Moustakas: yes or no?

The following is excerpted from Jim Callis' story at about the Tigers' wrapping up their way-over-slot signing of Rick Porcello:


As Rick Porcello nears completion of a record contract with the Tigers, the aftershocks will be felt in several other negotiations with first-round picks, most notably David Price (No. 1 overall, Devil Rays), Mike Moustakas (No. 2, Royals) and Matt Wieters (No. 5, Orioles).

All four ranked among the 2007 draft's top five prospects, but only Porcello dropped significantly because of signability, falling all the way to No. 27. The New Jersey high school righthander is wrapping up a $7.7 million major league contract with Detroit, a record guarantee for a prep draft pick signing with the club that selected him.

  • Price, the Vanderbilt lefthander who was Baseball America's College Player of the Year and the consensus top prospect, always figured to exceed the top deals from the 2006 draft ($5.45 million to the Tigers' Andrew Miller, the seventh overall pick, and $5.25 million to the Royals' Luke Hochevar, the top choice). Price and agent Bo McKinnis reportedly were seeking a major league deal in the $8 million range, and Porcello's deal could push Price's worth closer to $10 million.
  • With Price going off the board at No. 1, the Royals would have liked to select Porcello, but knew they couldn't afford him. Their next preference was Moustakas, a California infielder who was BA's High School Player of the Year and the best prep hitter in the draft. The night before the draft, Kansas City determined that Moustakas (like Porcello a Scott Boras client) also was out of its price range and settled on California high school third baseman Josh Vitters.
  • However, by the morning of the draft, the Royals reversed course and decided that they could sign Moustakas. That has proven difficult, and he's now the first-rounder most likely to not come to terms. His asking price surely rose with the deal struck by Porcello, and Kansas City may not be able to deter him from attending Southern California.

    MLB's slot recommendation for the No. 2 pick is estimated at $3.15 million, and Moustakas has his sights set higher than that. It's also unclear as to whether Royals owner David Glass will authorize an above-slot payment to Moustakas. Glass is a staunch ally of commissioner Bud Selig and may not spurn Selig's adamant desire for clubs to adhere to MLB's slotting.

    Kansas City scouting director Deric Ladnier remains hopeful that he can sign Moustakas, whom Boras has called the best high school hitter since Alex Rodriguez.

    "I met with the family before the draft, and they indicated an overwhelming desire to go play," Ladnier says. "Before and after the draft, they have indicated a strong desire to sign. It was a close call. We decided the morning of the draft to select Mike, based on conversations with the family, and I'll leave it at that."

    After this Detroit signing, I'm feeling pretty pessimistic about the Royals getting a deal done. If Porcello's deal is in fact worth $7.7 million, there is absolutely no way Boras would accept a deal for the #2 overall pick for anything CLOSE to the recommended $3.15 million price, is there? I'm guessing it will take closer to $6 million than 3. Hate to say it, but unless the kid blinks (unlikely, since after all, his family did hire Boras)or Glass does something completely unprecedented (for him, I mean), I think it's likely that there will be no deal, which I would consider a disaster, no matter what compensation pick the Royals would receive next June. What do you all think?

    This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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