Teams have until noon on Friday to sign their draft picks. Otherwise they lose their rights.
Full disclosure: I have been busy covering the big-league team and haven’t spent a lot of time on this subject. But here are some general things that will catch you up.
MLB tries hard to control the amount of money teams give the draft picks. There’s an unenforceable slotting system that some teams (the Mets) abide by and others (the Yankees, Tigers and Red Sox) routinely ignore.
In recent years, as revenues across the game have grown, more teams are investing in draft picks and international signings and are going “over slot” to sign their picks.
Teams now have leverage in that they receive compensation picks in the next draft for those players in the first or second round who do not sign. It would be a pick in the same slot next season.
The Yankees have five significant unsigned picks:
RHP Gerrit Cole (1st round, 28th overall): A Scott Boras client, Cole is one of those players who will sign on the last day for a huge bonus. Because he is in high school, Cole has leverage. But the Yankees didn’t take him to let him walk. They knew the deal.
LHP Jeremy Bleich (Supplemental 1st round, 44th overall): Another Boras client, Bleich is the only supplemental pick not to have signed. Given his arm issues this season, he’d be wise to get his deal done with the Yankees, which he surely will.
RHP Scott Bittle (2nd round, 75th overall): The Yankees drafted this Ole Miss reliever believing he would move quickly through their system. But they have concerns about a shoulder injury, which could lead to his going unsigned. They’ll save the money and get a second second-round pick next season.
1B Luke Anders (16th round, 500th overall): He will not sign with the Yankees and will return to Texas A&M, believing he will be a higher pick next season.
SS Garrison Lassiter (27th round, 830th overall): A talented lefty hitter with some pop, Lassiter fell in the draft over concerns about what it would cost to sign him. He has a scholarship to North Carolina, but the Yankees could sway him with a big offer in the next few days.
Any other unsigned players are those the Yankees drafted with the intent of following this summer. They probably didn’t like what they saw and will let them go back to school. Teams never intend to sign 50 players, they don’t have room for that many. They take a lot of guys basically to have their rights should they blossom. Some do, some don’t.
We’ll keep you informed on Friday on who signs and who doesn’t.