PeteAbe: Yanks over slot with draft deals


Via this mailbag comes some word on the Yanks draft picks. According to Peter Abraham, Scott Boras, agent for Andrew Brackman, the Yanks’ number one pick, is confident the two sides will reach a deal before next Wednesday’s deadline. Abraham also notes a rumor we’ve heard for a while: The Yanks and Carmen Angelini (10th round) have come to terms on a deal for which MLB is delaying approval due, unsurprisingly, to the fact that the Yanks are well over slot. Angelini had been ticketed for Rice before the Yanks’ wallet intervened.

Categories : Asides
  • dan

    any word on peavey backing out of his commitments?

  • The Scout

    The larger issue with how major league baseball withholds approvals of “over-slot” contracts is the harm it inflicts upon the young players involved and the teams that sign them. Consider first the players. By refusing to approval the deals before August 15th, baseball effectively denies players the chance to participate in short-season professional baseball. This can only retard their development. If the players are fortunate, they may get into a handful of games at the end of the season at Staten Island, as Ian Kennedy did last year. But that is hardly enough to get used to the rigors of pro ball, an important part of that first season.

    Of course, the policy is targeted against the big-money teams such as the Yankees that pay draft choices more to entice them to forsake college. Other teams have never hesitated to stick it to the Yankees and the other large-market organizations. The practice amounts to a form of collusion against the players; I’m a little surprised the union puts up with it.

  • Mike

    Yes it does impact development a bit, but the August 15th deadline helps lessen that impact. Players will still get a chance to play some ball before the year ends, and as a whole the signing bonuses stay down in the league. In the long run, it’s good for baseball. A few weeks of development time won’t ruin a career, and if it does, than the player doesn’t have what it takes to play in the majors anyway.

    The union has no say regarding the draft; players don’t become union members until they reach the majors, so a bunch of high school kids that just were drafted are of very little concern to MLBPA. The union should love the idea of keeping signing bonuses down, it means more money for it’s clients on the free agent market.

  • The Scout

    The union does involve itself in the amateur process. It has, for example, fought fiercely against a draft for international players. The free agent money is hardly affected by draft signings, which do not count for luxury tax purposes. That is a more significant check on salaries.

    Sorry, but I don’t like the practice. It’s no secret when players sign for bonuses over-slot — don’t you think agents talk to each other? And team personnel directors? These are sources for the grapevine word that players such as Angelini are already in the fold. Taking a season — six weeks — away from a player is a bad practice, hardly offset by giving him “a few games” at the end of the season. By that point, he’s stale and all the other players are far ahead of him.

  • Mike

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that “he’s stale and all the other players are far ahead of him.” It’s a difference of 2 lousy months. And it’s not like Brackman, Angelini et al are home sitting on the couch either; their agents have them working out. Granted, there is no substitute for pro instruction and game experience, but the whole “they’re behind the 8-ball” crap is way overblown.

    Like I said earlier, if beginning a career 2 months late has that much of an impact on a guy, he didn’t have what it takes to be a major league ballplayer in the first place.

  • Ben K.

    For Brackman, it also sounds like a question of “When will he get surgery? This month or next?” So there’s not that much rush.

    Anyway, the signing deadline used to be right up until the next year’s draft. Think of all of the lost time that way.

  • The Scout

    Ah, but the old system gave teams the chance to draft-and-follow, and that’s gone now. That way, both players and teams had some leverage: teams could stall, to see whether a draft choice was worth a big bonus, and players could refuse to sign until just before the next draft, threatening to go back into the pool. As I recall, the Yankees used this process with both Marcus Thames and Sean Henn. The new system forces everyone to decide sooner whether to sign a deal. It’s too soon to see how that will play out, but in general I’m not supportive of forcing decisions.