Hours after the Padres drafted Florida high school pitcher Walker Weickel with the No. 55 pick, general manager Josh Byrnes and draft overseer Chad MacDonald described the 6-foot-6 righty as a first-round talent. The Padres in fact paid Weickel like a first-round talent. As reported yesterday by Baseball America's Jim Callis, Weickel signed with the Padres for $2 million, which is more than double the $925,900 assigned value for the No. 55 slot and equals MLB's assigned value of the No. 17 pick. Weickel had a scholarship to the University of Miami.
Weickel may have benefited financially from the Padres' decision to draft Southern California high school pitcher Max Fried with the No. 7 pick. As I wrote on the first night of the draft, the Padres seemed certain that they would sign Fried, citing their chats with the lefty and his father, who had visited with Byrnes and other Padres officials at Petco Park. Byrnes didn't say whether the Padres were equally confident that they could sign Mark Appel, the Scott Boras-advised pitcher from Stanford who also was available at No. 7. Byrnes implied that the selection of Fried could help the club land Weickel. Fried signed for $3 million, which was MLB's assigned value for the No. 7 pick. Appel, taken eighth by the Pirates, has until July 13 to reach terms. Don't construe the above as meaning the Padres viewed Fried as a "signability" pick. They had him fifth on their scouting board, just one spot behind Appel, who was projected by media draftniks to go No. 1.
Byrnes said this draft, more so than others in recent years, would test clubs' ability to manage their money. The new CBA prescribed bonuses for every pick in the first 10 rounds and set up daunting penalties for exceeding a bonus pool by up to five percent. The signing of Weickel left the Padres $90,100 under their bonus pool allotment of $9.903,100.