Monday, August 11, 2008

Never a Doubt...

So Danny Espinosa and Graham Hicks are in the fold. Espinosa was considered the least likely to sign of the Nationals' remaining top picks, mainly because Scott Boras is his agent. No terms yet, but the speculation has been that Hicks would accept slot and Espinosa would take a little more.

Now Aaron Crow is the only top pick left unsigned. He was known to want over slot money when he was picked, and when a team jumps the market it is typical to wait till the last minute if nothing else out of respect for the other owners. (This whole draft signing kabuki theater seems like a lot of collusion to me, but I'm not a lawyer...).

All along I expected the Nationals to sign Crow at the last minute, but let one or two of their other high round picks to walk. The negotiating in public got my panties in a bunch for a day, but then I realized that I was overreacting and that the Lernastan regime has earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to spending on the farm system.

At this point, if they didn't sign Crow I would be shocked bordering on flabbergasted.

And then the "Lerners Are Cheeeeeeeeap" crowd can go about the business of complaining that the team didn't sign Barry Zito and Andruw Jones. ;-)
  • Update: Courtesy of Nationals Journal, courtesy of Baseball America:

* As for the draft picks the Nats signed today, here are their bonus figures, per Baseball America

ESPINOSA -- $525,000

HICKS -- $475,000

What does it mean? More above-slot signings from the Nats.

Just to recap, Espinosa was taken 87th overall. The No. 86 player, Brent Morel (White Sox) received $440,000; the No. 89 player, Tim Murphy (Rangers) received $436,000.

Hicks, meanwhile, was taken 121st overall. The No. 120 player, Drew O'Neil (White Sox), received $260,000. The No. 122 player, T.J. Steele (Astros), received $267,000. Hicks' bonus is the third-highest given to a fourth-round pick. The first pick of that round, Ty Morrison, No. 113, (Rays) received an even $500,000. So did pick No. 131, Matt Cerda (Cubs), a high school shortstop.


Steve Shoup said...

This is great news thanks for the post, I have high hopes for Hicks, now if Crow can get off his high horse (which i think he will, if not he is getting bad advice from his agent) then this will be a nice draft class. It won't be as great as last years or anywhere near the Brewers or A's or even Orioles. But a very solid class none the less.

Steven said...

I don't know if Crow is on a high horse or not. We drafted him knowing it would cost, and the owners all work together to keep signing bonuses down by waiting till the last minute on the above-slot deals. Assuming we get a deal as I expect, I would write the whole thing off as pure posturing. Meaningless. He could have signed the day after the draft, except that its just not done that way. Every other explanation seems way more far fetched than that one, so that's what I'm going to continue to believe.

Mike said...

I tend to agree with you that it was all a lot of posturing.

I know you can't put a lot of stock into college stats, but Espinosa looks like another guy with some plate discipline issues. He struck out 51 times this year with only 23 walks in a little over 300 plate appearances. Isn't the word on him that it's sketchy if he can stay at short?