Second-round draft pick Destin Hood has agreed to terms on a contract with the Washington Nationals, deciding to bypass playing college football at Alabama.Terms were not released, but it had been previously reported that Hood was seeking major bank from the Nationals. Presumably, the Nationals ponied up.
Hood had signed a letter of intent to play for the Crimson Tide.
Instead, he will begin his professional baseball career with Washington's Gulf Coast League affiliate in Viera, Fla.
This continues a good track record by the Lerners putting money where their mouth is paying for young talent and alleviates somewhat concerns raised by recent comments by Mark Lerner about the Nationals being a "slot" team in the draft.
Good for us. Now let's go get the rest.
PS Brian at Nationals Farm Authority posted this link to track signings. A very helpful bookmark.
- Update: Nats 320 has the press release (and Nats.com doesn't?? nor WaPo???). Good for SBF scooping Ladson and Chico.
- Nationals.com says Hood will make a total of $1.1 million in the next five years. Tip of the cap to commenter Mike and pretty much every other blogger who had it before me (this is where I complain about how I have a job ya know).
- Cutter Dykstra at #54 got $737k and Jay Austin at #56 got $715k; Hood's $1.1m is a decent amount above slot, even spread out over 5 years.
- Brian at NFA points out that MLB allows more wiggle room for going over slot for multi-sport players on the rationale that MLB doesn't want other sports stealing guys. Regardless, this is an example of the Nationals using some financial clout to get talent.
- Keep in mind that going over slot isn't just about spending money money. It's also about defying the "club." MLB owners are a very elite group, very exclusive, very clubby. It takes some guts to come in and piss off the club. Now, as a fan it's easy to say, "aw, don't be such a pussy. Everyone does it." But everyone doesn't do it, and the issue isn't just about parity and competitiveness. This is a labor relations issue, and every time a team pays above slot, it hurts the financial position of the owners overall vis a vis the draftees. The big concession the owners got in the last CBA was that players basically play for whatever the owners' feel like paying them for their first 3 years in the bigs (I'm trying to work in the word "monopsony" to show off but it's not happening). So if draftees can negotiate higher salaries, then that undermines the value of that one big concession. So while we as fans couldn't care less, there's way more involved here than just rotten cheapskates trying to make a few more ducats here or there. Although yes ultimately it comes down to very rich people being very greedy, I'm just saying there's collective greed versus individual greed, and the Lerners are putting the good of the Nationals above not only their individual greed but also the collective greed. (BTW--I can't guarantee that I explained all this exactly right, so if someone's an arb lawyer and wants to correct some of the details here, feel free--I'd benefit from the edit!)
- Apropos of nothing, I was reading about some old Nats drafts and clicked on this Jim Callis mock draft from 2006. Dang!!