Amateur Signing Bonuses: Phillies

The Phillies are next in our series looking at the five largest bonuses each team has given to amateur prospects…

  1. Gavin Floyd, $4.2MM (2001)
  2. Pat Burrell, $3.15MM (1998)
  3. Brett Myers, $2.05MM (1999)
  4. Cole Hamels, $2MM (2002)
  5. Chase Utley, $1.78MM (2000)

Philadelphia managed to land an above-average big leaguer with each of those bonuses, but unfortunately Floyd developed into that player with another team. Taken fourth overall in 2001, he pitched to a 6.96 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 in 108.2 innings with the Phillies before being traded to the White Sox (along with Gio Gonzalez) for Freddy Garcia in December 2006.

As the first overall pick in 1998, Burrell's deal paved the way for the mega-deals we see now. The $3.15MM bonus was part of a five-year, $8MM major league contract, an unheard of amount for a draftee back then. Burrell reached the big leagues less than two years after being drafted, and was a fixture in the Phillies' lineup for the better part of a decade. He hit .257/.367/.485 with 251 homers in seven years with Philadelphia before departing for the Rays as a free agent after the 2008 season.

Myers was the 12th overall pick in 1999 and made his big league debut in July 2002. He made 30+ starts every year from 2003-2006, and overall pitched to a 4.40 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 183 starts and 57 relief appearances with the Phillies. He, of course, signed with the Astros as a free agent last winter.

Hamels is yet another first round success story, reaching the majors less than four years after being drafted 17th overall. He owns a 3.53 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 149 career starts, taking home World Series MVP honors in 2008. More money well spent.

Might as well save the best for last. Utley was the 15th overall pick in 2000 and first reached the big leagues in 2003. He's a .293/.380/.514 career hitter at a premium up-the-middle position, earning five consecutive trips to the All Star Game (2006-2010) and three top eight finishes in the NL MVP voting (2006, 2007, 2009) in his career. Since Utley's first full season in '06, only Albert Pujols (42.6) and Joe Mauer (33.8) can top his 30.8 WAR. 

12 Responses to Amateur Signing Bonuses: Phillies Leave a Reply

  1. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    Imagine if Floyd was still on the Phils…Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels, Floyd, and Blanton…my goodness.

    • myname_989 5 years ago

      It just seemed like Gavin Floyd was never going to work out for the Phillies. Back then, they had some really nice pitching prospects, and Floyd and Ryan Madson were two of my favorites. I remember thinking it was a shame they couldn’t make him work out back then, and now I almost cry every time someone reminds me that we traded Gavin Floyd AND Gio Gonzalez for Freddy Garcia.

      *sheds a tear*

    • Sniderlover 5 years ago

      Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels, Floyd, Myers sound better to me. =P

      Phillies have gotten great returns on the 5 biggest bonuses they handed out.

    • This was all done under the watch of Mike Arbuckle, he will be sorely missed in Philadelphia.

      But on another point, had they not traded Cliff Lee, between he and Werth, the Phils could have had five first round (round and sandwich) picks in the 2011 draft.

      • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

        Interesting point. Not to mention how different MLB would have been this season had Cliff Lee stayed.

  2. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    I feel strange saying this… but of the bonus lists so far this has to be the best so far in terms of payout.

    • TapDancingTeddy 5 years ago

      It’s a great list, but it ends in 2002 with Cole Hamels. That shows the change in the direction of the Phillies once they got some top guys in house.

      • nm344 5 years ago

        Like signing Carlos Ruiz for $6,000 out of panama :)

      • Dylan 5 years ago

        You do realize that after Hamels, 6 out of their 8 first picks were 20+ picks…not really the big spending picks. In fact three years they didn’t even have a first round pick.

        Phillies draft very well…and they have the best single A team in baseball. They didn’t change their direction at all. In fact, they are exactly the same.


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