Slowly but surely, first round draft picks are signing. The most recent is Jared Mitchell, the 23rd overall pick, for a $1.2 million bonus. Still no word on either of the M's first round choices, Dustin Ackley and Nick Franklin.
However, there is no reason a Franklin deal cannot happen soon. He was the 27th pick overall, and the 26th and 28th picks have already signed, for $1.2 million and $1.13 million, respectively. On top of that, the 25th pick, high school outfielder Mike Trout, has already signed for $1.215 million. High school shortstop Jiovanni Mier, the 21st overall pick, has already agreed to a $1.358 million bonus.
Franklin was the second high school shortstop taken behind Mier. There is no way he can justify asking for more than Jiovanni. Looking at the guys picked around Franklin, the Mariners cannot justify anything much lower than $1.15 million. So, the two sides should already be about $200,000 apart at most. The Mariners did go at least $200,000 over slot to sign their supplemental first round pick, Steven Baron (his bonus is bigger than Brett Jackson's, the 31st overall pick). Maybe that drove Franklin's asking price up a bit.
Still, the M's face some tough negotiations with Ackley and his agent, the dreaded Scott Boras. It would be good for them to sign Nick Franklin soon, so that they can focus on their top pick. With all the selections around Nick already inked, there is no reason he and the M's can't come to a deal soon. He's not a Rick Porcello, who fell because of signability issues a couple years ago. I'm expecting Nick to sign for a bonus a shade under $1.2 million, hopefully sooner rather than later.