Friday, July 13, 2012

Deadline day for Giolito

Photo by Eric Dearborn
Lucas Giolito has until 5 p.m. EDT to sign with the Nationals.
It's been 40 days since the Nationals selected right-hander Lucas Giolito with the 16th overall pick in this year's draft, and not much about the relationship between the two has changed since then.

As is so often the case with baseball's draft, serious contract negotiations between player and club rarely takes place until the final hours before the league's imposed deadline. That deadline used to fall around Aug. 15, but the sport's latest collective bargaining agreement pushed that day up to mid-July, which has finally arrived.

Thus, by 5 p.m. EDT today, Giolito and the Nationals must come to terms on a contract and submit it to MLB headquarters or else sever their relationship. Giolito would accept his scholarship to UCLA and pitch next spring for the Bruins. The Nats would receive next summer's 17th overall draft pick as compensation.

That's an outcome neither side wants to reach, and the odds favor a deal being struck today before the deadline.

If anything, negotiations should be less complex now than they were in previous years. That's because in addition to the earlier deadline, the new CBA limits how much money each club can spend on signing bonuses for its top 10 draft picks. Teams that surpass that figure by a small amount are subject to a monetary fine. Teams that surpass the figure by a larger amount will lose future draft picks.

The Nationals, according to club sources, are not willing to incur any penalties in exchange for signing Giolito. Which means they can't offer him more than the roughly $2.8 million they have remaining from their original draft contract pool of $4.4 million.

Team officials believe that will be enough money to convince Giolito (who grew up in Southern California to a family full of actors and Hollywood producers) to sign. Mike Rizzo, who has successfully signed all six first-round and compensatory-round picks drafted by the Nationals since he took over as general manager in 2009, rarely drafts a player he doesn't believe he can sign.

Rizzo took a chance on Giolito -- who a year ago was projected to be one of the first players off the draft board but slipped to 16th due to questions about the state of his elbow -- but felt the pitcher's upside was worth the risk and had an inkling he would choose to sign instead of attending college.

Now the two sides must work out the precise terms of his contract by 5 p.m., hoping they can find common ground before MLB's deadline passes.

67 comments:

CN said...

I had a dream on the outcome of Giolito last night. I've also eaten dozens of Nats Dogs this season, and washed them down with some kool-aid that's been going around.

That said, I guess it's now safe to say I sleep, eat, and drink Nats. I really hope he's wearing a curly W hat on his 18th bday tmw.

Theophilus T. S. said...

I'm not sanguine about Giolito signing. The amount available to spend (w/out penalty) has been known for quite a while. Are Giolito's people just playing a game of chicken to see if the Nats will jump over the cliff at 4:58 p.m. EST? I don't see in him the fire to get his career started (Boras notwithstanding) that there was in Harper, Strasburg. I suspect he really believes he is entitled to top-of-the draft money, and might be willing to go through the draft again in order to get it.

MicheleS said...

Come on down, Little Gio!

MicheleS said...

Theo, he is with CAA not Boras, and this is typical for most of these guys, sign on the last day so they don't necessarily have to be crushed with Minor League ball for the summer. Plus he has an arm injury, he definitely needs the rest.

JamesFan said...

Hope they get it done, but it is not the same level of problems that it would have been a couple of years ago, especially since the Nats get a fairly high compensation pick.

Turning down $2-3 million and betting that you can get more in three year is a considerable risk for the young lad.

MicheleS said...

one question for Mark Z. If he doesn't sign, how does that impact the money remaining in our pool? I thought that I read somewhere that the money can be carried over to next year? Is that true?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I'm indifferent on it. Would love to see him sign and its a head scratcher as to why it would wait for last minute. To get that MiLB clock started and the cash in the bank vs. the risk of waiting for "what could be" isn't worth it unless the kid really wants to go to college.

The Nats story is so compelling that he gets to a good team. Never know who would Draft him next time around.

My guess is he signs at 4:55

CN said...

On the topic of prospects, Law just released his top 50 (fwiw), no other Nats (or former Nats, i.e. Peacock, cole) are on his list. For those w/o Insider access, here's his review on Rendon:
44. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals (age 22)
Current level: High Class A (Potomac)
Preseason ranking: 17

Bit of a shot in the dark, as Rendon's entire pro career to date, 11 months after he signed, comprises six plate appearances. He can hit and get on base if he can stay on the field, but he has suffered three major knee injuries in four years, not to mention the nagging shoulder issue that affected him last spring at Rice.

