Nats getting it done

A good Nationals draft was made even better with the announcement they had come to terms with LHP Josh Smoker. Smoker was the first pick of the supplemental first round (31st overall) and he supposedly agreed to a bonus in the neighborhood of $950,000 (update: Turns out the bonus was a cool $1 mil). Now all they need to do is convince 6th-rounder Jack McGeary that Stanford isn’t such a nice place to go to school…

The Nationals held a press conference to announce the signing. You can watch it right here.


I wonder if a team would not try to sign a guy on purpose? Take the Cubs with Vitters for example, if they don’t sign him they get the 4th pick plus thier own. Maybe they think the college class is stronger next year and a player they could get at 4 would be more advanced than Vitters and cheaper to sign because they would have fewer options. Instead of giving big money to the 4th pick, try to sign some long shots taken in the later rounds who slipped to them because of signability issues.

There were some rumors that some teams picking later in the first round would do that, particularly teams that had multiple picks early this year. It didn’t happen and it would be a very risky strategy to try. First, it’s very hard to tell for certain what next year’s draft class will be like at this point. A lot can happen between now and next June. Second, I think every scouting department goes in trying to draft a guy, especially in the top 5 picks, who can be a special player. To burn that pick and get nothing to show for it for an entire year would be a little nutty, in my opinion.

if a club does not sign a draftee this year their compensation picks next year will be permanenently lost if not signed. The player knowing this will have an advantage in negotiating.


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