered plus pitches.
Even though the latest CBA has made the first round make more sense (in the sense that the best players are now being selected at the top of the first round), that doesn't that players don't fall because of signing concerns. If anything, teams are less likely to take players that will be difficult to sign outside the top couple rounds because if they don't sign a player, they lose the slot value assigned to that pick. So beyond picking a player based on his future value, teams need to make sure that they can not only sign the players they draft in the top ten rounds, but can sign them and at the same time keep under 105% of their draft pool. There's a lot of strategy involved in those top 10 picks, as the updated signing chart demonstrates:
|Round||Pick||Player||Pos.||Exp.||School||Slot Value||Actual Bonus||Diff|
|1||5||Clint Frazier||OF||High School||Loganville HS, GA||$3,787,000||$3,500,000||+$287,000|
|3||79||Dace Kime||RHP||College JR
|4||111||Kyle Crockett||LHP||College JR
|5||141||Sean Brady||LHP||High School||Ida S Baker HS, FL||$347,100||$800,000
|6||171||Casey Shane||RHP||High School||Centennial HS, TX||$259,900||$150,000||+$109,900|
|7||201||Kenny Matthews||LHP||Junior College||Riverside CC||$194,800|
|8||231||Trevor Frank||RHP||College SR||California - Riverside||$158,300||$10,000||+$148,300|
|9||261||Thomas Pannone||LHP||Junior College||College of So. Nevada||$147,800||$120,000||+$27,800|
|10||291||Ross Kivett||2B||College JR||Kansas State||$138,100|
|Totals||Max = $6,188,800||$4,700,000||$4,580,000||+$120,100|
The Indians were able to save money with their 1st, 6th, 8th, and 9th round picks, including two high school players, so that they could also sign Brady. They still have a surplus of $120,100 and four unsigned players in the top ten rounds (including their 3rd and 4th round picks), so they could conceivably still build up another sizable surplus to be able to sign a player selected in the 11th-40th rounds.
Brady will report to Arizona.