The Red Sox and second-round draft pick CJ Chatham have agreed to a $1.1 million signing bonus according to John Manuel of Baseball America, more than $100,000 under the slot value of $1.232 million.
So the good news is that the Red Sox have their second-round pick signed, and they've saved some money to put towards over-slot players such as, obviously, Jason Groome.
The bad news is that this really isn't all that much saved. With the 5% overage the Red Sox grab on the pick, that's nearly $200,000 saved. That sounds great, but the reality is that the second round is where the Red Sox stood to make up a lot of ground on the difference between Groome and slot value. And $200,000 is actually not all that much compared to the gap they might have to cover if Groome expects more than, say, the $4.4 million that the #5 pick will receive.
Looking solely at the rankings of organizations like Baseball America, Perfect Game,and the like--granted, they can only hope to approximate the actual estimations of MLB franchises--Chatham was closer to an early third-round pick than the early second-round pick the Red Sox used on him. Given that such a pick is typically allocated some $700,000, seeing Chatham come in so close to slot value is certainly more than might have been expected.
The Red Sox do still have a good deal of room to work with when it comes to Groome. They still have a likely $10,000 signee in college senior Ryan Scott, and a fair few other potential under-slot signees in the first ten rounds. And certainly there's no clear indication what Groome's demands actually are. Perhaps he'll settle for something much closer to slot value than everyone seems to expect.
But the team's ability to land their first pick in Groome seems slightly less realistic than it did in the immediate aftermath of the draft. All that will be gone and forgotten the second they actually sign him, but until that point, it's one small doubt added to the mix.