Tigers ink Rick Porcello, irritate Selig

Well there’s some happy news at least as the Tigers have agreed to terms with Rick Porcello. Porcello of course is the Tigers first round draft choice, who despite being the top high school pitcher in the draft, slid to the Tigers at 27 due to those “signability issues” that Tigers fans have become so fond of.

Porcello is now the Tigers number 2 prospect, right behind Cameron Maybin.

The deal appears to be for something north of $7 million and Baseball America reports that it is a Major League contract. This is significant, more significant than the money, because it means that Porcello is placed on the 40 man roster immediately. And with that comes an option year this season. But I believe due to his age at time of signing, he’ll get a 4th option year meaning that the Tigers won’t have to put him on the big league roster until 2011.

As for the money I’ve seen $7.3 and $7.7 reported but either way it is a record for a high school player and it is way above the “suggested” slotting system that MLB has in place. And of course it is a ton of money for a high school kid who is still a long ways from the bigs, but it’s an even longer ways until free agency (6 years of big league service time). So if he gets up and has any measure of success he becomes a bargain compared to replacing that production on the open market.

Porcello’s stuff includes a mid 90’s fastball and both a slow curve and sharp slider. He also commands a change up.

We’ll see if the Tigers announce the signing of 5th round pick Casey Crosby who has reportedly been in the fold for quite some time. But again because the Tigers were going over slot, they were waiting until closer to the deadline to announce. Cale Iorg and Dominic De La Osa are the other remaining Tiger top 10 picks who are unsigned.

15 thoughts on “Tigers ink Rick Porcello, irritate Selig”

  1. I’m still a bit fuzzy on the difference between a major and minor league contract. I get the 40 man roster thing, but what’s this about option years? Does this mean we can only keep him in the minors until 2011, at which point he’d have to clear waivers to be put in the minors?

    Either way, I love the pick and the signing. 7.3 million over 4 years is chump change for an MLB club and I’m glad DD and MI aren’t being pennywise here. Close your eyes and envision verlander, bonderman, miller and porcello in 2010, all between 20-27, all striking out 200 with era’s under 3.50. Who can touch that?

  2. With a minor league deal, you get a certain amount of time where you don’t have to be on the 40 man roster, I think it’s four years if you’re 19 or over when you sign and five years if you’re under that age (if that’s not it, it’s close). After that time, you have to be put on the 40 man roster or you’ll be exposed to the Rule 5 draft. Once you’re on the 40 man, you usually get three options, after which you have to clear waivers to be sent back down to the minors.

    When you sign a major league deal right away, you start burning those options immediately and you skip the years when you didn’t have to be put on the 40 man roster. Like I hinted earlier, I may have some of the details wrong on this, but that’s the general difference between the two types of contracts.

    It doesn’t affect your time with the big league club much; it just affects when you have to be on the big league club.

  3. And with as advanced as his repertoire apparently is, there shouldn’t be a huge learning curve. Just refining his pitches (changeup specifically) and getting acclimated to the long, grueling season. For a high school kid, he should elevate relatively quickly through the farm system.

  4. I dont’ get this whole slotting thing that Selig keeps talking about. Why would you not take the best player available in the draft? I get signability issues, but why wouldn’t they shoot for an actual slotting system like the NBA has in place? I’m sure the Players Association would want no part of that, and Scott Boras would cry bloody murder, but this whole Bud Selig “frowning” on over slotting is ridiculous.

    All that being said, we’ve been the biggest beneficiaries of this flawed system. Our 3 best prospects fell to us because the other teams didn’t want to pay Maybin, Miller and now Porcello. We are going to be at the very least competitive for many years to come because of it.

  5. Looks like the Tigers signed most of their top picks.
    Why does Iorg get 1.5mill? Didn’t he just come back from a mission?

  6. It’s great to see the Tigers nail down Porcello, I think it’s a smart move. The slot recommendations essentially give an advantage to the big spending teams anyways. The Yankees and Red Sox could care less about repurcussions from MLB about spending over the slot.

    And billfer is right, if the kid pans out at all he’s a bargain at $7 million up front. You have to spend more than that now to get an above average starter on the free market, with no guarantees of continued success.

    If we keep feeding the farm with this level of talent, the team can stay good for a long time.

  7. Hooray for the Tigers! I Can’t believe how ridiculous this “slotting” system is. Let’s see. The Red Sox can bid $51 million dollars to speak to a free agent in Japan, then spend another $55 million to sign him, with no guarantees. The Giants can spend $127 million on a pitcher, with no guarantees. Yet when a pitcher comes along that you think might have a higher upside for a longer period of time, it is wrong to invest $11 million on him.
    About as brilliant as having an All-Star game determine home field advantage in the playoffs.

  8. Dave:

    They’re trying to keep Iorg from going back to school, which he’s leaning towards. They need to make it worth his while not to go.

  9. Any word on why De La Osa hasnt signed?

    Im intrigued by him given how well he hit in a tough conference, but I havent heard anything about his status. I really would like to see him get a chance in our syste.

    2 other questions related to the draft:

    Anyone notice how well Furbush is doing so far?

    Anyone know what little Zumaya’s stuff is? He has decent numbers in Rookie ball so far and hes very very young. Is he anything like his brother?

  10. Just to change the topic a bit, what’s the over/under on Bondo’s number of runs allowed in the 1st inning tonight? I don’t like these two pitching matchups Sabathia vs. Bonderman and Carmona vs. Jurrgens. Although I’ve never seen Jurrgens pitch, that lineup in that ballpark is about as tough as an assignment that you can give a guy.

  11. Selig irritated? Who the hell cares? I don’t recall that SOB uttering even one word about another team spending 50 milllion just to talk to a Japanese player.

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