Those three picks are very much tied together. Jarrod Parker, Madison Bumgarner and Phillippe Aumont are all different pitchers, but they are all high schoolers and you get the feeling that this is a big game of chicken between the three teams and the three players and their advisors. Who will be the first to sign? How much will it be for and how will that impact the other two signings?
Here’s where it appears things stand (remember, appearances can be deceiving): The teams have offers on the table to each of the players. By some accounts, they are fair and/or a touch low. If the teams follow the supposed suggested 2007 slot figures, that would mean about $1.9 million for Parker, $1.8 mil for Bumgarner and $1.7 mil for Aumont. If only it were that easy. There have been rumors for a while that Bumgarner was looking for "Kershaw money." Kershaw was taken by the Dodgers last year at No. 7 overall and got $2.3 million. Bumgarner, like Kershaw in 2006, is the first high school lefty taken and that may be why he feels he should get that amount (We won’t get into the fact that most scouts don’t consider Bumgarner to be as polished as Kershaw, who’s now in Double-A in his first full season).
That demand could throw everything awry with these three picks. I’m fairly certain that all three players, not just Bumgarner, are asking for more than the ’07 suggested slot figures and it will come down to just how much the teams are willing to come up from those and how much the players’ camps will come down from their demands. I had one person tell me that they thought $2.1, $2.0 and $1.9 would get it done for all three of them. It remains to be seen whether that will be true…