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.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.
The Kansas City Royals have signed starter Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension.
Duffy was arbitration eligible this offseason and would’ve been a free agent next winter if he hadn’t signed the deal. Given his stuff he might’ve made a mint as a free agent, but he’s also been inconsistent at times and any pitcher is an injury away from losing a payday, making this a nice, lucrative bet for the lefty.
Duffy, 28, posted a 3.51 ERA and a 188/42 K/BB ratio across 179.2 innings in 2016.