Attempts at signing Jason Groome have the Boston Red Sox stuck between a rock and a hard place, and as each day passes, coming to terms seems less likely.
It will be a small tragedy if the Red Sox remain unable or unwilling to sign Jason Groome. Their first round pick, taken in the 12 slot right out of High school, is just the answer to the organizational need.
Groome was touted by some as the top overall talent, and by many as the best pitching prospect leading up to the draft. Then, on draft night Groome began to slip, and fall he did all the way down until landing in Boston’s lap. An answer to Red Sox Nation’s prayers. But, it hasn’t quite been the fairy tale we started to expect on that night, as the marriage between the Red Sox and Groome has been put on ice, holding off their ride into the sunset.
Good pitchers, and particularly good starters drafted by the Red Sox, have started to become something of a myth over the last decade. They have struggled to draft and develop any pitching prospects worthy of a call up to the big leagues.
In turn, Boston has resorted to shelling out beaucoup dollars on free agents like David Price. And, even that “foolproof” plan hasn’t been without it’s hiccups.
“He was thought to be seeking at least $4 million pre-draft, and sources suggest he had a deal for $5 million worked out with the [San Diego] Padres”
Now, just a day after the 2016 All-Star game and as the focus switches back to the reality of the second half, the Red Sox sit no closer to signing their 1st round pick. Groome, who is said to want top five money, and the Red Sox are having difficulty coming to terms as Boston is only allotted $3,192,800 for the No. 12 slot bonus. In fact, if recent reports are accurate, the Red Sox have already offered the 17-year-old just over $3.5 million, or around 10% over their draft slot position.
"“He was thought to be seeking at least $4 million pre-draft,” Jon Heyman wrote on TodaysKnuckleball.com. “And sources suggest he had a deal for $5 million worked out with the [San Diego] Padres had he fallen all the way down to the No. 24 spot.”"
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The Red Sox have a total amount they can spend of $6,997,400 on their top 10 picks, and can spend over that amount by 5% without occurring a penalty. And the penalty is stiff to put it mildly, as Boston would lose future first-round picks if they exceed that set amount. With the addition of that 5%, the Red Sox have a total of $7,347,400 to spend on picks 1-10.
They also have two other players, fourth-rounder Bobby Dalbec and fifth-rounder Mike Shawaryn, to sign. If you add in the total it will take to sign those two to the $2.2 million the Red Sox already have committed to their other picks, you are left with approximately $4,270,000.
So what does this mean? Well, that the Red Sox could offer Groome right around $4.25 million without being penalized, and that an offer of that amount likely will not be enough. This is because of what the top 3 draft slots assigned values are- No. 3: $6.5, No. 2: $7.7 and No. 1: $9 million-even if Groome only wanted top 5 money, he would be asking for over $4.4 million. Furthermore, If Groome was to go to college, as was discussed before the draft, He could enter the draft once again next year and be in line for one of those top 3 paydays.
This is a potentially franchise altering decision for the Red Sox. Jason Groome could be the ace of the future, but signing him will likely cost future first-round picks and this weighs heavily against the benefits of signing him. The Red Sox should only offer an amount that does not exceed the 5% limit, even if that means losing out on Groome.