The Red Sox won't be using their remaining draft budget on high school pitcher Jordan Sheffield, as the 13th-round draft pick has decided to honor his commitment to Vanderbilt, lining him up to be drafted once more a few years down the road.
Sheffield fell to the 13th-round after undergoing Tommy John surgery this spring -- between that and his college commitment, he was seen as a risk in the first 10 rounds of the draft, as he had little incentive to sign for a recommended slot value. The Red Sox have significant money leftover in their budget, however, and could have afforded Sheffield, if only there were a price he was willing to be paid. Sheffield didn't seem keen on discussing the specifics of the offers:
During the last few weeks Sheffield had talks with Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, Boston's scouting director and the area scout.
"They were just asking if I wanted to sign, giving me an offer and everything, seeing where I was at and what I wanted to do," said Sheffield, who declined to give details of the offer.
The Red Sox are $875,500 under budget, with just one of their first 10 picks left unsigned, and 17 unsigned in total. There is plenty of budget space leftover to entice many of those remaining 17 in the next couple of days before July 12's signing deadline, as only dollars over $100,000 spent on picks from rounds 11 through 40 count against Boston's cap, and they even have an additional $342,000 or so to spend before incurring the loss of a draft pick as a penalty for their overage.
Luckily, even without Sheffield -- or Ryan Boldt, another impressive high schooler who chose an education and a future payday over turning pro now -- Boston managed to do well with their draft, securing the top left-handed starter in Trey Ball, as well as Jon Denney, who many thought was a first-round or early second-round pick, in the third, and at a reasonable cost.
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