Draft Signing Update

Negotiations with top pick Taylor Guerrieri are likely to go close to the August 15 deadline

We're about a month's time past the draft with a little over a month until the signing deadline, so I thought it'd be a good time to check on who's signed and who hasn't. July is a pretty dead period for signings since those who sign early for slot have done so already, and those with big money big money no whammies coming won't sign until closer to the August 15 deadline. With that said, here's an update with an outlook for the unsigned players:

1st & Supplemental Rounds
Signed:
1/32: Jake Hager - Assigned to Princeton, made his debut last night
1s/38: Brandon Martin - Assigned to GCL Rays but has not yet played
1s/42: Jeff Ames - Made his pro debut in Princeton over the weekend
1s/52: Blake Snell - Has made two appearances for the GCL Rays
1s/56: Kes Carter - Three games with Hudson Valley; has not played since 6/20 due to shin splints
1s/60: James Harris - Four games with the GCL Rays

Unsigned:
1/24: Taylor Guerrieri - Not much new to report here after the drama that ensued in the week after the draft. Scouting director R.J. Harrison met with Guerrieri toward the end of June, but negotiations will continue well into August. Who knows how much of his talk about attending South Carolina is for real and how much is posturing, but he's looking like a tougher sign now than at this point a month ago.

1/31: Mikie Mahtook - Things have been very quiet on this front. I'm guessing the hold-up is that he's looking for 15-20th pick money, which is where he probably expected to go, and even if the Rays have agreed to pay it the commissioner's office would hold up the deal. I don't think there's anything done yet but the two sides are likely much closer in this case than Guerrieri's. He'll get more than the slot recommendation of $972,000, but we may have to wait until mid-August to find out exactly how much.

1s/41: Tyler Goeddel - He missed some time with mono in the spring, so his performance in summer ball seems like it might be pretty important. He's a good student, his family has money, and his brother (currently a Mets farmhand) went to UCLA, where he's committed, so there are some factors working against the Rays here. But if he wants to go pro it's tough to see the Rays not meeting his price even if it is over-slot. Brandon Martin signed for $2,000 overslot but the rest of the supplemental picks have signed for slot or below, so they should be able to go over for Goeddel.

1s/59: Grayson Garvin - He helped pitched Vanderbilt into the College World Series, so his season lasted longer than most college players'. He's the one player from this group that you might see in July since I can't imagine he's looking to break the bank. I'd expect him to sign somewhere close to slot before the month is through.

2nd-10th Rounds
Signed:
2/75: Granden Goetzman - Six games with the GCL Rays
2/89: Lenny Linsky - Assigned to Hudson Valley but has not yet played
6/210: Jake Floethe - Two appearances for Hudson Valley
9/300: Matt Rice - Nine games for Hudson Valley
10/330: Jacob Faria - Signed but not yet assigned to a team, though the GCL Rays are most likely

Unsigned:
3/119: Johnny Eierman - Pretty quiet on this front. He's an LSU commit but wasn't considered to have a super-strong tie. He did fall a little bit as he was in the discussion as high as the supplemental round, so he'll probably get an over-slot bonus as the two sides hammer something out. I'm thinking something like second-round money ($400,000-$425,000) which would be well above the $250,000 slot for this pick.

4/150: Riccio Torrez - The first real headscratcher for me. He's a college junior who wasn't really expected to go any higher than this, so I'm not entirely sure why he hasn't signed. Slot for this pick is about $170,000 and I can't imagine he's holding out for a big bonus. Arizona State was in the College World Series but didn't make it to Omaha as Garvin and Vanderbilt did, but that could be the cause of the delay anyway.

5/180: J.D. Davis - He's looking for ("something like") second-round money, according to his high school coach, so if a deal gets done it'll probably be pretty close to the deadline. One factor that could help the Rays is the fact that the coach of CS-Fullerton, where Davis is committed, resigned to take the job at Tennessee. They've hired a new coach but Davis will have to meet with him and mull over his commitment there.

7/240: Ryan Carpenter - He's another college junior, but unlike Torrez I think Carpenter did expect to go higher than his actual draft spot. He had his best statistical season in 2011 despite diminished stuff, so it'll be interesting to see how much the Rays are willing to pay. I think a deal will get done but if Carpenter is confident he can regain his stuff, he might head back to Gonzaga to improve his stock.

8/270: John Alexander - Thanks to his common name, it's tough to find any news on him. He's committed to UC-Irvine and I think there's a pretty good chance he ends up there. He's a first baseman and big at 6-6/200 but quite athletic and would blossom into a 2014 first-round pick if his power develops.

Other Interesting Unsigned Players:
12/390: Trevor Mitsui - A high school teammate of Blake Snell's, he's sort of a bat-only guy but it has a chance to be a special one. He totally dominated the Washington high school ranks (insert obligatory disclaimer about HS stats here) and was named to the USA Today first-team All-USA squad. He's committed to the University of Washington and is playing summer ball. He's said it's a 50/50 decision, so here's hoping that Blake Snell is a really good friend and Mitsui wants to continue playing with him, as they have since they were in Little League.

13/420: Tanner English - A South Carolina recruit like Guerrieri, it's probably going to be tough to sign English away since he projects to be the starting center fielder as a freshman for the defending CWS champs. He's got plus-plus speed and takes nice cuts, but he's on the small side and could be a much higher pick after three years of college if his body and bat catch up.

15/480: Tyler Parmenter - He has a freaking cannon for an arm and would be a two-play player at Arizona State. He has good bat speed and could produce nice power if his slender frame fills out. He has real potential on the mound and some questions about his ability to stick at SS, so he's likely to head to college to answer those. The Rays are tracking him over summer ball.

16/510: Brett McAfee - He missed the entire 2011 season for his high school team because of Tommy John surgery, and reportedly is looking for third-to-fifth round money to sign. The Rays would have to be blown away in workouts to pay him that, and the fact he's going to a junior college means he'll be eligible for the draft after one year instead of three. Tough to see him signing.

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