NatsLady said...

Just opened a package delivered with a Nats umbrella (great, been waiting a LONG time for that item to surface), a Nats sweater (might get cool in October), and a Nats lunch cooler... Too much???? Nope!!! Got more earrings on the way...

Just gotta bear down tonight and get them Fish. I hate the Marlins hate the Marlins hate the Marlins. Boys should be rested and off that Rocky Mountain Low.

BTW, I have a feeling that the altitude messes with pitchers as much as it helps hitters... Now, the ASG showed that Gio's got his curve back--and hopefully EJax is over his whatever.

I know there are votes for Dempster. What about this guy? Any thoughts? I don't know much about him, but the rumor mill says he's "available."

Jason Vargas

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/07/08/vargas-cg-leads-lead-mariners-over/

NatsLady said...

Oh, and how come the Marlins didn't have to play the Yankees? Seems odd to me, but they got plenty beaten up by their "natural" rivals, the Rays...

common-opponents

http://www.teamrankings.com/mlb/matchup/nationals-marlins-2012-07-13/common-opponents

NatsLady said...

P.S. Love this graphic!

NL East

http://www.washingtonpost.com/first-and-foremost/2012/07/12/gJQAtU9qgW_graphic.html

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...


Just gotta bear down tonight and get them Fish.


OK, I read that as "Just got a beer down..." and thought, wow, she's starting early. That's dedication!

JD said...

NatsLady,

And the Mets didn't have to play Boston. Since there is an uneven number of teams in each division it's not a completely symmetrical inter league schedule. Next year when the Astros move over there will be 5 teams in each division so you play a complete division + 3 games against a natural rival.

NatsLady said...

No beer. Just laundry, pay bills, etc., work for a few hours, and THEN I'm ready to ENJOY some filleted Fish.

(Also rooting for 4-5 good innings from CMW, if he can work it out there is room for him in September-October, the more the merrier!)

hiramhover said...

MicheleS

I hadn't heard the part about the money carrying over--I think the way it works is this:

A team's pool each year is the sum of the assigned slot values for the picks it has in the first 10 rounds. In next year's draft, the Nats would get pick #17 as compensation for not signing #16 this year. So their pool next year would include the slot value for pick #17, in addition to whatever other picks they have in the first 10 rounds.

JD said...

Jason Vargas is not much of an upgrade. The pool of available pitchers IMO which are worth discussing:

1)Hammels - will resign with Philly or go to Texas or LA Dodgers

2)Greinke - Will go to Atlanta or LA Dodgers.

3)Garza - Yankees

4)Dempster - Cardinals?

5)Millwood - Baltimore?

6)Mc.Carthy - Stay with Oakland?

7) Wandy - Nationals?

I am just makingthis stuff up.

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

As far I understand the new rules (and that's not saying much), if he goes to a four-year college, like UCLA, he can't be drafted again next year, and I think not 2014, either, until his junior year. If, like Harper, he were to go to a junior college, then he would be eligible in 2013. So if he goes to college, he really does go, most likely--it's not just a negotiating leverage for this round. Seems like an awfully big risk to take, that he won't get hurt or fall back at all, for who-knows-what in a few years. Maybe the slot then will be less, maybe he gets drafted by KC or Pittsburgh and doesn't want to go there. Besides which, by that time he'd be two years closer to free agency, which is where the real money comes in if he's as good as he must think he is. But why would you NOT want to play on the Nats four or five years from now?

Doc said...

Either Giolito wants to play college ball for a few years or he doesn't.

The CBA and amount of money will not change from year to year. He could get an increased offer if a team/any team offered him all the money that they had available for draft signs, but that's not going to happen.

The days of big draft bucks appear to be over.

JD said...

I am 99% certain that Giolito signs. The game of chicken is about whether the Nats are willing to absorb the small financial penalty for going over the number or not. They won't forfeit future picks. I am not sure what the exact figures are (for the penalties) but I bet that in the end the Nats will absorb the monetary penalty because this guy projects as a top of the rotation pitcher who they stole in the middle of the 1st round due to a minor injury.

