After an unusual amount of drama leading up to the 2021 Draft's signing deadline, this year's was relatively calm.
Last summer, No. 10 overall pick Kumar Rocker failed a post-Draft physical with the Mets, killing a $6 million bonus agreement and leading to a revised offer of $0 that the Vanderbilt right-hander obviously refused. The Orioles were willing to pay Florida outfielder Jud Fabian $3 million if he made it to their No. 41 selection in the second round, but the Red Sox popped him at No. 40 and he declined to sign for less than Baltimore's offer.
This year, every selection in the first two rounds completed contracts by Saturday evening, two days before today's 5 p.m. ET deadline. None of the three unsigned players in the top 10 rounds entering Monday turned pro, though one club did pay out a seven-figure deal.
The Orioles signed 17th-rounder Carter Young for $1,325,000, nearly tripling the previous record for that round: $450,000 by Pirates right-hander Ryan Hafner in 2010. A Vanderbilt shortstop, Young began the year as a potential first-rounder but batted just .207 with seven homers this spring before entering the transfer portal and committing to Louisiana State. Despite his struggles, he's a switch-hitter with 20-homer potential, good instincts and solid defensive ability at a prime position.
Baltimore apparently pivoted to Young after it was unable to reach a deal with third-rounder Nolan McLean, an Oklahoma State right-hander/third baseman and the highest unsigned player in the 2022 Draft. One of the top two-way players available, he offers a fastball that reaches 99 mph and a pair of power breaking balls as a reliever, as well as huge raw power and a strong arm at the hot corner. McLean and the Orioles disagreed on the results of his post-Draft physical and he'll return to the Cowboys for his junior year.
Florida right-hander Brandon Sproat (Mets, third round) and Wichita State second baseman Brock Rodden (Athletics, 10th round) also failed to sign. Sproat, who allowed just seven earned runs in his final six starts with the Gators while pushing his fastball to 99 mph and his slider to 91, also was the highest unsigned player in the 2019 Draft after turning down the Rangers as a seventh-rounder from Pace (Fla.) HS. Rodden posted a 1.093 OPS with 17 homers for the Shockers while also standing out with his high baseball IQ.
Because they didn't sign McLean and Sproat, the Orioles and Mets will receive compensation picks following the third round of the 2023 Draft.
The total of three unsigned players among the 316 drafted in the first 10 rounds is one shy of the fewest ever. All but two players in the top 10 rounds signed in both 2016 and 2019. Last year, three of 312 failed to come to terms.
The 30 teams combined to spend $313,862,800 on signing bonuses for drafted players in 2022, the second-highest total ever. The record of $316,560,984 was established in 2019, when the Draft consisted of 40 rounds compared to 20 this year.
Oklahoma high school shortstop Jackson Holliday, the No. 1 overall pick by the Orioles, received the highest bonus in the 2022 Draft at $8,190,000. Georgia prep outfielder Druw Jones, who went No. 2 to the Diamondbacks, finished right behind Holliday at $8,189,400. Those are the second- and third-largest bonuses in Draft history, trailing only the $8,416,300 that No. 1 overall choice Spencer Torkelson landed from the Tigers in 2020.
The Orioles topped all clubs by spending $17,735,600 on bonuses, the second-most in Draft history behind only the 2015 Astros, who paid out $19,103,000. Fifteen of the 30 teams exceeded $10 million in bonus spending.
Below is a team-by-team breakdown of Draft bonus spending:
Blue Jays: $9,536,100
Red Sox: $9,204,750
White Sox: $7,557,900