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The signing deadline for Rule Four draftees is today at 5pm EST.

Quite a bit of news broke yesterday regarding our 2013 crop of draft picks. Alex Anthopoulos alerted the media, or whatever Mike Wilner is, that negotiations with Phil Bickford had reached some sort of impasse. What the impasse is remains up for debate, but Jim Callis over at Baseball America assumes the issue is money. Later in the day Callis tweeted that eleventh round pick Jacob Brentz was unlikely to sign. He then sent out several cryptic tweets suggesting he was hearing conflicting reports on Jays’ draft picks. This morning in the BA roundup it sounded like Bickford was not going to sign.

So, where does that leave us? Well, as you can see below the Jays have not spent much money. Their top two draft picks have elbow issues; one has already had Tommy John. With Brentz reportedly not signing that leaves three draft picks after the tenth round who are highly regarded and could potentially put pen to paper. They are LHP HS Eric Lauer, RHP HS Sam Tewes, and 1B HS Rowdy Tellez. Lauer and Tewes have reportedly both told the Jays they will be playing college baseball next year. That may change, but call me a tad pessimistic. After the draft Tellez spoke about going to USC given where he was drafted. Jim Callis thinks he’s the most likely to sign given the money the Jays have saved through the first ten rounds. Note: the Bickford money is lost if he doesn’t sign.

The question then becomes, what do you think about this draft given the signings or lack thereof? Or, for me, how big of a mess is this draft? The Jays looted the prospect cupboard this past season to make a run at the postseason. The return, as we have seen so far, hasn’t been pretty. The Jays probably could have used this draft to do a bit of restocking. I don’t know if they’ve done that here. This was the first year Brian Parker ran the draft and there should be some questions asked. For one, what happened with Bickford? Why did you draft guys in the later rounds that clearly had no intention of signing even if you threw second round money at them? Perhaps I’m jumping the gun here as was pointed out in an earlier thread, there are still three hours to go and we really won’t know the ranking of this draft for another few years. For whatever it’s worth, the Jays will have the eleventh overall pick next year if Bickford does not sign. That picked is unprotected if we sign a marquee free agent. Next year’s draft is reported to be deeper and where this year’s draft lacked length in the marquee prospects at the top, there should be a bit more length to next year’s draft. Anyways, what do you think about this year’s draft?


Jacob Brentz signs for 700K

Rowdy Tellez signs for 850K

Bickford does not sign

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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
smcs - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#276352) #
Pretty good article on the fate of high schoolers who get drafted in the top 10 rounds from 2000-2010 but opt to go to college, and where they get re-drafted. Of the 9 1st round picks, 3 were re-drafted in the 1st round, and all 3 moved up in the draft.
Beyonder - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#276353) #
Below I've listed the talent the Jays have managed to squeeze out of this years' top ten rounds. Again, I'm using the BA rankings, but please feel free to use any others. The truth is that BA is the only service that conducted rankings deep enough to have discussed many of the gems mined by the Jays in this latest draft.

1 third round talent: Hollon
1 6th round talent: Boyd
1 8th round talent: Lietz
1 14th round talent: Greene
1 15th round talent: Graveman

That's it. Even signing Bickford (who was a reach at 10)would not redeeem this draft.

Even if everything had broken right and the Jays had managed to sign all of the high upside guys in rounds 10+, the strategy would not have paid off.

I don't buy the comments about cheapness in the earlier thread. Every front office knows the the prices paid for draft picks are artificially low, especially under this new regime. Not spending your slot allocation is false economy.
metafour - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#276358) #
Beyonder; your hilarious theory that looking at BA's Top 500 list somehow gives a fool-proof accurate portrayal of how much talent we acquired is becoming extremely tiring.

Clinton Hollon was a 1st round talent before he hurt his arm.  He continued to pitch after rest, but clearly there is still damage in his arm as his MRI led to him signing for way under slot.
Patrick Murphy was a ~2nd/3rd round talent before he blew out his arm.  He isn't ranked by BA because he didn't pitch at all this year.  He also comes from the same HS as Mitch Nay, so you can bet the Jays saw quite a bit of him before he got hurt.
Evan Smith was an extremely late riser; had a shoulder issue earlier in the year and then came on late hitting ~93 at an event just weeks before the draft.  He is extremely young.  Perfect Game did rank him; in the ~270 range I believe.

The strategy was clearly to save money with these picks; but you are very mistaken in your analysis of said players.  The "strategy" here was buying extremely low on players with talent/upside who could be signed for less than their potential worth because of injury, or in the case of Smith, a kid who just shot up out of nowhere.

Even Lietz is a LOT more interesting than you perceive him to be.  He was a non prospect out of HS who came out throwing low 90's this year after being a mid 80's pitchers out of HS.

