Draft Signing Update

Remember that big to-do last week about the draft? Here's a quick update on he signing situation (Bonus information from Baseball America):

1. Richie Shaffer, 3B, Clemson - Shaffer hasn't signed yet, though it was reported he wanted to take a bit of time off and get started on his pro career. Currently, eight 1st-round picks have signed, each at or below slot value. The pick after Shaffer, Stryker Trahan, signed for his $1.7M slot value, so if Shaffer is getting a slot bonus, there shouldn't be much of a hold-up.

2. Spencer Edwards, OF, Rockwall HS - Nothing official yet, though it was reported by Rays Digest he plans on signing: "I'm ready to play professional baseball and I am going to sign with the Rays," said Edwards, who was selected with the No. 88 overall pick. "This is something I have wanted to do since I was 4-years-old and I believe I am ready for the next level." The slot value for the 88th selection is $556,900.

3. Andrew Toles, OF, Chipola JC - Toles hasn't signed yet but it's tough to imagine he won't, given that he transferred to a JuCo and not another four-year school after leaving Tennessee. John Gregg has this quote from him: "The chances are pretty high right now. What I'm looking for is just fair treatment, nothing too crazy." The slot value here is $396,700.

4. Nolan Gannon, RHP, Santa Fe Christian HS - He sounded pretty definitive here: "I'm ecstatic," said Gannon, who has signed to play at San Diego State. "I definitely will sign with the Rays. They're my favorite team, and I want to begin my professional career." Slot value is $288,500.

5. Bralin Jackson, OF, Raytown South HS - Here we get to our first player with a significant question mark. He's committed to a big-time program (Missouri) and the bonus numbers for 5th rounders (Jackson's slot is $216,000) aren't eye-popping. Jackson could see himself as a higher-round pick after three years of refining his athleticism into baseball skills. Haven't seen much speculation either way.

6. Damion Carroll, RHP, King George HS - Another possible tough sign: "The signing bonus for sixth-round picks this season is between $155,000 and $170,000, far less than what his father, Virgil Holmes, said a few weeks ago that it would take to sign Carroll." Then again, he's only committed to a JuCo, a sign he might prefer pro ball over college. Slot is $162,000.

7. Marty Gantt, OF, College of Charleston - Gantt is the earliest selection to officially sign. The senior inked a well-below-slot deal, signing for $17,500 against a slot of $142,000, freeing up about $125,000 to allocate elsewhere. He should be on Hudson Valley's opening-day roster.

8. Luke Maile, C, Kentucky - Maile signed for his slot value, $133,200. Like Gantt, he should be on the Renegades roster and, if you believe the scouting reports, among their best hitters. The question is how his defense plays in pro ball.

9. Joey Rickard, OF, Arizona - Arizona has made it through to the College World Series, so you'll be able to see him play before the signing process starts. He's a junior, like Maile, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him sign for the $125,000 slot amount.

10. Sean Bierman, LHP, Tampa - Bierman has signed, but no bonus amount has been published. As a senior, he's likely to get a deal similar to Gantt's, freeing up more money for the Rays to spend, either on players like Jackson and Carroll or to try to make a run at Clayton Henning, Taylor Hawkins, or other players selected outside the top 10 rounds.

Other players to sign:
18. Kevin Brandt, LHP, East Carolina
19. Miguel Beltran, 1B, Oklahoma City U.
22. Willie Argo, CF, Illinois
23. Reid Redman, 2B, Texas Tech
25. Jordan Harrison, LHP, Louisiana-Lafayette
30. Michael Williams, C, Kentucky
32. Benjamin Kline, SS, Emory-Riddle
34. Ryan Garton, RHP, Florida Atlantic
35. Kris Carlson, RHP, Colorado Mesa
37. Rob Finneran, RHP, Bentley

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