Angry Anthopoulos

The National Post’s John Lott reports that Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos “angrily denied” suggestions that the team had arranged a deal with their first round draft pick Tyler Beede prior to selecting him 21st overall in MLB’s first year player draft.

As mentioned yesterday, both Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus and Keith Law of ESPN hinted at the possibility of the Blue Jays having an agreement in place with Beede.

According to Law, the Vanderbilt committed player is expected to sign for around $3 million, more than doubling the $1.3 million slotted for a 21st pick overall. Meanwhile, Goldstein flat out tells us he’s heard rumours that the Blue Jays had actually worked out a pre-draft deal to sign Beede if he fell to them in the first round. He points out that such agreements, while technically against the rules, happen a lot.

When asked in a recent chat about the industry rumours, Law replied:

I heard that story last week, which is why I said right after the draft that I believed Beede would sign. However, I didn’t mention the predraft deal story because it would have triggered an MLB investigation. Cat’s out of the bag now, though.

According to Anthopoulos:

It’s ridiculous. It’s a joke. I’m amazed at all the false rumours about everything. I’m just sick of reading lies and rumours that people make up about us all the time. I’ve had enough of it. Why would someone have a pre-draft deal to pick someone 21st overall in the draft? I’d like someone to explain it to me.

Well, allow me. The “false rumours about everything” that Anthopoulos speaks of are a result of gaining a reputation for refusing to comment on potential player acquisitions. It’s often beneficial for agents and clubs to create media buzz over false interest, and if a team is unwilling to confirm or deny that interest, guess what club is an easy target to use by agents and clubs looking to increase potential salary or a return in a trade.

As for asking why someone would have a pre-draft deal to pick a player 21st overall, it’s a bit like eating an entire batch of cookies, and then refuting accusations of the gluttony by suggesting that you could never eat that many cookies.

Having an agreement in place with a 21st overall pick makes perfect sense. Beede was of interest to several different organizations, and while the player was drafted earlier than expected, it wouldn’t be crazy if Beede, ranked as the 35th best prospect available by Baseball America, was selected between the 21st and 35th picks, especially considering that the Boston Red Sox had another pick at 26.

The whole idea of selecting a high school pitcher who may be ranked higher than he’s being taken is that the team believes that not only is he worth a bonus above slot, but that he would be taken earlier in the draft when he reenters it after two years of college.

If Beede was the player that the team wanted, and all indications, from the video below to what we heard on our podcast last week, are that this is the case, it’s not absurd at all that the Blue Jays would’ve discussed terms and come to a verbal agreement before selecting him.

Of course, deal or no deal, we’ll have to wait to find out. Teams that sign draft picks to bonuses over slot don’t announce their agreements until just before the deadline, as it would allow other unsigned prospects across the league to use the dollar figures to create additional negotiation leverage.

Update:

Walter Beede, Tyler’s father, has taken to Twitter to refute any claims that the Blue Jays discussed a potential deal with his son and his advisers.

If you had any doubts, capitol letters!

Comments (14)

  1. “Teams that sign draft picks to bonuses over slot are usually hesitant to announce their agreements until just before the deadline, as it would allow other unsigned prospects across the league to use the dollar figures to create additional negotiation leverage.”
    Not exactly true. MLB refuses to allow them to announce the signing (excluding two sport guys and picks within 5-10% of slot) for that reason. Teams would generally prefer to announce the signings, if only to allow these prized new assets to benefit from a few extra months of professional coaching in the short season leagues (which start tomorrow)

  2. I’m totally calling bullshit on there being no deal. However, it’s pretty encouraging (assuming there was at least a rough deal in place) to see Beede and his father play along.

  3. Thanks for bringing sense to this, Parkes. It’s sad that the people paid to report in “newspapers” don’t have an ounce of critical thinking skills.

  4. So why not make it an incentive to sign in time for short season ball? It seems silly to have Aug 14 as a deadline when really nothing happens after that until spring training the following year (or maybe winter ball). Isn’t that the case, or am I wrong in my analysis.

    Maybe make it so that said player can not get paid on that contract until he checks in at spring training if he signs after the start of short season. If he signs and plays short season ball he gets a portion of his bonus, and a prorated amount of his salary (minor league miniumum?).

    We all know that it’s money that is driving the negotiations to the (arbitrary) wire so why not use that carrot to entice players to sign early get to short season and collect on that fat contract they just signed. Rather than giving them 6 – 8 months to enjoy that contract and bonus before the team even sees them in their organization.

  5. This is the first time I can recall seeing AA lose it in the media, rather than just issuing the usual “no comment” or “we don’t disclose financial terms to the media”. I suppose the stakes are higher this time though. Had to happen some time. Ugly. Twitter is making his life more difficult, although I still love the fact that every time we hear a rumour it doesn’t happen and the things that do happen seemingly come out of nowhere. I doubt it, but maybe that happens here, and perhaps that’s why Walter Beede is being so adamant in trying to squelch this in the twittersphere. Given how excited the reaction was at the Cressey (Beede’s trainer’s) household when he was selected, it seemed to come as a surprise to them. Not that that means a deal wasn’t in place of course. Ah gossip. And now such instantaneous gossip. Always hated it. Kind of like a car crash though. Must do the interwebs equivalent of craning my neck to see it. Can’t look away.

  6. Does it really matter? Most teams have an idea of what it will take to sign a player before the draft anyways.

  7. If no one heard about Wells being traded, I can’t imagine they heard about a pre-draft deal.

  8. ahaha. Anthopoulos is soooo talking out of his ass.

  9. Goldstein is little bitch!

  10. I think Anthopoulos has been a great GM, but man is the “Anthopoulos walks on water” crowd getting a bit annoying.

  11. So, I’m confused. Are you saying that by refusing to stir the pot by never commenting, AA is in fact stirring the pot more than he would otherwise? And therefore he’s to blame?

  12. golstein and law. when you have the FACTS, then open your fat mouths. until then, keep them shut.

  13. Goldstein isn’t exactly known for starting shit without it being true. His job doesn’t rely on gossip. In fact, what he said was that there were industry rumours. Man, everyone take things severely out of context.

  14. @the ack – I think what’s being said is that AA is allowing too much room for others to stir the pot by not doing it himself. It’s about controlling the rhetoric. If you don’t, someone will do it for you.

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