The deadline for draft picks to sign is this Friday, and it seems as if the Braves and first-round draft pick Carter Stewart are at a stalemate of sorts.
According to Jim Callis of MLB.com, after looking at Stewart’s post-draft medicals, the Braves discovered a wrist issue that bothered him towards the end of the high school season. Now, they are trying to use this as leverage to sign him for around $4 million, around $1 million less than his pick value.
The strategy behind this is for the Braves to have extra funds to throw at 34th rounder Zach Hess, who appears likely to return to LSU after falling in the draft. Hess previously told teams it would take a large signing bonus to get him to sign.
With all the international restrictions currently holding the Braves hostage, it makes sense to see them try to squeeze as much possible out of these drafts. At the same time, Callis mentioned that Stewart and the Braves are the furthest in negotiations between any first rounder. Yikes.
So should we be worried?
Probably not. Alex Anthopolous is no fool and is not going to lose his first-round pick over a 34th round pick. But Stewart is finding out early that sports are a business. Let’s hope that the Braves can meet somewhere in the middle, get this done and that the issue is not serious. Hess may be a nice prospect, but Stewart has the potential to be a generational talent. At the end of the day though, is this 18-year-old kid straight out of high school really going to leave $4 million-plus on the table?
Let’s hope this deal gets done by Friday. Happy 4th of July Braves Country!