Saturday, August 13, 2022

Jackson Holliday and Druw Jones, top picks in MLB Draft, have contractual agreements in place, per report

Jackson Holliday and Druw Jones, the top two picks in Major League Baseball’s 2022 amateur draft, have agreements in place with their respective clubs, according to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press. Though neither deal has been announced, Blum notes both players are expected to receive signing bonuses that exceed $8 million.

Here’s Blum’s reporting on the matter:

Holliday and Jones, both represented by Boras, have agreements for signing bonuses in excess of $8 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deals have not been announced.

Holliday, a prep shortstop from Oklahoma and the son of former All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday, was selected No. 1 by the Baltimore Orioles. The slot value, as ordained by MLB, has that pick worth $8.84 million. 

Jones, a prep outfielder from Georgia and the son of borderline Hall-of-Famer Andruw Jones, was chosen No. 2 by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The slot value of that pick is $8.19 million.

Holliday and Jones will find themselves in rarified air even if they accept only slot value.

The largest signing bonus awarded to a drafted player during the capped era is the $8.4 million Spencer Torkelson received from the Detroit Tigers in 2020. Only two others have ever topped the $8 million threshold: Adley Rutschman, the last Oriole selected No. 1 overall, in 2019, and Gerrit Cole, back in 2011. (The highest signing bonus in last year’s draft was the $7.92 million awarded to Jack Leiter.)

It should be noted that Cole was the last No. 1 pick before MLB instituted slotting. That it took nearly a decade for another player to top Cole’s signing bonus illustrates how effective the bonus pool and slotting mechanisms are at suppressing signing bonuses.

Kumar Rocker, the No. 3 pick in Sunday’s draft, has reportedly already agreed to a contract with the Texas Rangers that will pay him $5.2 million, or roughly $2.5 million below slot value.

The MLB draft will conclude with rounds 11 through 20 on Tuesday afternoon. After that, teams will have until 5 p.m. on August 1 to sign their picks. You can keep tabs on every team’s pick by checking out our handy-dandy draft tracker.

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