Out of the nine players the Red Sox have selected over the first two days of the 2015 MLB Draft, only one appeared as if he was going to be signed for significantly over his slot value. That player is high school pitcher Logan Allen, an 18-year-old left-hander out of IMG Academy, who was ranked 128th on Baseball America's pre-draft top-500 but was selected in the eighth, 231st overall. The good news is that we don't have to worry about whether the Sox will be able to sign him: according to Allen himself, the two sides already have a verbal agreement in place for between $725,000 and $750,000.
Allen's pick is only worth $175,100 by slot value, so the Red Sox need to move some draft budget around in order to make those figures a reality. Let's assume Allen gets the full $750,000: Boston needs to create $574,900 of room in order to get there. They should be able to without a whole lot of trouble, though. For starters, teams can spend up to five percent over their allotted budget before a harsh penalty -- losing a future draft pick -- comes in. So, the Red Sox, with a budget of $6,223,800, have an "extra" $179,520 on hand -- that brings them to $354,620 of the $750,000 needed for Allen.
Then, they drafted three college seniors in the first 10 rounds. College seniors have little leverage since they are finishing up school, and therefore don't have the threat of returning to it to fall back on. In 2012, the Red Sox drafted a slew of seniors so they could afford a $1.3 million bonus for fourth-round pick Ty Buttrey, which was roughly $1 million over his slot value.
Mike Augliera signed for $25,000, despite a fifth-round slot value of $218,000. Kyle Kraus signed for $1,000, or $143,000 under slot. Nathan Minnich was a top slugger from Division II ball, but also a senior, so he got a $10,000 bonus, freeing up $123,500 for the Sox. They also drafted T.J. Watkins, son of an area scout, for a well below slot bonus, and Mike Miller took $125,000 under his slot value. The whole group added up to over $700,000 in draft budget "savings" that could be applied elsewhere, which, along with Pat Light's under slot deal, helped the Red Sox afford their first pick, Deven Marrero, as well as Buttrey.
The Sox don't have quite as many seniors or obvious discount players this time around, but they do exist in numbers that should make Allen to the Sox official eventually at one of the discussed figures. Ben Taylor is a senior who will kick off his career as a starter, but is probably a reliever in the long run -- he had success in the role in college already, even. Tucker Tubbs is a senior who was so obvious a below-slot senior pick that MLB's draft analysts didn't even bother to say anything about him when he was selected. The last of three seniors, Mitchell Gunsolus, is actually a top-500 draft prospect, coming in at 464, but that's not so highly ranked that he's going to be able to sign for slot value. Not as a senior.
Reviewing day 2 of the Red Sox draft
The Red Sox made eight selections on the second day of the MLB draft, and we've got info on all of them for you.
So, between those three, who have a combined slot value of $531,700, the Red Sox can get pretty close to signing Allen at worst, and with room to spare at best. Let's say the three combine for $50,000 in signing bonuses: that would leave the Sox with $836,320 for Allen, more than they need. That means there is some wiggle room to pay one or all of those seniors a little bit more, but that's only if they have to. For all we know, Tubbs could be signing for $1,000, and that frees the Sox up even more.
It should be pointed out, too, that fifth-round selection Jagger Rusconi might also be an under slot pick. He's also a legitimate draft prospect, and is committed to college, but the Sox drafted him earlier than would be expected -- it's possible he gets more money than he thought he would have, while Boston still gets to spend less than planned. That could mean he's also a way for the Sox to have more room to sign Allen, or he could help them open up some additional spending for bonuses of over $100,000 to players drafted in rounds 11 through 40.
So, the Sox seem to have a handle on signing the one overslot guy they have to for draft budget purposes. Maybe they won't be able to sign many (or any) of that type from their coming picks in rounds 11 through 40, but thankfully, draft budget penalties don't apply for failure to sign those picks. Boston's draft looks a whole lot better with Logan Allen in it, since he's easily one of the three or four best players they selected, so it's good to see that not only have the two verbally agreed to a deal, but it's one the Sox should be able to easily follow through on.