Ink still drying as signing deadline passes

Six of top 11 overall Draft picks make last-minute deals

(AP)

By Jonathan Mayo / MLB.com | August 15, 2008 10:41 PM ET

The deadline has come and gone and with the dust settled, it turned out nearly all of the supposed stalemates were broken and most of the unsigned did indeed come to terms. When all was said and done, No. 2 Pedro Alvarez, No. 3 Eric Hosmer, No. 5 Buster Posey, No. 7 Yonder Alonso, No. 11 Justin Smoak and No. 23 Allan Dykstra did all come to terms. No. 4 pick Brian Matusz signed on Friday afternoon.

There were three first-rounders who didn't sign at deadline time. The Nationals were unable to come to an agreement with No. 9 overall pick Aaron Crow and are thus looking at having two top 10 picks in the 2009 draft. The Mariners did not sign No. 20 pick Josh Fields, but as a college senior, Seattle retains his rights until just prior to next year's draft. And the Yankees didn't come to terms with No. 28 overall Gerrit Cole, who will instead head to UCLA. The Bombers will get an additional first-round pick in 2009 -- the 30th overall selection.

Agent Scott Boras had five of the 11 first-round picks who weren't signed heading into deadline day. In the end, three of them -- Alvarez, Hosmer and Dykstra -- signed. What might be the biggest side story, though, is the lack of big-league deals that were doled out. Most assumed that the college bats atop the draft, namely Alvarez, Posey, Alonso and Smoak, would require Major League contracts to sign on the dotted line. In the end, it was only Alonso, the University of Miami first baseman, along with college lefty Brian Matusz, who got such a deal.

Here's the latest on all 30 first-rounders, along with some supplemental picks who have gotten off to good starts.

1. Tim Beckham, SS, Rays
Date signed:
June 19

Beckham didn't take too long to agree to his $6.15 million deal and reported to Princeton in the rookie-level Appalachian League. After starting slowly, the teenager from Griffin, Ga., has made some impressive adjustments -- hitting .293 over his first 11 games in August, including his first professional home run. He's hit .243 in 36 total games with four steals in five attempts.

2. Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pirates
Date signed:
Aug. 15

It took until the very last minute, but the Pirates were able to get their guy. And it seems like they were able to get him on their terms, with a $6 million bonus and no big-league deal.

3. Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals
Date signed:
Aug. 15

For the second straight year, the Royals took a high school hitter who was a Scott Boras client. And for the second straight year, they took it right up to the deadline. And, just like they did with Mike Moustakas, they got a deal done with Eric Hosmer. There were no details about the size of the bonus, but some rumors had it at about $6 million.

4. Brian Matusz, LHP, Orioles
Date signed:
Aug. 15

It didn't hit the deadline exactly, but there wasn't exactly a ton of time to spare. The Orioles were able to ink the lefty out of San Diego on Friday afternoon to a $3.2-million deal, including a big-league contract.

5. Buster Posey, C, Giants
Date signed:
Aug. 15

There had been reports for a couple of days that a deal was done between San Francisco and the FSU catcher, but it didn't become official until right at the deadline. Terms were a reported $6.2 million and not a big-league deal.

6. Kyle Skipworth, C, Marlins
Date signed:
June 25

Skipworth has been toiling in the Gulf Coast League and hasn't found the transition to the pro game all that easy. He's hit .194 through his first 35 games with 40 strikeouts. He has shown flashes of his above-average power with four homers.

7. Yonder Alonso, 1B, Reds
Date signed:
Aug. 15

Things didn't look too good heading into deadline day, but both sides came together to get a deal done prior to midnight. The Reds agreed to give the Miami first baseman a big-league deal and Alonso's camp came down from early bonus demands to "settle" for a reported $4.5 million deal.

8. Gordon Beckham, SS, White Sox
Date signed:
August 13

Beckham signed with a couple of days to spare and the University of Georgia product is slated to debut with Kannapolis in the South Atlantic League this weekend.

9. Aaron Crow, RHP, Nationals
Date signed:
Did not sign

The right-hander became the only top 10 pick not to sign by the deadline, with the Nationals and Crow's advisors, the Hendricks Brothers, unable to find common ground. Crow will have to wait until 2009 to be drafted again and the Nats are looking at two top 10 picks next June.

