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.
Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.
Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.
Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.
Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.
Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.
Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.