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Sources: Tigers, top pick Torkelson near deal

@beckjason
June 28, 2020

DETROIT – The Tigers released their 60-man player pool for Summer Camp on Sunday without Spencer Torkelson’s name on it. That is expected to change soon, as the Tigers work to finalize a contract with the first overall pick from the 2020 MLB Draft. Torkelson and the Tigers are close

DETROIT – The Tigers released their 60-man player pool for Summer Camp on Sunday without Spencer Torkelson’s name on it. That is expected to change soon, as the Tigers work to finalize a contract with the first overall pick from the 2020 MLB Draft.

Torkelson and the Tigers are close to finishing up the deal, sources told MLB.com. Once that’s complete, he’s expected to be added to the player pool list and join the Tigers in workouts at Comerica Park, which officially begin Friday for pitchers and catchers and a few days later for position players.

Tigers Draft Tracker

General manager Al Avila said last Wednesday that he expected to sign Torkelson. He also left open the possibility for Torkelson to be part of a heavy prospect presence in the player pool. Torkelson wasn't on the list announced Sunday, but the Tigers left two spots open.

Torkelson hasn’t had formal workouts or games since Arizona State’s season abruptly ended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has been working out near his California home in preparation for an uncertain summer. With the Minor League season in question, having Torkelson in the player pool might be the only way to have him working out with the organization this summer.

While Torkelson won’t be in the mix for the Major League roster barring something stunning, having him in the player pool will allow him to spend the season working out with other inactive players at the Tigers’ alternate training site at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio. That’s crucial time as the Tigers work on getting him acclimated to third base following three seasons as Arizona State’s first baseman.

The Tigers already have one player from their Draft group this year in the player pool: Catcher Dillon Dingler, whom Detroit drafted with the first pick of the second round, is one of six catchers who will be part of Tigers Summer Camp.

Torkelson’s slot carries a $8,415,300 bonus value. The Tigers currently have $7,775,700 of their Draft pool left to spend, but they can spend $8,441,985 without losing future picks. Anything in between those figures would be taxed at a 75 percent rate. The record bonus for a MLB Draft pick is $8.1 million by last year’s top overall pick, Orioles catching prospect Adley Rutschman.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.