2009 Draft: Yankees sign first rounder Slade Heathcott


Via Jim Callis, the Yankees have signed Slade Heathcott, their first round pick, to a $2.2M bonus. Slot money for his pick (#29 overall) was roughly $1.1M, so he received double that. Good for him, that’s pretty much 7th overall pick money. My guesstimate of $1.5-1.7M was obviously way off. Shows what I know. You can learn all about the high school outfielder here.

Lane Meyer at NoMaas had the news earlier today.

Categories : Asides, Draft


  1. The Evil Empire says:

    Does he go to A or AA?

  2. ledavidisrael says:


  3. CB says:

    I’d guess the Sox may have taken Fuentes the pick before Heathcott because Fuentes would sign for slot and the Sox wanted to spend more money later on in the draft on guys like Renfroe and Younginer.

    Perhaps they really did like Fuentes better but it seems like Heathcott is the better prospect given his ability to hit for some power in addition to his speed.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

    People often talk about the Sox taking the “high ceiling” high school guys and the yankees taking the “college arms.”

    But taking “college arms” later on in the draft is the reason why they have Robertson, Melancon and even Coke in the pen this year.

    The yankees have added a lot of good arms in this draft this year after round 2. They took a risk on taking draft eligible sophomores and that risk looks like it’s paying off.

    • Zack says:

      Well the Yankees pick was unprotected, so Heathcott had a lot of leverage with the team. If Sox picked him he probably would have gotten closer to slot.

  4. Reggie C. says:

    WOW. There was no denying the amount of leverage Heathcott and his advisors had in this negotiation. I didnt think he was going to get over $2M… I can see why Aplin and Lyons didnt get their money.

  5. A.D. says:

    ….and exhale

  6. mike HC says:

    Do the Yankees always overpay for their draft picks, or are they usually in line with the rest of the league? I thought we drafted Heathcott because he would not demand a huge bonus and we would be able to sign him for the slot money? I don’t mind giving these guys money, but is it a Yankee thing that we always have to overpay?

    • A.D. says:

      Heathcott had most of the leverage given the Yanks would lose the pick, and he had solid college options

    • Doug says:

      he was never going to sign for slot. but nobody foresaw $2.2M

      • Mike bk says:

        i think 1.8 was the consensus estimate on his number.

      • mike HC says:

        Gottya, but, do guys always take the Yankees for more than people expected? This is really the first year I have followed the MLB draft, and I am curious if the Yankees always have to overpay because they are the “Yankees”

        • Doug says:

          no, but the yanks tend to draft guys who slip because they’re asking for mucho $. they have a label as “signabitility” guys

          • mike HC says:

            right, I was discounting the guys that everyone knows have to be paid serious money, like the Boras guys that drop. I am talking about when they take the “normal” sign ability guys, if they always end up paying them a premium too, but I think the consensus here is that they don’t. Heathcott was more of an exception due to the circumstances

        • Stryker says:

          I am curious if the Yankees always have to overpay because they are the “Yankees”

          that’s not true at all. the yankees seemingly overpay because they draft “signability” players – guys that aren’t picked sooner because other teams believe they’ll want a significant amount of money (that they’re not necessarily willing to pay). “overpaying” them just comes with the territory and sweetening the pot for guys in an attempt to persuade them to sign.

          • Stryker says:

            as for “normal” players, they sign for the appropriate amount of money. i’m sure guys like rob lyerly, sam elam, and deangelo mack all got the recommended amount of money.

    • Reggie C. says:

      Right time, right leverage.

      If Heathcott landed one slot ahead or below us, Heathcott would’ve likely landed a deal 10% above slot recommendation. Nothing like what he just signed. Yanks were gonna dish out regardless.. especially to a High Schooler coming off MVP performance in the Texas playoffs.

      • mike HC says:

        So, you are saying the Yanks always have to overpay their guys to get them? Or at least usually? The question I really have is, do the Yanks pay more for their respective draft picks than the rest of the league on a yearly basis?