Parker - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#276360) #

To quote the immortal Jay Sherman, "It stinks!"

I also loved the jab at Wilner.  The guy seems to think that being less ignorant about baseball than the average BlueJaysTalk caller is an actual accomplishment.

Beyonder - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#276361) #
Dude. I don't for one second understand why you are being so insulting (it's Friday afternoon -- cheer up), but I'll ignore that and deal with your points.

"Fool-proof accurate portrayal". Never said anything close to this (I expect you know this). Said they were just a guideline. Feel free to use another guideline. If you think the BA rankings are total garbage, feel free to explain why.

I don't understand your points about Hollon, Murphy, and Smith being elite talents if you discount their arm troubles. Why would you discount their arm troubles?

I'm not saying these guys don't have potential -- I'm saying that the Jays didn't get full value from their picks.
braden - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#276365) #
Per Callis, jays sign Brentz for $700k.

He also cryptically alluded to the possibility for some drama in the final minutes. Considering most everything else is wrapped up, that could refer to Bickford.
finch - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#276366) #
Jays signed Jake Brentz for 700k. Using BA as a guiding system...was ranked 80th.

Lets hope for Rowdy!!
finch - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#276367) #
Signed Rowdy for 850k !!
sam - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#276368) #
Tellez signs as well. Still some money left over here.
braden - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#276369) #
Jays sign Tellez for $850k.
Mike Forbes - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#276370) #
Rowdy Tellez will have more expectations on him than any 30th rounder in the history of baseball.
sam - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#276371) #
No Bickford, per Callis. Bickford presumably turned down $3,664,830.
CeeBee - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#276372) #
Brentz is good, Tellez is good, signing even one more of the hard to signs would be better. Bickford please.
CeeBee - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#276373) #
What slot would 3.6m be? Bickford had better hope he gets a good education AND improves his draft position.
PeteMoss - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#276375) #
I have no knowledge of Bickford and his situation... but I can't imagine why these guys turn down so much money. Beede has looked good so far in his college career but he could blow out his arm next year. I could see turning down a lower bid... but just seems crazy to me that these guys turn down the cash.
sam - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#276376) #
3.6 is a tad higher than the bonus allotment for the sixth pick. There were only four guys who got bonuses this year above $3.6. The question I guess the Jays may have circled back to then was Phil Bickford the fourth ranked talent in this year's draft. The simple answer to that is no. Does he have potential to be the fourth ranked talent in three years time? I don't know, there's going to have to be a lot of development there.
PeteMoss - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#276377) #
Can't imagine the regret this guy feels:

Pretty good article about it:

I would just send this link to any 1st rounder who's playing hardball.
Ducey - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#276378) #

If my son was in the same situation I would likely tell him to go to college.  You get a lot more personal development, better experiences, you can still play pro (most likely) after college, and you have a degree so you can do something after baseball.  Riding the buses in the minors isn't a great way to spend your early 20's.

Its not all about the money.

sam - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#276379) #
I wouldn't be surprised to see some comps to Gerrit Cole come out of the Bickford camp here in the next few days. SoCal guys, Cole had the big-time fastball coming out of high school and went to UCLA. Bickford is quite similar in that regard.
CeeBee - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#276380) #
Wow!.... gotta feel for Matt. Greed is a pretty normal human condition but whatever happened to common sense?
CeeBee - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#276381) #
If it was my son I'd say "take the money and invest it" If baseball doesn't work out you can go to college. Half the kids that go to college don't know what they want to do anyway except maybe party so might as well be riding buses and learning about life. If they flame out at 20 or even 25 they hopefully will have a bit of an idea what interests them besides baseball and basketweaving.
smcs - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#276382) #
What slot would 3.6m be? Bickford had better hope he gets a good education AND improves his draft position.

Assuming the draft pools increase at the same rate they did from 2012 to 2013 for 2013 until 2016, the $3,664,830 Bickford reportedly turned down will roughly by the midpoint between the slot values for the 10th and 11th picks in the 2016 draft.
sam - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#276383) #
I believe there is a stipulation in the CBA that part of the bonus structure for HS players involves payment for a college education.
Mike Forbes - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#276384) #
HS draftees have a clause that stipulates that the drafting team must(?) provide funding for said player. Not sure if that voids when a player reaches the majors or signs a new contract.
dawgatc - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#276385) #
for a high school 18 year old to turn dow 3.6 million is nothing less than insane.To play baseball!I say again to play baseball?A million things can happen to you in the time you go to college. heck if you love school so much youcould pay to go to university for the next twenty years and have moneyleft over.On the other hand only the blue jays scouts could spend an entire year looking for a first round pick and find the only kid on the block unsmart enough to knock them back.The jays think they,re a bunch of smarty pants guys just a little better than the rest but they couldn,t be further from the truth.Horrible picks year after year,unsigned 1st rounders,injured pitchers.They ought to just hire some kid and give him a copy of baseball america.He couldn,t do worse.Congrats to the new scouting director. Nice job.
Mylegacy - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#276386) #
The only person as happy as I am about the Tellez signing is Tamra - who has been yelling from the ramparts for Rowdy ever since the draft.

