The official draft signing deadline came and went last Friday and first round pick (10th overall), Phil Bickford is not a Blue Jay. Bickford, 17, has opted to pitch for Cal State Fullerton. The Jays will get the 11th overall pick in the 2014 draft as compensation for not signing Bickford because they offered him more than 40% of the recommended slot value ($2.9 million). The amount the Jays offered has not been disclosed.
The Jays did, however, sign 11th-round pick Jake Brentz and 30th-round pick Rowdy Tellez well over slot value (slot value for the 10th round and later is $100,000 across the board), using some of the savings left over after not signing Bickford.
Brentz, a lefty pitcher, signed for $700,000. He ranked 80th in Baseball America’s top 500 draft prospects and throws an upper ’90s fastball. Although it has been noted by scouts that his curveball needs a lot of work.
Tellez, a lefty power bat, is 6’5″, 230lbs. He signed for $850,000 – a recorded setting amount under the new collective bargaining agreement. Tellez ranked 59th in Baseball America’s top 500 draft prospects. Although Tellez has spent his amateur career in the OF, scouts see him as a 1B.
Signing Bickford hurts, but with the rules under the CBA and the fact the Jays will get the 11th overall pick next year, it’s not all bad news.