Atlanta Braves draft signing plus bonus pool update

SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 5: Commissioner Allan H. Bud Selig at the podium during the MLB First-Year Player Draft at the MLB Network Studio on June 5, 2014 in Secacucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 5: Commissioner Allan H. Bud Selig at the podium during the MLB First-Year Player Draft at the MLB Network Studio on June 5, 2014 in Secacucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
Atlanta Braves
In the first week following the draft, the Atlanta Braves signed five selectees.(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

A week ago the Atlanta Braves named Cade Bunnell their selection in round 40 of the Rule 4 draft. In that week, 5 prospects signed, and 1 officially said ‘no thanks’.

The Atlanta Braves draft philosophy remains a mystery. After taking MLBPipeline’s ninth-ranked player at number nine and surprisingly Pipeline’s #27 ranked prospect – an infielder, not a pitcher – at #21, they went off the board.

When I say off the board, I mean way off it.

The highest ranked prospect taken outside of the first round, came in round 8:  Rickey DeVito Pipeline #162, Baseball America #114.

The next lowest ranked (and a personal favorite of mine) came in the 13th round:  Tyler Owens, ranked #199 by Pipeline and #182 by BA.

What kind of madness infected the draft team to cause such wild deviations from the norm?  Were they hoarding money for a secret strike on a hidden talent? Did someone merge the DNA of Roy Hobbs and Sidd Finch to create a natural super pitcher?

While they saved some money, it isn’t a significant amount compared to draft bonuses paid so far.

Matthew told you about Shea Langeliers signing below slot – a $4M bonus – and Braden Shewmake’s at slot signing –  $3,132,300.

Yesterday Jim Callis reported two more inked agreements with the Atlanta Braves. First, Stephen Paolini signed at 180% of slot.

He followed that with the new number for Michael Harris. We heard – and saw if you watched the home broadcast – that Harris agreed to sign last week without a specific dollar amount.

Last night Callis gave us the under-slot bonus number.

We still have no word on Beau Philip‘s signing bonus; these tend to appear later for the Braves for some reason (don’t they know I have a post to write??).

As expected, Riley King (round 26, #787 overall) decided to return to school (Georgia) instead of signing.

Show me the money

At this writing, the Atlanta Braves reported expenditures from the first-round signing allowance totals $8,282,300

That leaves $3,249,900 in their account. It’s also $725,500 more than predicted by the slots due to savings from under-slot bonuses.

The Braves may spend as much as 5% over the allocated pool without incurring a penalty, raising their maximum expenditure to $3,826,510.

With the bigger names already inked, it’s hard to imagine getting to that number unless they’ve got crazy plans for the guys taken after Round 10.

RdRank MLB/BAPosNameSlot  ValueActualOver / Under
19CShea Langeliers$4,949,100 $4,000,000$949,100
127/32SSBraden Shewmake$3,132,300 $3,132,300$0
2195/254SSBeau Philip$1,157,400  ??????
3248OFMichael Harris$593,100 $550,000$43,100
4225RHRPKasey Kalich$447,400   
5NROFStephen Paolini$333,300 $600,000($266,700)


Its been an interesting week. As expected, Harris signed under-slot, as did Langeliers. Shewmake got the whole pie in keeping with his national rank(s).

They saved money on Harris even though he just graduated from high school and seniors drafted in the out rounds will sign if they want to play regardless of the offer.

Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves /

Atlanta Braves

Paying Paolini 180% of slot indicates the Atlanta Braves believe they stole someone.

As I wrote in the first of my round three posts, Atlanta Braves VP of Scouting Dana Brown told Gabe Burns of the AJC explained their interest in Paolini.

"“He’s a good-looking young hitter with some upside,” Brown said, while acknowledging his game has parallels with reigning National League MVP Christian Yelich. “He has the foot speed to play center field.”"

With that backdrop, it’s easy to understand the Braves interest.

But if Paolini believes that, why did he take a relatively small bonus instead of heading to Elon and trying again in two years?

Perhaps he’ll tell us via an interview at some point.

That’s a wrap

The Atlanta Braves draft is still a bit of a mystery. If you wanted to sign Paolini at $600K, why take him after an unranked/low-ranked, senior sign Kasey Kalich?

Next. Your first-place Atlanta Braves. dark

This year the signing period continues through July 12 @ 5:30 pm ET. The Braves want the signings done as quickly as possible in order to get players to their teams. I’ll update the money and keep you updated here on the Take.