Mariners 1st-round pick Danny Hultzen signed just ahead of the deadline. It’s a major-league contract, so Chris Ray was released to make room on the 40-man roster. Ray seemed to be improving after a horrible start to the year, but has never really gotten back to where he was five years ago with the Orioles. He was most recently on the disabled list, and you can probably give the team the benefit of the doubt in making the call about how well he might recover and whether he could contribute in the future. While the bullpen for next year is hardly settled, it’s not like Zduriencik can’t bring in a lot of spare parts (which is what Ray was in the first place) and cobble it together again in spring training.
All of the other high picks except for 3rd-rounder Kevin Cron have also signed. In place of Cron, they get a compensatory pick in the supplemental 3rd round next year. Unlike the 1st and 2nd rounds, makeup picks for the 3rd round come at the end of the round, not in the slot immediately after the unsigned pick. While generally you would rather have them sign, it’s nice that the front office gets another shot at finding a good player. You lose a little in terms of present value (effectively, the extra development time the player would get compared to someone in next year’s draft), but that difference isn’t nearly as dramatic as it would be for a higher draft pick like Hultzen.