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.
Casey Martin, Phillies reportedly agree to $1.3 million bonus
Arkansas' Casey Martin runs home to score on a RBI single from Arkansas' Dominic Fletcher during the first inning of a Southeastern Conference tournament game against Ole Miss, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas shortstop Casey Martin will reportedly sign with the Philadelphia Phillies for nearly double slot value.
Martin’s signing bonus will be $1.3 million, according to Jim Callis of MLB.com. The suggested value for the 87th overall pick in the draft was $689,300.
On June 12, Martin said he and the Phillies had agreed to terms that were “a fair amount for where I was picked and for my value.” The Phillies have yet to announce Martin's signing.
The Phillies drafted Martin in the third round of the MLB Draft on June 11, but he was the organization’s second-highest draft pick. Martin had been projected to be drafted as early as the first round.
The Houston Chronicle reported the Houston Astros strongly considered selecting Martin with their first pick in the draft, 72nd overall, but the sides were unable to agree to financial terms. The Phillies selected him 15 picks later.
“There was just no way we were going to pass up that combination of tools there,” Phillies scouting director Brian Barber told Phillies Nation after the draft. “So whether it was sign-ability for some teams…whether it was their lack of belief in the hit tools, [I’m] not really worried about it. All I know is we were super excited to have the opportunity to select Casey.”
Martin and outfielder Heston Kjerstad were Arkansas’ only draft picks this year. Kjerstad was drafted second overall by the Baltimore Orioles.
Martin and Kjerstad were Freshman All-Americans in 2018. Martin led the Razorbacks with a .345 batting average that season, but his draft stock declined some as a sophomore when he batted .286 with 79 strikeouts, and committed an SEC-leading 23 errors in his first season playing shortstop.
Martin batted .271 with 2 home runs and 10 RBI, and had a .928 fielding percentage in 15 games before his junior season was canceled due to the covid-19 pandemic.
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