Ms Ink Jordan Shipers
The Mariners busted slot recommendations this morning, giving 16th-round pick Jordan Shipers an $800,000 bonus to forego his commitment to Missouri State. The Ms have paid low-6 figure bonuses to a few guys in recent years, but this is the first time the Mariners have gone significantly above slot since they signed Matt Tuiasosopo back in 2004.
This is fantastic news. Teams like the Red Sox, who do not care about angering the Commissioner’s office, have had a giant leg up on the competition for years when it comes to mining the draft for talent. We just recently saw a sign of Boston’s aggressive draft strategy paying dividends, as OF Ryan Kalish, a 9th rounder who signed for $600,000 back in 2006, ripped through the high minors to make his major league debut this season.
The Mariners may not do this much next year, with all signs pointing to the team picking in the top half of the top half of the first round. The fact that they are willing to take a shot on signability guys, though, just makes this front office’s combination of smarts and resources that much more formidable. For reasons that outsiders have trouble fully comprehending, there are only a handful of teams willing to thumb their nose at Bud Selig’s seemingly toothless recommendations for draft bonuses. If the Ms become one of those teams, the system should get better in a hurry.