The Mariners first-round draft pick, 2nd overall, Dustin Ackley has signed. Details on the signing bonus are as of yet unknown, but for those people who were concerned that he might not sign, rest easy. Ackley is now a member of the Seattle Mariners organization. (Jeff's note: as you've heard, it's a $9.5m Major League contract. My first job after college paid me twelve dollars an hour.)
(Jeff's additional note: so according to Heyman, it's a $7.5m, five-year deal with $2m in escalator clauses, whatever that means. Ackley is still under team control for six years. Don't let the big league deal freak you out.)
(Jeff's final addition: From Jim Callis at BA, "Five-year major league deal, $6 million bonus, $1.5 million in guaranteed salaries, another $2.5 million possible in salaries depending on how quick he reaches the majors, $7.5 million total guaranteed." Let's go with that.)
No word yet on where Ackley will begin for reals, but your best bet is a week or so in Peoria to get back up to baseball speed after a few months off and then probably he joins Poythress in Double-A, but it will be interesting to see how the team handles it as they already have Gillies playing CF in High Desert and Carrera having a good season in CF in Double-A. How they shuffle the centerfielders in the system could tell us something about how they view the time tables for some of our mid-level prospects.
Then again, there is about two weeks left in the minor league season, so perhaps it will tell us nothing.
Another possibility that people are bound to talk about is Ackley at second base. Our system is certainly lacking in middle infield prospects, nearly at all levels and many have claimed that Ackley has the tools to make a successful transition to the keystone position. If the Mariners believe that he could adapt to second base quickly and without impeding his offensive ceiling, that might prove tempting to them, especially with Michael Saunders, Franklin Gutierrez and Ichiro Suzuki manning our outfield and under contract for quite awhile.
In the end, we get to trust them to make a better decision than the rest of us combined could ever hope to, so whatever, yay! Dustin Ackley!