Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos is furious about reports and speculation claiming the Blue Jays made a pre-draft deal with first-round pick Tyler Beede, calling them “ridiculous” and “a joke.”
Last week Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus noted “lots of industry rumors that the Blue Jays had a pre-draft deal done with first-round pick Tyler Beede. Against the rules; but always happens.”
Keith Law of ESPN.com later wrote that Beede “is going to sign for about $3 million.”
Goldstein and Law, who’re two of the most connected prospect and draft analysts around, both posted those notes via Twitter.
And here’s what Anthopoulos said to John Lott of the National Post:
I’m amazed at all the false rumours about everything. I’m just sick of reading lies and rumours that people make up about us all the time. I’ve had enough of it.
Anthopoulos almost immediately regretted going public with his anger, telling Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun:
I broke my own policy of commenting on rumors. It was a momentary lapse of weakness for me. I pride myself on being able to take things in stride, but I don’t like the insinuation that we break rules. That’s where I felt the line was crossed. I just wish people would follow up a little bit more and be absolutely certain before they come out with these things.
Pre-draft deals are definitely very real, but Anthopoulos suggests that working something out with a player beforehand doesn’t make sense for a team picking 21st overall, saying: “I’d like someone to explain it to me.”
MLB’s recommended “slot” signing bonus for the 21st pick is around $1.3 million, so pre-draft deal or not Beede is expected to exceed that number by a huge amount as the Blue Jays try to sign him away from a commitment to Vanderbilt.