The signing period for 2018 draft picks came to an end yesterday, as teams had until 4pm CST to agree to contracts with players selected in last month’s amateur draft. Here are some leftover items on players who did and didn’t end up inking deals. Scouting reports and pre-draft rankings can be found courtesy of MLB.com, Fangraphs, Baseball America and ESPN’s Keith Law (the latter two available to subscribers only)…
- The Orioles signed third-rounder Blaine Knight for a $1.1MM bonus, MASNsports.com’s Steve Melewski reported yesterday. The bonus is nearly twice the $663.2K value assigned to the 87th overall pick, so Knight will receive a nice payday to begin his pro career. Knight, a right-hander, was a big factor in Arkansas’ recent run to the College World Series, and his drop to the third round represents something of a bargain for the O’s — the pre-draft rankings had Knight no lower than 58th (from Fangraphs), with Baseball America rating him as the 36th-best prospect in this year’s class.
- The Mariners also struck a late deal with a third-round pick, signing Florida State catcher Cal Raleigh to a deal with a $854K bonus, as per MLB.com’s Jim Callis (hat tip to MLB.com’s Greg Johns). Seattle used its remaining pool space to land Raleigh on an above-slot deal, as the 90th overall selection carried a $632.7K slot price. Baseball America was highest on Raleigh, ranking him as the 78th-best prospect and noting that a strong junior season helped him regain some draft stock after a mediocre sophomore year.
- The Diamondbacks didn’t reach an agreement with 25th overall pick Matt McLain prior to yesterday’s deadline, with GM Mike Hazen sharing some general details about the situation to reporters (including the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro). Though the D’Backs offered the full slot price of $2,636,400, McLain went into the draft with a set price tag that he would need to forego his commitment to UCLA, it became clear that he was serious about going to college. “Those things change sometimes. In fact, they change a lot in a lot of cases,” Hazen said. “The family changes their mind sometimes. I think as you go through the summer, if school is becoming less of a reality, or you don’t want to go to school, then that number can drop sometimes. We’ve had situations where it goes up in the other direction….Everything that was presented to us from Scott [McLain’s advisor Scott Boras] to the family was 100 percent accurate. I really think that school became the driving factor in the decision.”
- McLain was one of three first-rounders who didn’t sign, the highest total since the 2010 draft, as MLB.com’s Jim Callis noted as part of a roundup of stats from this year’s draft class. Only four first-round picks in total had failed to sign in the previous six drafts, or since the league instituted the new bonus pool system for the draft. Overall, 310 of the 314 players taken in the first 10 rounds eventually signed with their teams. Callis also lists what each team spent on their picks; for comparison, here is the listing of what every team had available to spend in their original draft bonus pool.