I can't tell you how excited I am about Mr Tellez! This guy may be the best pure power/average hitter we've drafted in YEARS. I see him (possibly) becoming a Prince or Big Pappy type of power/average guy. To get his kind of talent in the 30th round is just - as my 16 year old niece would say - like whatever, OMG!

I'm too excited to go find the stats and comments on Rowdy - but BA was VERY high on not only his power but his play at 1st and his hitting tool in general - if I remember - he's 6'3"(ish) and 235 pounds.

Brentz was actually rated higher by Klaw than Bickford was! We can always use another lefty who throws in the high 90's.

My day is MADE!

Time for a wee dram.

JB21 - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#276387) #
And we traded the 10th pick in a perceived weak draft for the 11th overall in a perceived strong draft.
greenfrog - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#276388) #
KLaw says the 2014 draft looks strong re HS players but weak re college players.
smcs - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#276389) #
Not sure if that voids when a player reaches the majors or signs a new contract

I believe it's available until 2 years after the player's last day on a major league organization.
Gerry - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#276390) #
Even though next years draft could be stronger it is still a failure when a team does not sign its first round pick, unless there is a medical reason for the non-signing. The Jays selected Bickford with the expectation he would sign. If Bickford had said before the draft that he wanted $10 million or that he was 100% going to college the Jays would not have drafted him. To draft him and not sign him was not what the Jays expected.

It is not the end of the world, there is a replacement pick in 12 months. But the job of a GM is to make the organization stronger now, not next year. The fact that the Jays have ended up in this position twice now suggests that the Jays approach to drafting players in the first round is flawed.

In previous years I believe the Jays drafted players without a "pre-deal", assuming they will not turn down the money. That approach should be now be changed.

I am disappointed that the Jays did not sign their first round pick and I do think it is negative for the strength of the organization. But I expect the sun will come up tomorrow.
JB21 - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#276393) #
But the job of a GM is to make the organization stronger now, not next year.

I'm not so sure I agree with this. With the large variance in how quickly prospects develop and make it to the bigs (if they make it) I don't see how a year really matters. The above seems to suggest that trading prospects for MLB ready players is always a good thing.
whiterasta80 - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#276394) #
Very happy about the results today. I am also in the tellez heck yeah camp as well. I personally think that it is a good move to show that we are willing to wait a year on a Bickford. It sends a message for future drafts and I feel that we really just didn't like our options at 10 and tried to free up some extra money on the pick with the comfort that the fall back of 11 next year. We took advantage of the middle rounds and added impact players with the money saved. Not bad in my mind.
whiterasta80 - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#276395) #
Damn you Swype.
smcs - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#276396) #
It sends a message for future drafts

Not signing Beede was supposed to send that message. Any way that this is sliced or diced, it reflects poorly on the organization.
Four Seamer - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#276397) #
Signing Tellez helps to salvage this draft somewhat, but in the future if we want to sign third round talents for third round dollars, we can always just pick them in the third round, like most teams do. 
greenfrog - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#276398) #
Then there are the first-rounders you *wish* had turned down the money, like McGuire.

I do wonder if there was a health issue with Bickford. I don't see how the Jays could have drafted a player at #10 without having a clear read on his signability. Unless Bickford was telling teams that it would take $3.5M or 4M and the Jays took a calculated risk (as they did with Norris a couple of years ago) that he would sign for less, perhaps feeling that there were no other signable players at #10 that they liked at that slot, and that a failure to sign Bickford would be sufficiently offset by a #11 pick next year.

The Jays aren't the only team taking an aggressive approach when it comes to signing amateur talent. At least one team (Tampa?) has been willing to incur heavy future penalties by overspending on IFAs in a single year. Teams are trying to exploit the system as best they can. AA appears to be trying to chase down very high ceiling players, and has been willing to take risks in executing this strategy - for better or worse.

