Despite nearly every negotiation going down to the wire last night all but one first-round pick ultimately ended up signing, with No. 21 overall pick Tyler Beede turning down the Blue Jays’ offer to attend Vanderbilt.
And according to Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star the two sides weren’t even particularly close, with the Blue Jays offering $2.5 million and Beede seeking $3.5 million. MLB’s recommended “slot” bonus for the 21st pick is $1.3 million.
Now the 18-year-old pitcher from Massachusetts won’t be eligible to be drafted again until 2014 and Toronto will receive the No. 22 overall pick in next year’s draft as compensation for not signing Beede, which general manager Alex Anthopoulos admitted played a big part in the negotiations.
In the meantime the Blue Jays used some of the money that may have gone to Beede to give significantly above-slot signing bonuses to supplemental first-round pick Kevin Comer, second-round pick Daniel Norris, and 13th-round pick Matt Dean. That trio signed for a $4.4 million.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.
Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.
The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.
The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.