The Red Sox have come to an agreement on a $700,000 signing bonus for third-round pick Shaun Anderson according to Jim Callis.
After starting off with five under-slot signings in the first ten rounds, this is the first of the bunch to come in above the recommended value, albeit by a minuscule amount. For those despairing that this is bad news for Groome, that's not really the case. With the Sox allowed to go 5% over their bonus pool so long as they actually sign the player drafted at the position, having Anderson sign for $700,000 against a slot value of $697,300 actually leaves the Red Sox with another $30,000 to throw Groome's way. Again, not much, but when combined with their other signings, they've currently freed up $680,000 extra for Groome which, when combined with his slot value and 5% overage, still leaves them just north of $4 million, even factoring in $15,000 off the top for 12th round pick Matthew Gorst..
There is something to be said for the idea that Anderson may have been expected to come in under-slot given that his rankings by Baseball America and MLB were not so high as his draft position. But Anderson is a talented pitcher, and seems worth the opportunity cost, especially if the Red Sox can get him to stick in the rotation.
At this point, though, the Red Sox aren't going to be able to move the needle much in the Groome negotiations. Most of the picks that promised significant under-slot potential have been signed, and some of the remaining players, like Anderson, might even take a bit more than slot money to sign. They might be able to find another $100,00 somewhere in the mix, but that's just not much when we're talking about seven-digit figures.
This one's going to come down to just how much more than $4 million Groome realistically expects to get if he goes to school. The reality is that his fall from possibly the first overall pick to the Red Sox at 12 seems to have little to do with baseball. Perhaps a quiet year in a new environment at JC will help to quell teams fears, but the talent pool is getting stronger in 2017, and Groome would have to bet on himself to go in the first few picks if he wanted to beat what Boston is likely to offer. It's not the longest odds, but it's quite the gamble to put $4 million on.