Dodgers agree with Buehler; Funkhouser back to school
No. 35 overall pick announces via Twitter he'll return to Louisville for senior season
WASHINGTON -- The Dodgers entered Friday still trying to sign their top selections from the 2015 MLB Draft before the 2 p.m. PT deadline. In the end, the club got halfway there, agreeing to terms with No. 24 overall pick Walker Buehler but being unable to reach a deal with No. 35 pick Kyle Funkhouser.
Buehler, a right-handed pitcher from Vanderbilt, signed for $1.78 million, while Funkhouser, a righty from Louisville, informed the Dodgers on Friday morning that he will return to school for his senior season.
Los Angeles also agreed to terms Friday with sixth-round pick Edwin Rios, a first baseman from Florida International, and 30th-rounder Logan Crouse, a right-hander from Bloomingdale (Fla.) High School. Overall, the team signed 36 of its 42 selections, including 15 of its first 16.
Buehler's bonus is for less than his slot value of $2,094,400, and CBSSports.com reported that he will need to undergo Tommy John surgery. Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi declined to comment on Walker's health or say when he might begin pitching for the organization.
"We're obviously excited to have him on board," Zaidi said. "He finished the college season strong, obviously pitched in the College World Series. So beyond that, we don't have any comment for the time being."
In his junior season at Vanderbilt, Buehler missed some time early with elbow soreness but came back to produce a 2.95 ERA in 16 starts, with 30 walks and 92 strikeouts over 88 1/3 innings.
In 17 starts for Louisville this season, Funkhouser posted a 3.20 ERA, with 45 walks and 104 strikeouts over 112 1/3 innings. The slot value for Funkhouser was $1,756,100, and Zaidi said the Dodgers "went above slot" in an effort to sign him. That wasn't enough to entice Funkhouser and advisor Scott Boras, but by not completing the signing, the Dodgers receive the 36th overall pick in next year's Draft as compensation.
"When it came time to negotiating, they felt like he was a top-10 pick, and our position was that if he was a top-10 pick, he would have been picked there," Zaidi said. "Ultimately we made what we felt was an aggressive offer."
Funkhouser broke the news of his decision Friday afternoon, via his Twitter account.
"Wanted to be the first to announce [that] I will not be signing, and will return to the University of Louisville for my senior season #L1C4," Funkhouser wrote.
He also thanked the Dodgers for drafting him.
"Can't forget to thank the Dodger organization for selecting me in this year's draft. Wishing them the best of luck moving forward," Funkhouser wrote.
Rios signed for $225,000, according to MLB.com's Jim Callis, or just under his slot value of $234,800. He hit .314 with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs in 61 games as a junior this season, and Zaidi said he will begin his pro career at the team's Rookie-level Arizona affiliate. The club did not confirm terms of the deal.
With savings from Buehler, the Dodgers were able to sign Crouse for $500,000, according to Callis. The 6-foot-6 righty had been committed to Florida State. The club did not confirm terms of the deal.