10. Jason Castro, C, Astros
Date signed:
July 12

The Astros sent their surprise first-round pick to Tri-City in the short-season New York-Penn League for his debut. After starting a little slowly, the Stanford product has come on of late, hitting .314 over 10 August games. For the season, he's hit .278, but with just four RBIs and six extra-base hits (all doubles) in 23 games, walking one more time than he's struck out.

11. Justin Smoak, 1B, Rangers
Date signed:
Aug. 15

There was a definite domino effect of sorts as the deadline approached. Not long after the Reds had announced their deal with Yonder Alonso, Smoak and the Rangers became official. Texas gave the South Carolina star a $3.5 million bonus, but no big-league deal.

12. Jemile Weeks, 2B, A's
Date signed:
July 8

A hip flexor has kept him out since he got hurt at the "Road to Wrigley" game at the end of July. He had gotten off to a .297 start with a .405 on-base percentage and six steals in eight attempts.

13. Brett Wallace, 3B/1B, Cardinals
Date signed:
July 1

Everyone knew he had an advanced bat, and he hasn't disappointed. Making his debut with Quad Cities in the full-season Midwest League, the third baseman has hit .350 with five homers and 24 RBIs in 37 games. He's gotten on base at a .428 clip while slugging .529. Few thought he could play third, but the Cards have let him try and he's made five errors in 33 games thus far.

14. Aaron Hicks, OF, Twins
Date signed:
June 13

When Hicks signed he did so as a raw, toolsy high school outfielder. It's safe to say most have been surprised at how he's performed right out of the gate. He's hit .308 in 37 Gulf Coast League games with a .406 OBP, .469 SLG (six doubles, four triples, three homers) and 11 steals in 12 tries. He's struggled a little bit here in August (.226 in eight games), though he's still getting on base fairly often.

15. Ethan Martin, RHP, Dodgers
Date signed:
July 10

A two-way standout in high school, the Dodgers plan to have Martin pitch as a pro. But they'll have to wait. Martin hurt his knee doing fielding drills in the Gulf Coast League and had season-ending surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. The hope was he'd be back in time to get some work in during instructs.

16. Brett Lawrie, C/3B, Brewers
Date signed:
Aug. 5

Lawrie officially signed just before heading to Beijing to play for the Canadian Olympic Team. The British Columbia native will make it back in time for instructs and it's expected the Brewers are going to work on his skills behind the plate.

17. David Cooper, 1B, Blue Jays
Date signed:
June 10

As the first first-rounder to sign, Cooper has taken advantage of the extra playing time. He's been twice promoted and the Cal product is now in the Class A Advanced Florida State League. Combined, he's hit an impressive .336 in 52 games with a .923 OPS, driving in 44 runs in 211 at-bats.

18. Ike Davis, 1B/OF, Mets
Date signed:
June 24

The ASU product has been playing first base for Brooklyn in the New York-Penn League and has hit .235 over 41 games for the Cyclones. He started out well, with a 15-game hit streak to begin his career, but has struggled since -- batting .228 in July and .200 in 10 August appearances. He's also yet to hit his first pro homer.

19. Andrew Cashner, RHP, Cubs
Date signed:
July 10

Cashner has been having trouble finding the strike zone with Boise in the short-season Northwest League, walking 14 and striking out nine in 9 2/3 innings for the Hawks. He's yielded eight earned runs in that span for a 7.45 ERA (four appearances), though he did toss four shutout frames in his most recent appearance on Aug. 13.

20. Josh Fields, RHP, Mariners
Date signed:
Unsigned

The senior closer from the University of Georgia did not sign with the Mariners before the deadline, but there wasn't the same kind of pressure. As a college senior, Seattle will hold Fields' rights until just prior to the 2009 draft.

21. Ryan Perry, RHP, Tigers
Date signed:
July 11

The University of Arizona fireballer has spent most of his pro time with Lakeland in the Class A Advanced Florida State league. He's picked up three saves in six outings, walking four and striking out six in 6 1/3 innings. Including a pair of GCL outings, he's got a 3.24 ERA in eight pro outings.

22. Reese Havens, SS, Mets
Date signed:
June 13

Havens signed quickly, but didn't make his pro debut until June 30 due to an elbow problem. When he finally debuted, it was as a DH and he just this week started appearing at shortstop. He's hit .263 and slugged .500 (six doubles, two triples and three homers) in 21 games.

23. Allan Dykstra, 1B, Padres
Date signed:
Aug. 15

This one was reported done weeks ago, but questions about his medical condition held things up right until the deadline. In the end, the Scott Boras client did sign with San Diego for a reported $1.15 million.