JD said...

Doc,

Don't be so sure. The next time a Strasburg or Harper comes along and an agent like Boras feels he's wort 2 or 3 times the slotted amount you will see quite the battle where the entire system is challenged possibly in the courts.

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

One other point on slot money: If they don't sign a given player, that money does not go back into the general pool. If they sign someone for under the slot, the difference does go into the pot, but only if they sign.

NatsLady said...

JD, right. When a once-in-a-generation player comes along a team will forfeit a draft pick. And once they decide to forfeit, is there any limit on the $$ they can offer?

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

The game of chicken is about whether the Nats are willing to absorb the small financial penalty for going over the number or not. They won't forfeit future picks. I am not sure what the exact figures are (for the penalties) but I bet that in the end the Nats will absorb the monetary penalty because this guy projects as a top of the rotation pitcher who they stole in the middle of the 1st round due to a minor injury.

They have said they won't forfeit draft picks, and I believe them, but the amount they can offer is then much reduced--nowhere near the $5MM Giolito is said to be asking for. If they sell him on signing, it won't be just for the money. FWIW, they also said they won't go into the penalty area, either, so he's looking at something like $3.25MM, if I'm remembering the numbers correctly.

NatsLady said...

Nats won't forfeit a pick because Giolito (4 years away and possible TJ or other surgery) isn't worth it. If he doesn't sign, next year they can draft a college senior with less leverage and still be ahead of the game if that guy gets to the majors in two years. Maybe "that guy" won't have the upside of Giolito, so I'm still hoping for Giolito to sign, but it's no disaster if he doesn't.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Has any team, so far, gone over its allotted "pot?" Anyone willing to pay the luxury tax?

JD said...

The new system is designed to stifle the free market opportunity for entry level players but what it also does is limit smart teams like the Nats from getting better players because they are willing to pay more than the proposed slot.

Ultimately this will be challenged.

Tcostant said...

Best part of the new CBA for the draft, is nor pool allowances. For me it's:

1 - No Major League contracts
2 - The short deadline (no more will signed guys be shut down because the minor league season is over)

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

I agree he isn't worth losing next year's, and maybe 2014's as well, first-round pick, for those and other reasons, but if he is the Jeezuz-level talent they think he might be, then a college senior who's closer, but tops out as a back-end starter, is not much of an alternative. There will, however, be once-in-a-lifetime talents available every year, pretty much, and Rizzo has to trust his scouts to find them at pick 17. It can be done. Someone does it every year.

hiramhover said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hiramhover said...

I think the thing to remember is that this is new territory for everyone--players, agents, teams--and so there's no baseline or precedent for what's "normal" to expect.

So I'm not sure where folks are getting their certainty about what will or won't happen, esp. when we're talking and the decision making process of an 18yo.

NatsLady said...

So Giolito is risking injury, draft by a bad organization, etc., for $2MM and two years of college? Doesn't seem worth it to me, especially since he is from an affluent family. He needs to look at guys like Mooneyham, exhibit A on why that's not a great plan. I say he signs.

sjm308 said...

Hoping they sign him and I am always puzzled by athletes turning down so much money. I guess having parents that have had success makes this less of a gamble for him but what then becomes a gamble is the next team that drafts him just might be at the bottom of the barrel. This is a chance to make great money and start with a team that is going to be relevant for years to come. Can't figure out why he would reject us unless he truly is in love with UCLA.

Go Nats!!

NatsLady said...

No certainty, HH, none at all. We don't even know how much input the 18 yo has in the decision-making process--he has parents, advisors, coaches, etc. We are just passing the time here, passing the time.

jeffwx said...

and to be on a team with Stras, Big Gio and Zimmnn...could be a dream

NatsLady said...

Marlins reportedly signed their pick (a college senior) for $200K under slot.

marlins-sign-no-9-pick-andrew-heaney-for-2-6-million

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/13/marlins-sign-no-9-pick-andrew-heaney-for-2-6-million/

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

By the time he would get up here, in four or five years if all goes well (IF!), he'd be replacing one of those guys, I think. Which also works for the sales pitch.

Steady Eddie said...

