The Dodgers on Tuesday officially announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Grant Holmes, their first-round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft out of Conway High School in South Carolina. The 18-year-old signed for "more than $2.4 million, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times pegged the deal at between $2.4 million and $2.51 million. Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline says $2.5 million, as does Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
Dodgers draft head and VP of amateur scouting Logan White said on Monday the two sides were close to a deal, "We have to tie up some loose ends, hoping this thing happens here one of these days soon."
The bonus for Holmes, whatever the final amount, is the second-largest draft bonus ever given by the Dodgers, trailing only the $5.25 million that two-sport star and LSU-bound quarterback Zach Lee received in 2010.
"This pitcher was projected to go early in the first five picks, maybe the first 10," said White on draft day, June 5. "I would have never thought we had a chance to get a pitcher of this caliber where we got him."
Keith Law oF ESPN called Holmes one of his favorite high school pitchers in the draft and said, "He was a top-15 talent and still available for L.A. at pick 22."
Holmes was rated by Baseball America before the draft as the 16th-best prospect in the draft and they called his curveball one of the best in the country. White agreed.
"The separators are when you see a guy with a plus breaking ball. In my years of doing it, when I've seen pitchers get to the big leagues, it's certainly that breaking ball they have," White said. "His is outstanding, his make-up is terrific."
The allotted slot amount for pick No. 22 was $1,980,500. The Dodgers were able to afford the overage by saving money on their sixth, seventh, ninth and 10th-round selections, relative to their allotted slot values.
Teams are allowed to exceed their given bonus pool amount but the penalties get increasingly punitive. There is a 75 percent tax on any overage, but once the overage hits five percent (in the Dodgers case, $247,385 over) the team would lose a first-round pick.
Here is a look at the Dodgers with an estimated number of $2.5 million for Holmes:
|Dodgers 2014 Draft Bonus Pool|
|Bonuses over $100,000 (rounds 11-40)||$0||$0||$0|
The only one of the Dodgers' top 10 picks who hasn't yet signed is Texas Tech catcher Hunter Redman, who was eliminated with the Red Raiders on Tuesday in the College World Series in Omaha. Assuming Redman signs for under slot, that will lower the overage amount. But as it stands, the Dodgers are still within range to not forfeit a draft pick, batting any other large bonuses given to later-round picks.