In the end, the posturing by Scott Boras ended up being just that as his clients mostly ended up signed and only Yonder Alonso and Brian Matusz got big league deals. Three first rounds did not sign and all of them are significant.
JOSH FIELDS, #20, MARINERS
Yep, no official signing. However, this isn't what you might think at first. Fields is a college senior which means the August 15 deadline never applied to him in the first place. Instead, the Mariners own his rights all the way until June 1st, 2009.
The underground rumblings have been saying for some time that this deal has been all but sewn for around $2MM (relative slot: $1.3MM) and that the Mariners were just holding off on announcing it in order not to incur the wrath of Selig for being the first to wreck the slot. Until you hear a good source say otherwise, assume this will get announced at some point this year and possibly soon as now there's no reason to hold off.
GERRIT COLE, #28, YANKEES
It's always nice to see the Yankees miss out on a good prospect. The Yankees will acquire the #30 overall pick in the 2009 draft as compensation.
But potentially much bigger than these
AARON CROW, #9, NATIONALS
The Nationals and Crow could not agree to a contract with the reported difference only being about $500,000 in bonus money. Why should we care? Well this means the Nationals get an additional draft pick at what I believe will be #10 for 2009. This means the Nationals will have both a top-3 and another top-10 pick.
We see from this year's draft that the #10 pick is going to be costing around the $3-4MM mark in bonus to sign and that top-3 picks are typically going to check in around $6MM. Do the Nationals, who just let Crow walk away over $500-750K, splurge $10MM+ next summer on just those two picks? Furthermore, the Nationals will be under pressure to take a pick they know they'll sign at #10 because if they fail again they get no compensation.
All of this means that the Nationals might be a lot more cost-conscious with their first pick, the potential first overall. If the Mariners are able to hang on and snag the second overall, they just got more likely to be able to have their choice of the top talent after Washington pulls a Royals and tabs a first overall pick for signability/cost reasons.