08 February 2010

2009 Draft Did-Not-Sign Players

Every draft there are a handful of players in the first ten rounds who are drafted and do not sign. In the past, a draft and follow strategy would allow teams to sign draftees up until the night before the draft. This was how the Orioles were able to secure Adam Loewen when they countered his desire for more money with a slot on the 40 man roster, which would hurry him to the majors. Nowadays, draft and follow no longer works with rule changes with compensatory picks being issued instead for did not signs for the first three rounds.

This year those will go to:
Tampa (picks 31 and 79 for not signing LeVon Washington, who will be eligible this year, and Kenny Diekroger, who will be eligible in 2012)
Toronto (picks 39, 69, and 112 for not signing James Paxton, eligible this year, Jake Eliopoulus, who is also eligible, and Jake Barrett, who is not)
Chicago White Sox (pick 113 for not signing Bryan Morgado, who is eligible)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (pick 114 for not signing Josh Spence, who is eligbile)

After the jump, we will list players who did not sign last year and are eligible this year along with rankings from PNR Scouting.

2009 Draft (top ten rounds) DNS Eligible for 2010 Draft:

Levon Washington rank:12
Drafted 30th overall in the first round, Washington turned down a 1.1MM deal from the Rays, which was just around slot. It may work out for Washington as he is in line to double his signing bonus. As a high school player, he most likely has not delayed his development by attending a JuCo for a year. This is important as it means that any potential free agency is unlikely to be delayed (as opposed to DNSer Aaron Crow who not only received 500k less from the Royals than from the Nationals . . . but also will probably have his free agency delayed a year because of the hold out.

James Paxton rank: 25
Paxton was one of the non-signs of the Blue Jays 2009 draft failure. He turned down a 1MM contract and is not embroiled in a legal fiasco with the NCAA in an attempt to pitch for Kentucky in 2010. The ranking suggests that he would see a raise in his signing bonus of 250k, but the bet he is making is that his senior season will be good enough to elevate his worth into the from half of the first round.

Jake Eliopoulus rank: 115
PNR Scouting is not favorable on Eliopoulus who went 68th overall (2nd round) to the Blue Jays last year. I was unable to find any reports on the negotiations between the Jays and Eliopoulus. If that ranking changes matches a change in draft slot, then he would be looking at a decrease from 520k to 225k.

Bryan Morgado rank: 29
White Sox selected Morgado in the third round with the 102nd overall pick. I cannot find any information on the negotiations, but the going rate at 102 is 330k whereas a 29th selection would be roughly 1MM. If he can stay around the backend of the first round or better, not signing will have been a solid move.

Josh Spence rank: 78
Spence was chosen by the Angels last year in the third round with the 110th pick. The going rate for a 110th pick was 320k while a 78th pick would see about 450k. It probably makes sense for someone at this level to try to raise the price.

Damien Magnifico rank: 215
Magnifico was drafted in the fifth round last year (164th overall). Signing bonuses were going for about 150k at that point. Again, I have no knowledge of the numbers they were discussing. Magnifico decided to go to college and will be eligible again. A signing bonus around 215th overall would be around 125k. For a pitcher, it seems any drop would result in a minimal loss of the bonus. The hope for him is to perform well enough to see him move up to the second or third round.

Ryan Woolley rank: 163
According to PNR's preseason ranking, Woolley is right about where he left off as he was drafted only 15 selections behind the ranking. He has another season of college ball if he chooses to punt again. Usually that does not work out well . . . this is probably the last year he will have any significant leverage.

Devin Harris rank: 173
Early in the process last year the Orioles figured out that Harris would be unsignable given their level of interest. He went in the 8th, 236th overall which correlates to about a 125k signing bonus. The goal is for him to break out and, with PNR's ranking, it shows that a breakout is not assumed. Harris will be earning it as is true with most draftees.

San Dyson rank: 43
All indications are that Dyson is healthy and ready to pitch. He was selected in the 10th round last year, but was not offered anything in line with what he could earn by going back. Right now he is pegged as a compensatory round selection if healthy, but he he starts showing more consistency he could peak in the mid teens to late twenties.

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