Amateur Signing Bonuses: Reds

Next up in our series looking at how much each club spends on amateurs, the Reds…

  1. Aroldis Chapman, $16.25MM (2010)
  2. Chris Gruler, $2.5MM (2002)
  3. Yorman Rodriguez, $2.5MM (2008)
  4. Homer Bailey, $2.3MM (2004)
  5. Mike Leake, $2.27MM (2009)

I don't want to ruin the surprise, but Chapman's bonus is by far the largest you'll see in this series. It wasn't all paid out at once though; the 22-year-old Cuban defector received $1.5MM up front and the rest will be paid in annual installments through 2020, the first of which is due in less than two weeks.  I'm sure the Reds will happily hand that money over after Chapman's late season showing, when he struck out 19 with a 2.03 ERA in 13.1 relief innings.  He also threw the fastest recorded pitch in baseball history on September 24th, a fastball that MLBAM's PitchFX system clocked at 105.1 mph.

Gruler made 11 starts in 2002 after being the third overall pick that year, but unfortunately the 44 innings he tossed that season would be a career high.  He battled shoulder injury after shoulder injury, and was out of baseball by 2006 after just 92.2 minor league innings, none of them above the Single-A level. Rodriguez is still just 18 years old despite signing two summers ago.  The outfielder is a .276/.316/.384 career hitter in 472 plate appearances in the lowest levels of minor league baseball.

The eighth overall pick in 2009, Leake became the first pitcher since Ariel Prieto in 1995 to skip the minor leagues and make his professional debut in the show.  He threw 138.1 innings for the Reds this season, putting up a 4.23 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 before being placed on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue in an effort to control his workload.  Bailey took a more conventional route after being selected with the seventh overall pick in 2004.  He made his big league debut in 2007, and in 39 starts (222.1 innings) for the Reds over the last two seasons he's pitched to a 4.49 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9.  Both Leake and Bailey figure to have a spot in Cincinnati's rotation next season.

It's worth noting that the Reds have also given four players bonuses of exactly $2MM: Drew Stubbs, Juan Duran, Yonder Alonso, and Yasmani Grandal.  Stubbs is the team's regular center fielder; the other three are currently working their way through the farm system.

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