The reason I think he'll sign is that it would be almost completely idiotic from long-term financial and career satisfaction standpoints not to.

This is a guy who if reasonably successful in MLB (and what budding star banks on not being at least minimally successful?) stands to make at least tens of millions of dollars over his career.

Is he really going to be advised (and his parents are probably equally experienced in weighing these probabilities and equities) to risk those future earnings on the danger of a an injury over three years of college -- which is much greater than the injury risk in an organization like the Nats that demonstrably knows how to manage and nurture its pitching talent -- for a million or two dollars up front? Anyone who would do that has the most short-term, foolish perspective, not to mention no faith in their long-term ability.

And as Theo and others have pointed out, does he really want that up-front difference at the certain cost (because only losing teams will pick from a slot where they can offer in the $5 million range) of being with a miserable team from age 21 to 27 or so?

If he doesn't sign based on that calculus, we're OK -- do we really want someone with judgment that bad?

So I think he'll sign, and we'll probably pay him the $3+ million max for a financial penalty without losing a draft pick.

Water23 said...

Two things -

Mark what brings you to this conclusion?

"That's an outcome neither side wants to reach, and the odds favor a deal being struck today before the deadline."

Nothing, you or others have said mentions that Lucas wants to be a Nat.

Second, if Lucas does not sign then it seems to give the Nats more motivation to sign a big time FA this fall. Signing Hamels or other and having to sacrifice the 30th pick overall knowing you have the 17th makes sense when they are seeking back to back championships.

Unknown said...

Farid @ Idaho:

Just two or three years ago, we Nat-heads paid little attention to the major league club, focusing instead on the talent in the minor leagues. We lived and died over every signing and regularly checked the box scores of all the minor league teams, looking for a glimmer of hope for the future.

Today, I much don't care whether Giolito signs or not. Unless he's a Strasburg reincarnate, I'm not sure we'll even find a place for him in the rotation for at least a few years. I trust Rizzo; if he doesn't sign it's because that was best for the team.

I like to go to sportspyder.com and follow the Nationals because it has every story along with every tweet about the team.

I was checking the Phillies' section a few weeks ago and it's Nationals redux from 2009. While there is some mention of the big club, tweets and stories focus on Joe Blow who went 2-3 with a homer at Double-A and some other guy tearing up the Rookie League.

It's nice--knock on wood--to finally be on the top.

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

Nothing you or others have said mentions that Lucas wants to be a Nat.

Wants, specifically, to be a National? Maybe not. But he is plainly interested in being a baseball player, and unless he's locked into playing for the Dodgers or someone else, a choice he does not have, then he's left with a good team that's going places, and has proved itself capable of managing a young star's well-being, vs. a crapshoot of who might draft him in three years. So there's that. Which is nice.

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

I'm not sure we'll even find a place for him in the rotation for at least a few years.

Fortunately, he's 17 years old, so that's not a problem.

NatsLady said...

Nice site, unknown. Lines all the stories up for easy access. Thanks.

SonnyG10 said...

So he has a ++ fastball and a ++ changeup. Does he have a good curve ball or slider? If he's a starter, he needs at least one more pitch. Anyway, hope he signs.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Herman reporting Heaney deal with Marlins will get done. The deal was said to be dead yesterday.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Sorry Heyman

NatsLady said...

FYI, pool, signings, spending (by team).

Baseball America

http://ht.ly/cdO6B

NatsLady said...

Here is what the Nats have done so far.

Nationals draft signings and money spent

http://ht.ly/cdO6B

NatsLady said...

You can click on the calculator button (on the site I gave above) and see that the Nats can offer a little over $3million to Giolito without forfeiting the draft pick.

NatsLady said...

Theo, yes. A few teams. The Blue Jays have gone over by $441K. They had FIVE first round picks, so maybe that's why.

Blue Jays draft signings

http://ht.ly/cdO6B

Water23 said...

Firm,

It just seemed his earlier actions all leaned towards him being a little reticent to sign. His initial interview, constantly mentioning his interest in UCLS and his lack of signing already. Now, those may be negotiating tactics but the max number he could be offered has been set for a little while now. Outside of the obligatory visit to the park Lucas has shown any interest in signing. So, I wondered where Mark came up with his opinion.

UnkyD said...

