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  • Jays sign Deck

    The Toronto Blue Jays landed first-round pick Deck McGuire and three other top selections late Monday night, sneaking the deals through in a mad scramble just ahead of the midnight deadline for signing 2010 draft choices.

    McGuire's deal was completed at 11:59 p.m., while second-rounder Griffin Murphy, fourth-rounder Sam Dyson and fifth-rounder Dickie Thon Jr., also reached last-minute agreements. Hours earlier, 15th-rounder Zak Adams and 17th-rounder Myles Jaye were signed, bringing the final tally on the day's startling splurge to US$5.4 million.

    Once a franchise that obediently followed Major League Baseball's slot signing recommendations, the Blue Jays blatantly disregarded them this summer in order to get the players they wanted at a price they could live with.

    The end result in the first draft under new general manager Alex Anthopoulos is a spending spree on picks more lavish than any other in franchise history as the Blue Jays ultimately signed 33 of their 56 draft picks.

    "I would think strictly for the sheer number of picks in such high areas, that alone, even at standard signing bonuses for every single pick, we were going to reach new highs," said Anthopoulos. "I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I'm fairly certain it would be a high-water mark for us."

    There were some tense times getting there, as a Blue Jays front office trying to keep costs down and players trying to wring out every last cent they could essentially played chicken right down to the wire.

    The first firm offer to McGuire was tabled at around 10:30 p.m., and the sides worked from there, eventually settling at a bonus of $2 million. Murphy ended up with $800,000, Dyson $600,000 and Thon, who was seeking first round money to pass on a scholarship to Rice University, got it $1.5 million. Adams and Jaye each got $250,000.

    "It was definitely right to the last minute," said Anthopoulos. "Minute might be an understatement. This definitely is the latest we've ever gone in terms of a negotiation. Glad to have it done, glad to have it behind us."

    The players were to be assigned within the organization Tuesday.

    McGuire is a six-foot-six right-hander out of Georgia Tech who features four quality pitches and compiled 28-7 record with a 3.28 ERA in 45 starts for the Yellow Jackets. He's been compared in some circles to John Lackey.

    Murphy and Adams are left-handed pitchers, Dyson and Jaye are right-handers, and Thon a shortstop.

    Had deals with McGuire and Murphy not been reached, the Blue Jays would have been compensated with a selection one spot later in next year's draft, giving Anthopoulos some additional leverage in negotiations.

    The Blue Jays showed they are willing to walk away and take the compensatory selections last year, when talks failed with Canadian left-handers James Paxton (37th overall) and Jake Eliopoulos (68th) plus American right-hander Jake Barrett (99th).

    Right-hander Noah Syndergaard (38th), third baseman Kellen Sweeney (69th) and left-fielder Marcus Knecht of Toronto (113th) were taken in their place, and signed in recent weeks.

    Paxton, chosen in the fourth round by Seattle this year, was unsigned again but since he is out of college eligibility, the Mariners retain his rights until a week prior to the 2011 draft.

    Eliopoulos, taken in the 15th round by the Dodgers, also failed to sign again.
    Nice to see the spending on draft picks though I would've been fine with or without the Deck signing. Not so much because I don't like Deck, but because of what I'm hearing about next year's draft class. Though we do lose a lot of leverage on next year's compensation pick.

  • #2
    I hate to use a cliche, but you can never have enough pitching.
    Check out my Canadian baseball history blog called "Cooperstowners in Canada": http://www.kevinglew.wordpress.com

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