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.
I figured that he’d sign…all the doubt was just a negotiation ploy. Good for him and the Rays.
A little lefty that can touch 100 consistently? Sounds like a Billy Wagner 2.0 in the making.
Or he could be Matt Thornton.
I’m sure a lot of organizations would take Matt Thornton’s career at pick #31
Oh, I’m not disparaging Matt Thornton. Only to compare someone to an All-Star rather than just hope for a useful individual is something I avoid doing. Especially with my team.
The chances are MUCH greater he’ll be Thornton than Wagner….indeed, they’re MUCH greater that he never even BECOMES Matt Thornton. That said, it’s a good move for the Rays, who historically have been just terrible in drafting; the worst record in MLB. They SEEM to have come away with two real talents this year, even if the Libertore drop is a bit mysterious. From the days of Josh Hamilton, they just don’t seem to pay much attention to character issues.
They don’t have the luxury of caring about makeup issues.
I would love to hear what criteria you used or see some sort of reference for the Rays being the worst drafting team in MLB. I just looked back to 2006 which was Stu Sternberg’s first draft as the owner. Since that time the Rays have drafted 5 players who have 10+ career rWAR. I then took a look at 2 other teams that I think most would call good drafting teams, the Astros and Cardinals. Over that same time frame the Astros have drafted 5 players with 10+ rWAR, including JD Martinez who had negative WAR before Houston released him, and the Cardinals have drafted 3 such players. Looks to me like the Rays current regime seem to do a fine job of selecting impactful MLB players.
Rays made a move removing Harrison & hiring their new Amateur man. Their drafts have been better since that move.
They’re going to seriously regret this pick. Mark my words… they will Rue McClanahan.
Good one….wish I’d thought of it myself.
I get it!
Cherry picking, are we? The Rays have had an inordinate amount of high picks, certainly higher than the Cards and probably higher, in aggregate, than the Astros. There’s an analysis somewhere on Fangraphics somewhere that shows the Rays are not only the worst drafting team in MLB, they’re the worst drafting team in all of sports; I’ll dig it up for you.
Ya, Longo was a nice pick….not so nice when you realize Kershaw was there 3 picks later. And I’ll be nice and leave out Beckham over Posey (or Hosmer or Smoak), and the 2011 disaster; 7 out of the top 70 picks; ya, they got Snell; and absolutely nothing else.
They seemed to have improved in their International efforts (Sanchez, Hernandez, Brujan are all potentially impactful,) but domestically they’re still terrible.
The Rays were one of the best teams in baseball from 2008-2013 and have over a .500 record since 2006, so they haven’t had some inordinate amount of top picks as you claim. Out of the 5 players the Rays have drafted that have had at least 10 WAR, 3 of them were chosen in the 4th round or later as well.
You seem to ridicule the pick of such players as Longo because he isn’t Kershaw. However, your logic seems to be flawed because not picking the best player in a draft is not the same thing as being the worst drafting team. As for the 2011 draft, you conveniently left out that the Rays first pick was #24 that year. From picks #24-60, there are only 4 players other than Snell who have more than 4 career WAR and I would take Snell over any of them. That draft was weak after about the first 20 picks and I would consider getting the best player from that group a success, not a disaster.
I also looked for a FG article about drafting record and the only one I found was from last year. It looked at drafts from 2000-2016 and showed that the Rays had the 7th highest WAR among drafted players during that time, which is very different than the worst in all sports. I don’t know if you have an anti-Rays agenda or are just uninformed, but either way the Rays are nowhere near the worst drafting team.