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Exploding draft budgets

One wonders where this is going to lead eventually, but it’s now clear that the Nationals and Pirates will both be teams that comfortably reach 8 figures in signing bonuses in the 2010 draft. Apparently the Nats have committed around $3M to Sammy Solis and AJ Cole, and about $800K on Robbie Ray. That’s almost $4M right there. Add in the fact that Harper is going to get around 9-10M, and you can see where this is going.

Of course, the Pirates are likely going to clear that too, with Taillon and Allie together commanding somewhere in the $9-10M range, and the total spending likely to end up in the $13-14M range, as I wrote before.

What’s next for the Bucs?

In the meantime, over the next few days, watch out for Taillon, Allie, Maggi, Carey and a name we haven’t heard much of, but one that I expect the Pirates have their eye on- Dan Grovatt.

Pirates Prospects is now reporting that the Bucs have stepped up discussions with Carey. This should come as a surprise to no one, since Carey was clearly one of the better draftees, and I’d have expected him to be gone after before someone like Hursh, for instance. I also wonder if this means negotiations with one of the other picks- Hursh/Maggi- may have broken down or whether it was in the plans all along. Well, we’ll know in a day and a half!

So, is this draft going to lead into an era where teams regularly start doling out these kinds of numbers to draft picks? Boston seems like another team that will end up in the high 7 figures in terms of draft spending when it’s all said and done. With teams realizing the value of draft picks, it sure seems like this is one aspect where the advantage is going to disappear really quickly for the small market teams. So, it’s all going to come down to who can develop these picks the best.

The Nats will be easily the best draft when it’s all said and done with Harper, Cole, Solis and Ray all locked up. The part that I am really curious about with Harper is the major-league or minor-league deal? I wonder what Boras will have in mind there, but also what the Nats will be thinking. A major league deal will allow them to spread out a hefty signing bonus over many years but it will also mean Harper reaches the big leagues by 2014 at the latest. If they give him a major league deal, it could bite them big-time later.

By the same token, I hope the Pirates will also stick to a non-ML deal with Taillon. In about 35 hours from now, ladies and gentlemen, the Pittsburgh farm system will have a brand new look!

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