|Red Sox draft update: Countdown to Aug. 16||08.13.10 at 2:05 pm ET|
Just three days remain for the Red Sox to come to terms with this year’s crop of draftees, but still, there’s a whole lot of waiting to be done. That is in no small part because of Major League Baseball’s efforts to delay signings in excess of recommended slot bonus figures for picks.
It is not merely a matter of holding off on approval for such deals. In many instances, clubs have not even been given the go-ahead to make offers above the slot values, thus delaying almost all deals to the last few days and hours before the deadline.
That, in turn, has stopped the Sox from advancing too far in negotiations with several of their top picks. The team was able to move quickly to sign its first two picks, third baseman Kolbrin Vitek (hitting .241/.333/.368/.701 with the Lowell Spinners) and outfielder Bryce Brentz (.179/.251/.288/.539). But since then, progress has been limited.
A lack of progress in negotiations should not necessarily be taken as an indication that the Sox are unlikely to sign a pick. That said, the Sox drafted aggressively this year for several players with signability questions, knowing that there was a risk that they wouldn’t sign as high a percentage of its top picks as it has in recent years.
Here is a look at where things stand for the top 10 picks in the 2010 Sox draft class:
1st rd: Vitek – signed ($1.359 million)
1st rd – supplemental: Brentz – signed ($892,000)
1st rd – supplemental: Anthony Ranaudo - Ranaudo proved in the Cape League that he is healthy. As he set out to do at the start of the summer, he demonstrated that he remains the same sort of talent that had him projected as perhaps the top college pitcher entering this year’s draft.
He has also stated in no uncertain terms that he is open to returning to LSU.
“Anthony has told me repeatedly that he loves LSU and would be very happy coming back for his senior year if things don’t work out with the Red Sox,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri told The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.). “He told me he’s making all his plans to do so and the only way he won’t is if the Red Sox meet his exorbitant demand for bonus money. I guess the Red Sox have to decide how much they value Anthony because he’s asking for first-round money.”
Advised by Scott Boras, there is no question that Ranaudo carries a significant asking price. To date, according to sources familiar with the situation, there have been no substantive talks between the Sox and either the player or his advisor regarding a deal — no surprise, given that draftees advised by Boras typically do not talk until the 11th hour. He has not yet taken a physical.
2nd rd – Brandon Workman – Like Ranaudo, Workman will carry a high asking price. At the time of the draft, he was seeking a bonus in line with that of a first-round pick. The big right-hander from the University of Texas was in Boston earlier this month for a physical and to throw a bullpen, but according to sources familiar with the situation, there have been no significant negotiations between the Sox and the pitcher on a deal. In all likelihood, talks won’t heat up until later this weekend or Monday.
3rd rd – Sean Coyle – Coyle is a diminutive middle infielder who revels in comparisons to Dustin Pedroia. According to the Tribune-Democrat, he was going to head to Boston for a physical this week, but decided to delay the trip until the weekend so he could keep playing in his summer league tournament. The article said that Coyle remains undecided about whether to sign with the Sox or to go to the University of North Carolina to play with his brother, Tom. He is believed to be seeking a seven-figure commitment to pass on his college scholarship.
4th rd – Garin Cecchini – Earlier in the summer, Cecchini was seeking a $1.75 million bonus to pass on a scholarship to LSU. He is recovering well from surgery to repair his ACL, and showed impressive power — particularly given the state of his recovery from surgery — while taking batting practice in Fenway in July. He is currently in Boston for a physical, a necessary precondition of any potential deal, though no agreement has been reached between the sides.
The Sox are reasonably confident that they will be able to reach an agreement with at least one of their top two prep selections (Coyle of Cecchini), while maintaining hope that they might be able to sign both by the Monday deadline.
5th rd – Henry Ramos - signed ($138,200): hitting .304/.354/.431/.785 with two homers and 10 steals in the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League. A high schooler out of Puerto Rico with notable power.
6th rd – Kendrick Perkins – signed ($628,000): Signed away from his two-sport scholarship commitment at Texas A&M earlier this week, he is a high-ceiling, athletic outfielder who has reported to Fort Myers.
7th rd – Chris Hernandez – The University of Miami left-hander has taken a physical for the team. Negotiations are ongoing with the junior, who has been a solid performance pitcher in college.
8th rd – Mathew Price – The draft-eligible sophomore from Virginia Tech seems likely to sign. He had a 7-4 record and 4.95 ERA for the Hokies in 2010 while striking out 8.4 batters per nine innings while walking just 2.6 hitters per nine in the ACC.
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