10:29am: McClanahan himself announced (on Twitter) that he has indeed signed with the Rays.
10:20am: The Rays and first-round pick Shane McClanahan have finalized a late deal with roughly six hours to go until the deadline for draft picks to sign, reports Jim Callis of MLB.com (via Twitter). McClanahan, a left-hander out of the Unversity of South Florida, will receive a $2,230,100 signing bonus that comes in ever so slightly north of his $2,224,400 slot value at No. 31 overall. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times was the first to report that, after appearing to be at a potential impasse, the two sides were finally moving toward an agreement (Twitter link).
In securing a deal with McClanahan, the Rays have added arguably the top two left-handed arms in the entire 2018 draft class. No. 16 overall pick Matthew Liberatore was ranked among the top six prospects in the draft per each of Baseball America, MLB.com, ESPN and Fangraphs, and McClanahan ranked as high as No. 8 at BA, No. 14 at MLB.com and No. 15 at ESPN.
McClanahan, 21, was a redshirt sophomore and as such had some degree of leverage over his situation, as he could’ve returned to USF for his junior season. Instead, he’ll bring a fastball that reaches triple digits and a potential plus changeup to the Rays’ farm system as he begins his pro career. The biggest concerns with McClanahan stem from a poor finish to his collegiate season in addition to the possibility that his slight frame and below-average control could force him into the bullpen at some point. However, a triple-digit lefty with the potential for a strong changeup makes for a plenty intriguing bullpen piece, and if he can indeed pan out as a starter, then the Rays may have gotten a pair of bargains with their top two picks in the ’18 draft.