24. Anthony Hewitt, SS, Phillies
Date signed:
July 1

A toolsy shortstop in high school, the Phillies have moved him over to third in the Gulf Coast League and he's made a pretty good transition thus far, with just one error in 11 games at the position. Offensively, he's hit .235 in 24 total games with seven doubles, a triple and a homer in 85 at-bats.

25. Christian Friedrich, LHP, Rockies
Date signed:
June 18

The lefty slid a bit further than most projected, but the Rockies were pleased he was around at 25. Starting for Tri-City in the short-season Northwest League, he's compiled 31 innings and a 3.48 ERA, striking out 42 and walking just eight over 31 innings. He's been terrific in his two August starts, allowing just one earned run in 11 1/3 frames.

26. Daniel Schlereth, LHP, Diamondbacks
Date signed:
July 16

He hasn't pitched much, but the Arizona southpaw has looked good when he has taken the mound. He made three appearances in Missoula before recently getting bumped up to full-season South Bend. Combined, he's made four pro outings, allowing just three hits in four innings, walking two, striking out seven and allowing one unearned run.

27. Carlos Gutierrez, RHP, Twins
Date signed:
July 5

A bit of a surprise first-round pick, the University of Miami closer has been relieving for Fort Myers in the Class A Advanced Florida State League since he signed. He hasn't been closing, but he's got a 2.89 ERA in 11 outings spanning 18 2/3 innings.

28. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Yankees
Date signed:
Did not sign

This one didn't get done and, according to reports, never was really close to being seriously discussed. The SoCal right-hander will attend UCLA instead of donning the Yankee pinstripes.

29. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Indians
Date signed:
June 14

Chisenhall got off to a so-so start after signing quickly, hitting .250 in 11 June games and .265 in July, though he drove in 20 runs that month. He's turned it up a notch since the calendar turned to August, hitting .359 with a 1.034 OPS in 11 games.

30. Casey Kelly, SS/RHP, Red Sox
Date signed:
July 17

The Red Sox signed Kelly away from being the quarterback at the University of Tennessee and sent him to the Gulf Coast League. He's hit .197 over 19 games, with four doubles and a homer in 71 at-bats. He's played 15 games at shortstop and committed five errors.

Supplemental Supers

A quick look at the sandwich round's top performers:

Shooter Hunt, RHP, Twins: The Tulane product slid to No. 31 overall, but he's pitched like a first rounder. Between the rookie-level Appy League and full-season Midwest League, he's posted a 1.88 ERA in eight starts, holding hitters to a .133 batting average while striking out 57 (with 21 walks) in 38 1/3 combined innings.

Brad Holt, RHP, Mets: Taken No. 33 out of UNC-Wilmington, Holt has been outstanding for Brooklyn in the New York-Penn League. Including his most recent start on Thursday, the right-hander has posted a 1.98 ERA in 11 starts, yielding only 34 hits in 54 2/3 frames (.178 batting average against), while striking out 69 and walking 27, with that number inflated by one seven-walk aberration at the end of July.

Mike Montgomery, LHP, Royals: The Royals like their high school southpaws (see Duffy, Danny, 2007) and Montgomery is faring well thus far. Over 30 2/3 total innings, he's posted a 1.76 ERA, yielding just 22 hits and seven walks while striking out 24 in the Arizona League.

Lance Lynn, RHP, Cardinals: The No. 39 pick out of Ole Miss, he started in Batavia (NY-Penn Legue) and is now in Quad Cities (Midwest League), posting a combined 1.35 ERA and .204 batting average against over 26 2/3 innings. He struck out 29 and walked only six before being shut down with a forearm problem.

Ryan Flaherty, SS, Cubs: The Vanderbilt product, taken with the 41st pick, has been impressive for Boise. He's hitting .319 with six homers and 19 RBIs in 37 games, while posting a .951 OPS over 144 at-bats.

Jaff Decker, OF, Padres: The rookie-level Arizona League seems to agree with the Peoria native, who was taken No. 42 overall. Decker has hit .348 with a 1.047 OPS in 36 games. He's even stolen six bases in seven attempts.

Bryan Price, RHP, Red Sox: The Rice product has started some, relieved some for Lowell in the New York-Penn League and has excelled at both. The No. 45 pick has a 1.40 ERA with 30 Ks in 25 2/3 innings, walking only five along the way.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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