What does signing early get you? On the fast track to the big leagues. Just ask the number three pick of this June’s MLB draft.
Trevor Bauer, the quirky right-hander from UCLA and the Golden Spikes Award winner, was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the third overall pick. He signed on Monday July 25th and the Diamondbacks brass didn’t rule out Bauer reaching the big leagues in September. They also didn’t rule out him competing for a spot in the rotation during spring training.
According to Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic,
“Bauer signed a four-year major-league deal guaranteeing him $4.45 million with a signing bonus of $3.4 million. If he were to begin next season in the big leagues and stay there through the end of the contract he would earn about $7 million.”
Bauer began his professional career in Visalia in the High-A California League on July 30th (four days after signing his contract). He made three starts there, totaling nine innings. He allowed seven hits and three runs while walking four and striking out 17. He moved up to Double-A Mobile, where he started on August 14th. In that start, he allowed five hits and no runs over five innings. He walked one while striking out eight.
The Diamondbacks are currently in first place in the National League West and with the loss of veteran Jason Marquis (broken leg), Bauer may be pitching in some meaningful games down the stretch.
Another quick signing was in 2009. Drew Storen, the tenth overall pick out of Stanford, signed the very next day and was in the big leagues less than a year after signing with the Washington Nationals. He is also currently their closer (with 31 saves).
Most of the players who have their agents haggle to the very last second, don’t make their professional debuts until the Arizona Fall League or the following season’s spring training. Ask any of the guys who signed way before the deadline, and they will say that they had an advantage over the others who waited because they got the newness and adjustments of pro ball out of the way early. They also had a chance to get to know their organization and their teammates.
Tonight until midnight will be busy with over 20 of the first 33 picks from this June’s MLB draft still not signed. Midnight is the deadline and we will know tomorrow who will be joining the professional ranks and who may be headed off to college or Indy ball.