But not everyone has complied in the past—or is expected to do so again this year. The teams that deviated the most from MLB’s slot recommendations a year ago were the Yankees and Red Sox, and to a lesser degree the Tigers. Those same teams are primed again to ignore any efforts to reign in bonuses, and sources say both the Yankees and Red Sox have already agreed to terms with a number of players on over-slot bonuses—but won’t announce any signings until another team breaks rank or the new signing deadline adds a sense of urgency.
There are rumblings that the Red Sox also have a number of deals in place, including a $750,000 bonus with Florida high school catcher Yasmani Grandal, their 27th-round pick. The Red Sox took more speculation picks (potential early-round selections that fell because of signability reasons) than any other team in the draft by a considerable margin, and were expected to make a serious run at several of the selections.
Almost every player the Red Sox drafted that remains unsigned through 28 rounds was projected to go higher in the draft than he was taken; accordingly, the players would be in line to command bonuses significantly above slot if they were to sign.