Rockies Agree To Below-Slot Bonus With Kyle Freeland

6:48pm: The bonus will land at $2.3MM, reports Jim Callis of MLB.com (Twitter link). That means that Colorado will save about $890K to put towards other choices.

As Callis explains (Twitter links), Freeland ended up in a difficult bargaining position due to a high school medical report that contained speculation about possible elbow issues. In spite of that loss of leverage, Callis notes, Freeland still ended up with at least mid-first-round money.

6:19pm: The Rockies have reached agreement with first-rounder and eight overall choice Kyle Freeland, reports Thomas Harding of MLB.com (via Twitter). He reportedly will take hom a bonus of approximately $2.5MM, significantly below his slot allocation of $3.19MM.

Freeland, a lefty from Colorado who played college ball for the University of Evansville, was said to have raised medical concerns from some clubs prior to the draft. Nevertheless, he landed at fifth on Baseball America’s list of the top draft prospects and was rated seventh by MLB.com’s Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo. (He slid to 19th on ESPN.com’s Keith Law’s final prospect ranking,)

The lean southpaw has plus-plus command, in BA’s estimation, and has moved his heater into the low to mid-90s. His secondary offerings are led by a mid-80s slider and also include an average curve and decent change. Though Law notes that Freeland did not face top-end competition in college, he did put up a ridiculous 15:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio last year. While Law rejects the comparison, Freeland has’s body type has led to comparisons to Chris Sale. And as with Sale when he was a draft prospect, some have expressed concern that he’s ultimately ticketed for the bullpen.

Colorado entered the draft with about $8.35MM in achievable pool money from the first ten rounds. The club was aggressive with taking high school prospects elsewhere in the early stages of the draft, nabbing Forrest Wall at 35th overall, Ryan Castellani at the 48th slot, and Kevin Padlo an Max George with its fifth and sixth-round choices. The Rockies will now have about $690K extra to play with in signing those players.


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