The Diamondbacks have announced the signings of six players from the Top 10 rounds of this month’s draft, agreements that provide a clearer picture of just how much the club will have to offer top pick Jordan Lawlar.
Under baseball’s draft rules, teams are given bonus pools based on the assigned slot values of every pick in the first 10 rounds. Clubs can exceed their draft pool but not without penalty.
If the Diamondbacks exceed their bonus pool by 5%, they must pay a 75% tax on the overage. Beyond that, they would have to pay taxes and forfeit future draft picks. In the previous nine years under the current rules, no team has gone higher than 5%.
Teams can spend their pools as they wish within the Top 10 rounds, but if a selection goes unsigned, that pick’s value is subtracted from the team’s total pool.
Lawlar, who has a commitment to play at Vanderbilt, was taken with the sixth overall pick, which has a slot value of $5,742,900. The Diamondbacks’ pool is worth $11,271,900, the seventh-highest total in baseball.
Four of the Diamondbacks’ six signees thus far have come in under slot. According to Baseball America, infielder Ryan Bliss (second round) received $1.25 million and pitcher Jake Rice (ninth round) received $30,000. According to a source, two other signees were under slot, as well, with pitcher Chad Patrick (fourth round) getting $350,000 and pitcher Hugh Fisher (10th round) getting $100,000.
Those four signings came in a combined $891,700 under slot. If the Diamondbacks were willing to spend up to the 5 percent limit, that would give them another $563,595. That means, in theory, the club could offer Lawlar nearly $7.2 million, though going that high likely would rule out signing other over-slot picks later in the draft.
“We selected him with every intent of signing him and getting him out here,” Diamondbacks scouting director Deric Ladnier said after the club selected Lawlar on July 11.
Center fielder Ketel Marte was expected to undergo a follow-up MRI on his left hamstring strain on Monday, an image that was expected to help the club determine his path back from the injured list. That, however, did not happen, manager Torey Lovullo said.
“As hard as this is going to be to believe, he went to get his MRI and there was a malfunction with the unit,” Lovullo said. “He was unable to get the MRI he was supposed to get. So we had to reschedule for (Tuesday).”
Marte has played just one game since June 22.
*Right-hander Tyler Clippard (shoulder) seems to be nearing a return from the injured list. He made his second rehab appearance for Triple-A Reno on Sunday, striking out two in a perfect inning of work.
“He’s getting very close,” Lovullo said. “We’ll leave it at that.”
Clippard’s fastball has averaged 89 mph with Reno, roughly in line with how hard he was throwing last season. He has been out since hurting his shoulder in spring training.
*Catcher Carson Kelly, who participated in pregame work, including taking batting practice, at Chase Field on Monday, said the next step in his recovery from a fractured right wrist is likely to take at-bats in live batting practice at Salt River Fields.
“It feels good,” he said. “There’s still a little bit of inflammation, but that’s to be expected. Structurally, everything is good. The bone is pretty much healed.”
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