Rays Sign Casey Gillaspie

6:19pm: The Rays have announced the signing, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter).

2:40pm: The Rays are closing in on a deal with first-rounder Casey Gillaspie, reports Jim Callis of MLB.com (via Twitter). Gillaspie will earn the full $2.035MM slot bonus associated with the 20th overall choice.

Gillaspie, a first baseman with Wichita State, is the younger brother of White Sox infielder Conor Gillaspie. Rating him as the 25th-best player available, MLB.com wrote that the younger Gillaspie offers pop and patience from both sides of the plate. He is regarded as a solid defender, but is not expected to move off first base. Baseball America rated the former Shocker at #29, while ESPN.com’s Keith Law had him much further down on his board (52nd).

Tampa came into the draft with a relatively meager $5.85MM total pool. None of Tampa’s other choices (it next picked at 60th overall) came with a seven-figure allotment. The Rays chose three high-schoolers and one first-year JuCo player with their next four picks, and ended the draft’s second day with four straight college seniors.

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