Midnight hit on the Right Coast, and Bubba Starling's name had been freshly ascribed to a dotted line - at least a metaphorical one. With Royals fans peppered lightly across the country sitting on something a few degrees removed from pins and needles, Starling, The Pride of Gardner-Edgerton, and a gentleman called Scott Boras elected to agree to terms with the hometown team that drafted him fifth overall.
Scott Boras's close personal friend Jon Heyman broke the news via something called Tweeter mere minutes after 12:00 AM EDT. Rumors swirling around leading up to the signing seemed to have settled in at about $8.5MM, which can be spread out over multiple seasons, as Starling is a multi-sport athlete.
More to come as information trickles out.
Update 11:15 PM CDT: Reports seem to have settled in at $7.5MM spread out over three years in what is likely a minor league deal.
Update 11:50 PM CDT: Estimates of the Royals total signings sit in the $13 - $14MM range, breaking the record the Nationals set last year. Of course, the Pirates appear to have spent more than that this year after signing the second round draft pick, Texas prep outfielder Josh Bell, to a reported $5MM signing bonus, adding to the reported $8MM bonus that first overall pick Gerrit Cole got.
Other bonuses of note (not all signed today): The Royals signed...
- third-round RHP Bryan Brickhouse to a $1.5MM bonus,
- second-round prep catcher Cam Gallagher and 16th-round HS shortstop Jack Lopez to $750K bonuses,
- fourth-round HS RHP Kyle Smith to a $695K deal,
- 29th-round prep RHP Jack Junis to one worth a reported $675K,
- and fifth-round probable outfielder Patrick Leonard to a $600K deal.