I'm not saying that this wasn't simply a draft #fail, but AA is a bright guy and there may be more to the story.
Mike Green - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#276400) #
Well, I am glad that Tellez signed.  A pretty good position player prospect is a rare thing in the organization.
Four Seamer - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#276401) #
I have no idea what happened with Bickford, but as a general proposition, whatever the merits of the strategy picking a player you're not terribly committed to signing is pretty dirty pool, in my book.  You have exclusive rights to the player, preventing him from signing anywhere else, and pushing him into a college career which could end in his arm blown out and his playing future over before it even begins.  The draft is, by design, a restraint on trade, but at minimum teams ought to negotiate in good faith with the players they've chosen.
greenfrog - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#276402) #
There is obviously no evidence that the Jays lowballed Bickford (who probably did not expect to be selected at #10, in any case), just as there is no evidence that Bickford's demands increased after he was drafted by Toronto. We simply don't know what happened. Of course, the facts may come to light in the coming days.
Richard S.S. - Friday, July 12 2013 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#276409) #
LHP: Jacob Brentz (HS), Evan Smith (HS), Daniel Lietz (J1), Matt Boyd (SR), Chad Girodo (SR), Tim Mayza (JR), Scott Silverstein (5S) and Matt Dermondy (SR).
It's been a long time since with Toronto drafted that many good LHP, only 2 HS LHP drafted did not sign.

1B: L.B. Dantzler (SR) and Rowdy Tellez (HS).
This team never signs 1B power bats, it's about time. Brison Celek (JR), another power bat, had an injury disagreement with the Team and returned to school. Antonio Ruiz (HS) was a courtesy pick (40th round). Too bad, they said he can hit.

Those are what I consider important picks. Signing Danny Jansen (HS) was considered a major coup. The rest, who knows. Someone needs to do a Post introducing the new picks, because so little is known about them.
bpoz - Saturday, July 13 2013 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#276420) #
So we did not spend all our money. I think we had about $400,000 left available.
John Northey - Saturday, July 13 2013 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#276450) #
So in the end the Jays signed 15 of their first 16 picks, missing only the first round pick which was protected.  Unsigned picks were #1, 17, 22, 26, then 8 of the last 10 picks.

For the old people here, the oldest draft pick was born September 11th, 1989.  That was the only guy born in the 80's drafted - Christian Vazquez a 19th round switch hitting shortstop.  Youngest was Edgar Cabral born September 12th 1995 (33rd round unsigned) and the youngest signed was Evan Smith round 4 LHP born August 17th 1995.

Last year picks from the first 10 round (14 players) were all signed.  Rounds 11/12 missed, then signed through round 23.  Stroman is in AA with the rest a long ways away. 

2011 (last year with unlimited bonus') they missed round 1 (Beede), round 5 (Andrew Chin LHP), then quite a few from rounds 9 on.  Checking the Baseball Cube (great for college stats) Chin is in college and is 1-7 with a 3.88 ERA with 3.74 BB/9 and 6.01 SO/9 (that is for the 2013 season).  Beede last year was 1-5 4.52 ERA with 4.02 BB/9 8.54 SO/9.  This year he was 14-1 2.32 ERA with 5.61 BB/9 9.18 SO/9.  With that much wildness I don't see him being a top 10 draft pick unless those K per 9 were in the 12-14 range - don't see why many rank him that high as if he was doing that in Jays A ball we'd be worried he'd never figure out the strike zone (Nuke Laloosh type).
scottt - Saturday, July 13 2013 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#276459) #
I think it's fair to offer slot money. It's hard to imagine Bickford expecting more than slot since nobody had him ranked that high.

“We looked into him, and we’re confident that we can get this guy signed.” Yeah, sure.

dawgatc - Sunday, July 14 2013 @ 02:14 AM EDT (#276461) #
the Jays new scouting direvtor was incredulous when asked if Bickford would sign.He seemed to be the only guy following the draft who was unaware Bickford would be a hard sign.First year on the job and you are the only guy who can,t find a signable player at pick number 10.hmmmm?There really isn,t a valid excuse here.Constantly looking for bargains is costing them some good prospects.Time to go back to drafting the best player available and signable.Let your big scouting staff make the difference in the later rounds.On the positive side the new latin american scouting guy seems to be on the ball.Lots of good prospects coming thru and 14 more signings on the first day of the new recruiting season.Well done.
hypobole - Sunday, July 14 2013 @ 02:17 AM EDT (#276462) #
In his first two seasons with UNC, Matt Harvey had a combined 4.22 ERA with 10.1 K/9 and 5.6 BB/9 in 143 innings.

I just looked at the May 27, 2010 BA rankings. They had Harvey ranked #20, but the Mets foolishly took him with the 7th pick, bypassing the obviously much better #5 ranked Deck McGuire.
bpoz - Sunday, July 14 2013 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#276472) #
Thanks dawgatc for the info on the int'l signings. It is great that you are keeping us up to date. Any details would be welcome.
China fan - Sunday, July 14 2013 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#276474) #
"....The jays think they,re a bunch of smarty pants guys just a little better than the rest but they couldn,t be further from the truth.Horrible picks year after year,unsigned 1st rounders,injured pitchers..."

Wild generalizations and absence of punctuation are a poor combination.
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