Braves sign second-round pick over slot value

Vaughn Grissom call up

The MLB Draft is super complex because while draft position matters, the signing bonuses don’t always match up. Each team is given a certain amount of money to spend on their draft selections. So, many times teams will draft guys higher than they should go earlier in the draft, allowing them to pay a player they drafted later over slot value.

Earlier today, it was announced that several Braves agreed to their deals under slot value, including first-round pick Hurston Waldrep. Now, according to most draft boards, Waldrep was one of the best arms in the class and expected to go within the top 20 selections. I thought for sure the Braves would have to go over slot to sign him, but they didn’t.

That’s fantastic, but the peculiar part is who the Braves did go over slot value to sign, second-round pick Drue Hackenberg.

Hackenberg signed for $650,000 over his slot value. Now, a second-round pick signing for that much isn’t unheard of, but Hackenberg was a prospect ranked well outside of the top 100 in this draft. On the surface, it feels like he should have signed under slot, while Waldrep should’ve signed over slot.

Obviously, the Braves are higher on Hackenberg than most. He also had the ability to return to school, so it generally takes more money to pry a player away from their college. In truth, the numbers don’t matter too much as long as everybody is happy and the guys decide to sign, which is what happened today.

Photo: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire


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