Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
4 drafted Hogs reportedly agree to terms
Arkansas infielders Carson Shaddy, left, and Jax Biggers celebrate following an NCAA Tournament win over South Carolina on Saturday, June 9, 2018, in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Four Arkansas players have agreed to terms with the professional teams that drafted them last month, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis.
Middle infielders Carson Shaddy and Jax Biggers, catcher Grant Koch and left-handed pitcher Kacey Murphy are the first four of what are expected to be several Arkansas players who come to terms this week. Other players who were drafted and could sign professionally include pitchers Blaine Knight, Barrett Loseke, Jake Reindl and Evan Lee and outfielder Eric Cole.
Redshirt-sophomore pitcher Isaiah Campbell, drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 24th round, and catcher Zack Plunkett, a 37th-round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks, are expected to return next season.
Koch, drafted in the fifth round by the Pittsburgh Pirates, signed for full slot value ($364,600), according to Callis. His signing also was made official on the Pirates' transactions page.
Koch hit .245 in 66 games – 62 starts – in 2018 and committed only one error in 548 chances.
Biggers, who was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the eighth round, will sign for $166,000, or just under the value assigned to his slot in the draft, according to Callis.
Shaddy, a 10th-round selection of the Washington Nationals, will sign for $10,000, or about $126,000 less than slot value, according to Callis. Murphy, who was picked by the Detroit Tigers with the first pick of the 11th round, will sign for $145,000, according to Callis.
Shaddy and Murphy was selected four picks apart in the draft, but the discrepancy in their signing bonuses can be explained by their age. Shaddy was a fifth-year senior and had no bargaining power with the Nationals, while Murphy had one season of eligibility remaining, which gave him leverage to negotiate a higher bonus with the Tigers.
By signing Shaddy for so much under slot value, the Nationals can use the leftover money to put toward the signing bonus for players drafted higher, such as first-round Mason Denaburg, who remains unsigned.
In 2017, college seniors received about 12 percent of their slot values, while college juniors received more than 96 percent of their slot values, according to research compiled by SBNation’s BeyondTheBoxScore.com. There is no slot value past the first 10 rounds, but 11th rounders with eligibility remaining, like Murphy, typically receive more than $100,000 to sign.
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