The Red Sox have their man! According to Jon Heyman, the Sox have agreed to a $3.65 million signing bonus with first-round pick Jason Groome.
This is at once pretty exciting--the Red Sox have added one of if not the best player in the 2016 MLB Draft to their farm system despite picking 12th--and also rather interesting. $3.65 million is less than pretty much anyone expected, well short of the $5 million deal he might have had in place with the San Diego Padres had he fallen that far.
One can't help but wonder what, exactly, led them to that figure. There's a lot at play here, obviously. Groome fell over makeup concerns, which perhaps made him and his uncertain they would be able to do any better after a year in junior college in a better draft class. He'd also have exposed himself to injury risk and the simple chance of underperforming against tougher competition. It's always a gamble to not take the payday when it's offered, especially one that is utterly life-changing as is. The $350,000 or more difference between what he signed for and what the Sox might have been expected to pay is a lot of money, but it's pretty insignificant in the face of $3,650,000 to a teenager.
Maybe he just agreed because he's a long-time Red Sox fan (he is) and wanted to play here? Probably not, but who can say.
Whatever the case, the Red Sox have Groome. He's a talent the likes of which the Red Sox do not get a chance at very often, and didn't expect to have a chance at in 2016. They took the risk of not even being able to sign him, and now have him locked in with a day to spare.
That's an important day, too. With Groome signed, and for such a relatively "low" amount, the Sox now have a few hundred thousand dollars they can throw at some of their other unsigned picks, be it Bobby Dalbec, Nick Quintana, or any of the other top-200 talents they speculatively picked in the later rounds. What matters now is that they'll be added to a draft class that's already strong thanks to the arm up at the top of it in Jason Groome.