Rays Sign Second-Rounder Brent Honeywell

3:10pm: Honeywell receives $800K, which is $16K over his slot allocation, reports Jim Callis of MLB.com (via Twitter).

2:21pm: The Rays have announced the signing of Honeywell.

12:41pm: The Rays are nearing a deal with Competitive Balance Round B selection Brent Honeywell, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter). Terms aren’t yet known, but Honeywell’s No. 72 overall draft slot comes with a $784K pick value.

A righty out of Walters State Junior College in Tennessee, Honeywell was a surprising pick to some given the lack of national fanfare he received prior to the draft and the fact that he went undrafted out of high school. Baseball America ranked him 195th among draft prospects, and his name didn’t appear on MLB.com’s Top 200 or ESPN’s Top 100. BA praised his 89-93 mph fastball (that touches 95 mph at times) but noted that his slider is below-average. He has the makings of an average changeup and also features a screwball that is tough to judge because he uses it infrequently, per BA’s report. In his recap of each AL team’s draft, Law called the selection of Honeywell “a clear money-saver” for the Rays, opining that Honeywell is almost certain to end up a reliever.

Tampa has agreed to a number of under-slot deals to this point, as can be seen in Baseball America’s draft database. Those picks could help offset over-slot deals for second-rounder Cameron Varga and fourth-rounder Blake Bivens. Varga’s $1.1MM was $167K over slot, while Bivens’ reported $465K is about $61K over slot. The Rays have a few players drafted after the 10th round that could require over-slot deals as well, such as 11th-rounder Spencer Moran.

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