SBD/June 11, 2013/Franchises

Royals Sign First Top Draft Pick Below Slot Value, Leaving Money For Other Players

Money saved on Dozier (r) will be used by the Royals to sign other draft picks
The Royals yesterday agreed to a $2.2M signing bonus with No. 8 overall draft pick SS Hunter Dozier, $937,800 below the "slotted bonus for that selection," according to Bob Dutton of the K.C. STAR. Taking Dozier that early in the draft was "something of a risk and a calculated gamble," as he was "generally viewed as a player likely to go late in the first round or early in the second round." While the Royals "rated him above that consensus, they wanted the parameters of a deal in place before selecting him." Dozier’s bonus falls "in-between the slotted amounts for the 16th and 17th overall picks -- or still better than he projected to receive." The 39th pick -- where Baseball America "had him ranked" -- had a slot of $1.43M. The Royals plan to "use their savings to sign other players," particularly P Sean Manaea, whom they chose 34th overall (K.C. STAR, 6/11). BASEBALL AMERICA's Jim Callis wrote under the header, "Royals Draft Pick-Switch Gambit Pays Off." The team was interested in both Manaea and high school P Phil Bickford, but "wasn't comfortable taking either with its top pick." If contract negotiations broke down with either, the Royals "would lose" $3.1M of their assigned $8.3M bonus pool for the first 10 rounds. The Royals "mitigated their risk by essentially flip-flopping the selections," taking Dozier at No. 8 and Manaea at No. 34. By taking them "in reverse order," the Royals would lose just $1.6M in pool money "if the sandwich-rounder turned them down." The team also "could add" roughly $2M to the pot at No. 34 by signing Dozier to "less than his assigned pick value and by taking discount players in the fifth through 10th rounds" (BASEBALLAMERICA.com, 6/10).
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