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Rick Porcello Gets His Tiger Stripes

I think I'm the last guy in the Tigers blogosphere to post this news (Am I the only one who went to sleep early last night?), but if you were looking at your calendar and worrying over whether or not the Tigers would sign this year's first-round draft pick, you can sit back and relax.

Last night, the team reached an agreement with Rick Porcello, coming to terms on a four-year deal worth approximately $7.7 million. $3.7 million will be given as a signing bonus, while the remaining $4 million will be paid over the life of the contract. It's the largest deal ever given to a high school player (surpassing the $7 million contract Josh Beckett received in 1999), and the fourth-largest agreement ever reached between a team and its draft pick.

Perhaps most importantly, as Take 75 North explains, this is a major-league contract, which means Porcello has to be a part of the Tigers' 40-man roster and must be on the major league active roster by his third year.

To give you an idea of what the Tigers are getting for their money, Porcello has been clocked as high as 96 m.p.h., throwing both a two-seam and four-seam fastball. He also has a curveball (70 m.p.h.) and slider (80 m.p.h.) in his repertoire, along with a developing change-up.

Over at MLB, they have to be stomping up and down, pouting "Slot! Slot! Slot!" as the commissioner's office recommended contract for the 27th pick - the slot where Porcello was selected - was $1.17 million. The signing bonus alone far exceeds that amount.

But once again, Dave Dombrowski and his team did what was necessary to sign their top draft picks and continue to bolster the talent level in the organization. I don't know if there was ever really any doubt or fear that this would get done, given the Tigers' recent history of reaching agreements with their #1 picks and their good working relationship with Scott Boras. But it's certainly reassuring to see an agreement reached a day before the deadline.

UPDATE: As for Detroit's remaining unsigned draft picks, it appears that the team is close to an agreement with fifth-round pick Casey Crosby. However, sixth-round pick Cale Iorg is apparently closer to attending Arizona State, even though the Tigers might be offering him more signing bonus money than Crosby. (via The Cutoff Man)

UPDATE #2: According to the Detroit News and the AP, Porcello's contract is reportedly worth $7.28 million, not $7.7 million. Lynn Henning is also reporting that Casey Crosby has signed an $800,000 deal with the Tigers.