        • A.D. says:

          I don’t think so, this year, yes, but that’s because this pick was unprotected. Otherwise I think the Yankees are trying to use their financial muscle for signability guys, so are they spending more than other teams, yes, but they’re intending to, and pick these players knowing full well they’re getting paid overslot.

        • Zack says:

          “Here’s is what the Yankees spent on draft picks in recent years:

          2007: $7.4 million.
          2006: $6.3 million
          2005: $3.7 million
          2004: $4.8 million
          2003: $3.8 million

          and the Red Sox:

          2007: $3.5 million
          2006: $6.8 million
          2005: $6.2 million
          2004: $1.8 million
          2003: $5.1 million”

          -from PeteAbe, cant find league averages- need to buy the BA Prospect Handbook

          • mike HC says:

            Thanks for the info man

            • Zack says:

              but there are of variables for ‘total spent.’ if Yankees sign 3 type a free agents they lose their 1-2-3 picks, while other teams pick up those picks (and picking up the bonus they have to pay whoever the pick). some teams just overdraft players so they dont have to go overslot, or take ‘safe picks’ who have limited upside; etc.

              • mike HC says:

                Yea, the MLB draft is very weird. They have to figure out a way to get the best young players to the teams at the top of the draft, like in every other sport. It is odd to have teams passing up players they think are better than the guy they are taking because of money. In a draft, where everything should be equal, there are still inherent advantages for the teams with money. That does not even include the fact that there is no draft for foreign players. The deck is really stacked in the favor of the big market teams like in no other sport (except soccer maybe, but I’m talking US sports).

              • Matty Ruggz says:

                As I recall, the Twins selected Joe Mauer #1 overall years ago ahead of other players due to signability issues as a “safe” pick. Now I’m pretty sure they got one of the top talents out of that draft.

  7. Brian says:

    JR Murphy signed now, too.

  8. Mike bk says:

    have to like it when callis says, “He has legitimate five-tool potential”

  9. Makavelli says:

    As I posted in the other thread…

    $1.1 million was recommended so we doubled it?

    • Doug says:

      apparently. again, had us over a barrel

    • Mike bk says:

      lots of players get paid way more than “slot money” renfroe got 1.4 mil as a 3rd rounder where slot was probably about 300K. cotham was 4 times slot for us, so players get paid overages. he had all the leverage cause we get nothing if he walks so he got overpaid by 400K probably.

    • CountryClub says:

      Yes, he got double. But as others have said, the Yanks didnt really have a choice. They had to sign him or go 2 years in a row without a 1st round pick.

  10. JSquared says:

    Heathcott and Murphy are going to be fun to watch in the minors.

  11. AndrewYF says:

    Where do Heathcott and Murphy rank on the top 30?

  12. Mike bk says:

    “The Yankees are going to sign a bunch of players today, but it doesn’t look like Lyons will be one of them. I’ve heard they had a generous budget, but a budget nonetheless.
    Posted by Jim Callis | August 17, 2009 at 11:05 am”

    Interesting news.

  13. Johan Iz My Brohan says:


    i know a guy who coached jr murphy and he said that he signed for 1.25 mil.

    Posted by: slapshot10k | August 17, 2009 at 11:05 AM

    Does anybody have any confirmation of this?

  14. Slot Busters says:

    [...] Yankees signed their first round and second round picks. Both signed for well over [...]

  15. [...] slot signings might as well have not existed. After all, the team signed their first-round pick for $2.2 million — or 100 percent over slot — and spent $7 million on the [...]

  16. [...] they received for failing to sign first rounder Gerrit Cole in 2008. The team announced that they signed Heathcott to a $2.2M bonus on the August 17th signing deadline, double the estimated slot recommendation of [...]

  17. [...] been a rough few years for 2009 first round pick Slade Heathcott, who signed for $2.2M and has since undergone two left (throwing) shoulder surgeries and battled alcoholism. As the now [...]

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