The Jays announced last night, via a team release, that they have signed 50th overall pick, Matt Smoral. Jim Callis of Baseball America reported that the deal is for $2-million, which is $1-million above the slot for pick number fifty, making him the fourth player to receive a bonus in excess of $1-million above slot, according to Callis.

It can hardly be viewed as a stretch, since we’d been hearing the $2-million figure on Smoral since the early reports that he’d already signed, and since Keith Law said of him on a Baseball Today podcast I quoted two weeks ago, that “he’s almost the perfect candidate to just go to school, to reestablish his value, and he comes out in three years and then he’s a top ten pick. That same guy, coming out of college, is in contention for the first overall pick.”

It does, however, take away from the limited funds left in the Jays’ bonus pool, with 22nd pick Marcus Stroman, and second-rounder Chase DeJong still to sign.

We know from Gregor Chisholm’s draft primer at that the club began with $8.831-million in their pool, and there is an additional $441,539 available due to a wrinkle in the CBA. Clubs will lose future draft picks if their total spending exceeds the bonus cap by 5%, but if they’re above the limit by between zero and 5%, they simply incur a tax. It’s a hefty tax– 75%– but probably won’t be enough to deter a club like the Jays from getting a deal done. The potential loss of a draft pick, on the other hand, almost certainly will. I’ve added the $441,539– one dollar less than 5% of their $8,830,800 pool– to their total, which makes for $9.272-million they can spend safely.

John Lott of the National Post passes along figures from Baseball America that tell us the Jays spent just $31K on the leverage-less college seniors they drafted in rounds four through ten. Smoral’s bonus takes $2-million, while I wrote two weeks ago that Callis had reported compensation pick Mich Nay as signing for $1-million, and 17th pick DJ Davis for $1.75-million. Callis has also tweeted that Tyler Gonzales signed from $750K, he reported at BA that Anthony Alford signed for $750K as well.

So… that’s $6.281-million spent, if my math is right, leaving $2.991-million to sign 22nd pick Marcus Stroman and 61st pick Chase DeJong, who have $1.8-million and $620K slot bonuses respectively– or an extra $571K with which to go over slot on either these guys, or some of the guys they took after the tenth round who may require bonuses in excess of $100K (in which cases, the overage also counts against the pool).

The deadline for signing is July 13th, and with Marcus Stroman a college junior, he’ll not have a whole lot of leverage should he choose to not sign and go back into the draft next year. So, it would seem to be in his best interest to just take the damn money, but as we saw last year with Tyler Beede, sometimes these kids make decisions that are kinda baffling (though apparently Young Beedah’s crew disagreed with the Jays over his medicals, so there’s probably more to that story than we often give him credit for).

Speaking of Beede, when he failed to sign with the Jays last year, the deadline was on August 15th. Worse was that under the old system teams, especially those going over MLB’s slot recommendation, waited until the last minute to make signings official, fearing reprimand and/or dirty glares from Bud Selig’s office. This year, in one of the few actual positive things to come from the draft-related elements of the new CBA, is the fact that players who sign quickly are able to participate in some pro ball right away– as Anthony Alford and DJ Davis did last night, making their debuts for the Jays’ Gulf Coast League affiliate!

Alford played in centre, going 1-for-4 with a single in his pro debut, while Davis played left, had a single himself, struck out twice, going 1-for-3, and putting up the first caught stealing of his pro career for good measure.

More mind-fuckingly, however, is the fact that their fellow outfield-mate, right fielder Jesus Gonzalez, went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, and was born in nineteen fucking ninety-five! 1995!!!!?!

Here’s some video on Smoral, for those of you who were too hammered to remember draft night…


Smoral screencap via

Comments (47)

  1. Davis was actually picked off (probably went first move). Taking after his (last) namesake in Toronto!

  2. that isn’t the best photo of me.

  3. That’s says a lot ..a kid born after the last WS win by Blue Jays is in the org now….Yikes. Time for another WS win my friends…before kids born in the 2000s start to get drafted.

  4. Does stroman not realize that if he’s called up this year he’ll get another 200k and next year the full 600k so what would be the point in waiting another year holding out for a few hundred k?

  5. Nobody f***s with the Jesus.

  6. I figure the Jays are squeezing Stroman and Dejong at least a little, to try to free up some cash to sign some of the late rounders. In addition to Kellogg, Irvin (29th) and Lopez (34th) are apparently tough signs. My guess is they’ll have to spend the full allocation to get Stroman and Dejong, and will lose the other kids. That would still be a pretty damn good result, with the top 7 high upside guys all signed. Apparently Alford went deep today, too!

  7. How can a 29th round pick be a tough sign?

    • Apparently (per Keith Law – I think(?)) the Jays took a couple of guys who said they wouldn’t sign, as insurance in case they couldn’t sign Smoral, Alford etc. That way, they would have somewhere else to direct the extra cash they freed up signing the college kids.

  8. 1995!!! holy S***balls! my brother was born that year. He is in grade 11! 11! eleven. F*** me

  9. Wasn’t Stroman supposed to be the “easy” sign pick since we lose that draft pick (the Beede comp pick) if he doesn’t sign?

    • Well, I suspect the fact that he loses so much leverage if he goes back and gets drafted as a senior next year will ultimately win out and the Jays will sign him.

    • We don’t lose the pick. They have added a year of protection to the picks, and the rule wasn’t grandfathered in. It applies to all picks.

  10. I have shit in my refrigerator older than Jesus Gonzalez.

  11. Pat Hentgen looked like one mean mother at the draft. That stare down into the camera before walking offstage almost makes me quiver. And you wonder why the kids don’t attend the draft like the other pro sports…

    • I was gonna say. Such a badass.

      • Yeah, his blank stare (along with the rest of the bullpen) when Thames laid out for that ball in foul territory earlier this year was cold as fuck. Hentgen was one of my favourite players back in the day from his rookie year onwards.

  12. I think equally impressive in Jesus Gonzalez’s performance yesterday was the fact they had him batting third. (Obviously the club thinks he’s be pretty good hitter.)

  13. I fell asleep after:

    “It does, however, take away from the limited funds left in the Jays’ bonus pool, with 22nd pick Marcus Stroman, and second-rounder Chase DeJong still to sign.”

  14. Stroman will sign for 1.8m, DeJong for 800k and Kellogg for 400k. The money works out perfectly and MLB gets a nice little summer gift from Rogers for 330k

  15. Can you guys pay someone to write Jays game recaps the next day? I was reading through the archives and remembered how much I miss Parkes’ “good, bad, ugly” game stories. Weren’t they on Getting Blanked for a while? Anyway, I’m rambling: please bring back game recaps.

  16. Maybe I understood incorrectly. I thought there was no penalty up to 5%, 75% tax on entire overage up to 10% and then loss of pick above that?

  17. Am I the only one having a hard time with the Roger Clemmens now getting the green light from scribes saying he’s on his way to the HOF. He was found not guilty of lying to the Congressional Comittee. He still took ‘roids. Yes, mutually exclusive subjects. Maybe we can have a special Chemical Section for vaunted players who qualify, but are under strong suspicion of using?

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