Water... It's just logical. I don't see any compelling reason for him NOT to sign...

SonnyG10 said...

We'll know in about 3 1/2 hours.

realdealnats said...

Sonny--
I read in a link that someone posted here that Giolito has a curve that Rizzo likes a lot.

Also, I think he will sign too. No real reason not to unless he doesn't want to play ball, and that's hard to imagine considering he's spent a lot of energy developing 2-3 quality pitches and probably talked to Rizzo before getting drafted.

Finally, one reason it would suck for the Nats if he did not sign, is that Rizzo probably could have drafted higher upside guys who would have cost more. But that's negative thinking that will get you nowhere...

natsfan1a said...

Speak for yourself, Unknown. ;-) This Nat-head has paid a lot of (my husband might say too much) attention to the major league club from the start, in good times and in bad. Yeah, sometimes it really [stunk] but I hung in there and followed their fortunes day by day, season by season. Enduring those tough times makes their current situation that much sweeter for me. That said, I'll note that I was more invested in draft picks back in the day, because the future seemed so much brighter than the present.

Thanks for the site recommendation. Looks interesting.

Unknown said...

Just two or three years ago, we Nat-heads paid little attention to the major league club, focusing instead on the talent in the minor leagues. We lived and died over every signing and regularly checked the box scores of all the minor league teams, looking for a glimmer of hope for the future.

Today, I much don't care whether Giolito signs or not. Unless he's a Strasburg reincarnate, I'm not sure we'll even find a place for him in the rotation for at least a few years. I trust Rizzo; if he doesn't sign it's because that was best for the team.

I like to go to sportspyder.com and follow the Nationals because it has every story along with every tweet about the team.

I was checking the Phillies' section a few weeks ago and it's Nationals redux from 2009. While there is some mention of the big club, tweets and stories focus on Joe Blow who went 2-3 with a homer at Double-A and some other guy tearing up the Rookie League.

It's nice--knock on wood--to finally be on the top.
July 13, 2012 11:36 AM

A DC Wonk said...

(Off topic, just want to say thanks)

=========
Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

We discussed that at length over the winter, until someone was actually forced to go look up the rule. It's one inning per game scheduled, not games actually played, i.e., 162. So, no.

Thanks! I (obviously) missed those discussions. Thanks for setting me straight.

SonnyG10 said...

realdealnats said...
Sonny--
I read in a link that someone posted here that Giolito has a curve that Rizzo likes a lot.


Thanks, I hadn't heard that.

Tcostant said...

The Rays also just signed their top pick.

That curve comment, I think can me found in the Bleacher Report link thas was posted earlier.

Theophilus T. S. said...

He's one of only 4-5 holdouts. Others have seen the writing on the wall and signed. He can chill a couple of years and babe out at UCLA. (Wish I'd done that.) Mummy and Daddy will buy him a nice car. (Mine wouldn't have.) It's down to a blinking contest. Maybe Rizzo goes for a penalty -- only costs Nats a half mil. Maybe CAA is under orders to make them swallow a draft pick. (CAA is a theatrical as well as sports agency, so who knows who's really advising Mumsy and Pops.) I haven't been impressed with what I've seen of the advice he's been getting so far -- the idea that this ligament or whatever is going to heal by itself is bupkis. I'm going to bet neither side blinks, no deal gets done.

UnkyD said...

95 minnits.... I say he signs.... Just can't see an upside for him, the other way...

natsfan1a said...

I'm going to say that we'll know whether or not he signed in about 90 minutes. Now that I'm out on this limb, where'd I put my saw? ;-)

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Tic tock Luke lock

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

2 more first rounders already signed today. Why do the nats always get one that is the last minute. there were lots out there that signed in no itme. I bet the Pirates end up with the only one not to sign. That is only because Appell isn't looking at the Pirates future.

TimDz said...

Anything?

NatsJim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
UnkyD said...

Done.

natsfan1a said...

Don't want to blow my own horn too much, but I *did* predict this outcome. Yes! :-)

natsfan1a said...

I'm going to say that we'll know whether or not he signed in about 90 minutes. Now that I'm out on this limb, where'd I put my saw? ;-)
July 13, 2012 3:31 PM

natsfan1a said...

(btw, that's a joke, sons.)

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