With a couple of hours before the midnight signing deadline, the Detroit Tigers reached contract agreements with three of their most prominent 2009 draft picks.
In past years, negotiations didn't cut it quite as close. Rick Porcello, for instance, signed the night before the deadline in 2007. Last year, Ryan Perry signed more than a month beforehand. (Of course, as a college draftee, he didn't have the same leverage.)
Pitcher Jacob Turner, the team's first-round selection, signed a major league contract worth at least $5.5 million. $4.7 million of that will be given as a signing bonus, which is a record amount for a high school pitcher. (As a comparison, Porcello received a $3.7 million bonus when he signed his deal.)
According to Jason Beck, the contract's total value could reach $7 million, depending on how quickly Turner reaches the majors. If he were to pitch for the Tigers immediately, he could make another $2.15 million. Or he could make $800,000 if he spent the life of his contract in the minors. The deal includes team options for a fifth and sixth year. If Turner is in the majors, those options will be for $1 million per season. If he's in the minors, each year will be $500,000.
John Lowe has the exact contract details laid out at Freep.com.
The Tigers' second-round pick, pitcher Andrew Oliver, signed a contract worth $1.495 million.
And in perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the day, Detroit also agreed to terms with shortstop Daniel Fields, their sixth-round selection. He signed a deal worth $1.6 million. The Tigers had to pony up the dough to keep Fields from going to the University of Michigan (and he would've been a huge recruit for Rich Maloney next year).
Fields, as you likely know by now, is the son of former Tigers player and coach Bruce Fields. According to Beck, he'll report to Lakeland this week, and could see some Gulf Coast League action soon thereafter.