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 BlueJays.com 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.