2011 Draft: Yankees do not sign second rounder Sam Stafford

2011 Draft: Yankees sign fifth rounder Greg Bird for $1.1M
Yankees overcome Burnett, win opener vs. KC

Barring a late report (which is absolutely still possible), the Yankees did not sign second round pick Sam Stafford before Monday’s midnight deadline. Kirk Bohls reports that the deal hit a snag when the team found something they didn’t like in the left-hander’s arm and only offered him $200k, about half of MLB’s slot recommendation of $398.7k. Of course, Bohls did report that the two sides agreed to a deal worth $400k last month, so who knows. I’m guessing they agreed to the money, then the red flag popped up in the pre-signing physical.

Stafford, a southpaw from Texas, was the 88th overall pick. The Yankees will get the 89th pick in next year’s draft as compensation for the non-deal, and they’ll keep that pick no matter what. They can’t lose it for signing free agents, nothing. They won’t get another pick in 2012 if they fail to sign the player they take with that pick, however.

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2011 Draft: Yankees sign fifth rounder Greg Bird for $1.1M
Yankees overcome Burnett, win opener vs. KC
  • William Rawls

    Dillon Maples, Matt Purke, and Josh Bell signed among others. Oh well, you can’t sign everyone. Let’s root for the guys that signed!

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I’m shocked that Bell signed. I’m curious to hear the money, bet it’s $5M or so.

      • pat

        5 for Bell 8 for Cole. Good for them.

  • Shuffle Cards for fun

    Theres just something about that last name and injuries

  • http://www.twitter.com/ngoral Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

    I’m okay with this if true, I’d prefer he sign, but the Yankees could always find somebody better next year.

    • Gonzo

      Yeah, but I think everyone would have been happy if they swung for the fences with every early pick.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        One thing I’ve learned: there’s always someone better they should have taken. Always.

        • Gonzo

          Totally, but is there anything wrong with saying they should have went with BPA in this draft?

          If they had Stafford as they BPA, then so be it, but try convincing fans of that.

          • Voice of Reason

            Not the best player available? According to who? A bunch of amateurs? There is no such thing as a reach. The Yankees are a MLB organization, therefore every selection they make makes sense.

            But yeah, it’s EXTREMELY hard to imagine that Stafford was the best player on their board. Write it off as people never being satisfied if you like, but there’s no excuse for the Yankees not to go balls out on every pick in every draft, period. If that’s what taking Stafford was, well…

            • Gonzo

              Yeah, I think we agree..

  • Bob Michaels

    Good report on Stafford If he has shoulder problems he should have taken the offer and had surgery on the Team.

  • Reggie C.

    So the scouting/Oppenheimer department is let off the hook when a 2nd round selection doesn’t sign bc of questionable medicals?

    Not thrilled on failing to select and sign a solid 2nd round talent that Stafford arguably represented. Damn. Its a missed opportunity.

    • pat

      What should they do? Still give him a half mil then run him out there waiting for his shoulder to explode? Sucks they missed out but it’s not like they had access to his medicals beforehand.

      • Reggie C.

        All the 2nd round talent on the board and the Yankees picked the chipped one. Its frustrating. At that point, i’m fine with the Yankees then turning about on Stafford and re-adjusting the money to the risk. I’d be interested to see Stafford collegiate reports.

        • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

          It’s not like Stafford was the only guy to not sign or whatever.

        • MikeD

          D.O. and company have rebuilt the Yankee farm system quite well over the past few years. They have a strategy, one which I don’t understand when it comes to the first rounders the last two seasons, but they clearly have a budget they are working under. It appears they’ve adopted a holistic approach to the overall draft, saving money a the high end to sign more quality down in the draft.

          My gut reaction is Hal Steinbrenner should increase the budget so they can have it both ways (They’re the Yankees!), but it’ll be interesting to see how these last two drafts turn out.

          • Prof Plum

            The strategy is pretty obvious. The foundation is that the Yankees are always going to be getting more than their share of top end FAs, so they will always have stars with long-term contracts. Add to that the international market where their big budget makes them major players. Finally, the Yankees have done extremely well gambling the odd million bucks on reclamation projects– note this year’s rotation. The net of all this is that the number of available roster spots for original draftees will be small. The Yankees can therefore afford to gamble by drafting a lot of high risk/high return guys– signability cases or players who have fallen due to injury, “makeup questions”, etc.– based on the statistical likelihood that a few of these guys will pay off in a big way.

            Since the Yankees tend to draft fairly late in the draft order, the well-known, low-risk, top-rated candidates are fairly well picked-over by the time they select, so they tend to be looking at guys with lower ceilings– average ML players or worse. The Yankees really don’t need to draft those sorts of guys. Better to go with the high-risk guys who fall in the BA ratings due to “questions.”

        • Rick in Boston

          It’s kind of like Scott Bittle a couple of years ago: the Yankees aren’t allowed to thoroughly check these guys out until after they were drafted. If it was an elbow, I’m sure the Yankees sign him, wait for the injury, etc. However, if it is a shoulder issue, the Yankees are right to stay away from it, and I can’t fault them at all for the process or execution.

  • Reggie C.

    did the Mets sign Brandon Nimmo? Can’t find anything on that.

    • Gonzo

      Yup, they got him.

      • Gonzo

        $2.1mm it looks like.

  • Gonzo

    Word is that Purke let the Nats do an enhanced MRI on him. Hmmm, maybe Rizzo knows something, or maybe Purke got lucky on his MRI. LOL

  • Scout

    Can’t fault the team for backing away from a guy with injury concerns that were unknown before the draft, but this was a pretty low ceiling pick. If the team and player had earlier agreed on slot money, that doesn’t say much for his upside.

  • vinnie

    so now what happens with Stafford? Is he a free agent like Loux? Or does he go into next years draft? What happens to all of the unsigned draftees this year? v