Home MLB News ’08 First-Round MLB Draft Bonuses Totaled Nearly $69M

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’08 First-Round MLB Draft Bonuses Totaled Nearly $69M PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 17 February 2009 19:21

MLBThis off-season, the economy has been front and center for Major League Baseball, and that may extend itself to how bonuses are awarded players that are selected in the June draft. By now it seems all but certain that the level of bonuses doled out to drafted players in 2008 will not be reached.

According to figures released by The Associated Press, just under $69 million ($68,966,500) in bonuses were awarded for first-round drafted players in 2008, alone. And, according Jim Callis of Baseball America, the total awarded for the ’08 draft was a staggering “$188.3 million in bonuses, up $34.7 million from 2007.”

Of the total bonus money spent in the first-round, $47,626,500, or 69 percent of the total was awarded to 21 college players, while $21,340,000, or 31 percent was spent on the nine high school players. The average bonus was $2.3 million.

Two players in the first-round signed major league contracts. LHP Brian Matusz from the University of San Diego reached a 4-year, $3,472,500 contract with the Orioles while first baseman Yonder Alonso of Miami agreed on a 5-year, $4.55 million deal with the Reds.

Two player drafted in the first-round failed to sign with the clubs that drafted them, the highest drafted player being RHP Aaron Crow of Missouri who went at #9 to the Nationals. Crow was unable to sign with the Nationals when Crow and agent Randy Hendricks could not reach an agreement with the Nats. It was reported that Hendricks was seeking a major league contract and a signing bonus in excess of the recommended slotted bonus by MLB of $2.150 million. However, when the signing deadline arrived, the two sides were reportedly between $700,000 and $900,000 apart.

The other player was RHP Gerrit Cole from Orange Lutheran (Calif.) High School, who opted to go to U.C.L.A., as opposed to signing with the Yankees.

Both the Nationals and Yankees will receive a compensatory pick for their failure to sign their players.

Below is a complete breakdown of the first-round draft picks by bonus:

2008 First-Round Signing Bonuses
Club Player Pos. School Bonus Details
Rays Tim Beckham SS Griffin (Ga.) HS. $6,150,000  
Pirates Pedro Alvarez 3B Vanderbilt $6,000,000  
Royals Eric Hosmer 1B American Heritage HS,  Plantation, FL $6,000,000  
x-Orioles Brian Matusz LHP San Diego $3,472,500  4-year contract
Giants Buster Posey C Florida State $6,200,000  
Marlins Kyle Skipworth C Patriot HS, Riverside CA $2,300,000  
x-Reds Yonder Alonso 1B Miami $4,550,000  5-year contract
W. Sox Gordon Beckham SS Georgia $2,600,000  
Nationals Aaron Crow RHP Missouri $0  failed to sign
Astros Jason Castro C Stanford $2,070,000  
Rangers Justin Smoak 1B South Carolina $3,500,000  
Athletics Jemile Weeks 2B Miami $1,910,000  
Cardinals Brett Wallace 3B-1B Arizona State $1,840,000  
Twins Aaron Hicks OF-RHP Woodrow Wilson HS, Long Beach, CA $1,780,000  
Dodgers Ethan Martin RHP-3B Stephens County HS, Taccoa, GA $1,730,000  
Brewers Brett Lawrie C Brookswood SS, Langley B.C. $1,700,000  
Blue Jays David Cooper 1B California $1,500,000  
† Mets Ike Davis 1B-OF  Arizona State $1,575,000  
Cubs Andrew Cashner RHP  TCU $1,540,000  
Mariners Joshua Fields RHP  Georgia $1,750,000  
Tigers Ryan Perry RHP  Arizona $1,480,000  
Mets Reese Havens SS  South Carolina $1,419,000  
Padres Allan Dykstra 1B  Wake Forest $1,150,000  
Phillies Anthony Hewitt OF-SS  Salisbury (Conn.) HS. $1,380,000  
Rockies Christian Friedrich LHP  Eastern Kentucky $1,350,000  
D-Backs Daniel Schlereth LHP  Arizona $1,330,000  
‡ Twins Carlos Gutierrez RHP  Miami $1,290,000  
Yankees Gerrit Cole RHP  Orange (CA) Lutheran HS $0  failed to sign
Indians Lonnie Chisenhall SS  Pitt CC $1,100,000  
Red Sox Casey Kelly RHP-SS  Sarasota (Fla.) HS $300,000  
       TOTAL $68,966,500  

x-major league contract

† From Braves for Tom Glavine

‡ From L.A. Angels for Torii Hunter

Source: The Associated Press

Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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