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Here’s my column today on the significance of the second half for the Mariners, and who should be on the “hot seat.”
UPDATE 3 p.m.: The signing deadline has come and gone, and the Mariners did not sign eighth-round pick Nick Halamandaris. He will instead attend Cal-Berkeley. I know the Mariners were high on his power potential, but they just couldn’t reach agreement on terms.
One thing to watch today is the 2 p.m. deadline (Seattle time) for teams to sign their 2012 draft picks. The Mariners have just two unsigned players through the first 33 rounds. One is 30th rounder Mike Yastrzemski, Carl’s grandson, who was expected all along to return to Vanderbilt for his senior season. The other is eighth-rounder Nick Halamandaris , and the Mariners would really like to get him signed.
Halamandaris is a 6-foot-1, 220-pound, left-handed first baseman, a high-schooler from Carmel, Calif., who has committed to Cal Berkeley (which shows he’s smart, too). The bonus amount slotted for him is $139,800, but the Mariners may have some wiggle room to go over slot without risking losing a draft pick.
Baseball America has them at $36,600 over budget. Their bonus pool for the first 10 rounds, as dictated by MLB via the collective bargaining agremeent, is $8,223,400, and they’ve already spent $8,120,200. Here, as explained by Perfect Game, are the penalties for going over your bonus pool:
As for the penalties for exceeding the Signing Bonus Pool, teams that overspend:
–by up to five percent, will be subject to a tax of 75 percent of the pool overage;
–by 5 to 10 percent, will be subject to a tax of 75 percent of the pool overage and the loss of a first-round pick in the next succeeding draft;
–by 10 to 15 percent, will be subject to a tax of 100 percent of the pool overage and the loss of first-round and second-round picks in the next succeeding draft;
–by 15 percent or more, will be subject to a tax of 100 percent of the pool overage and the loss of first-round picks in the next two succeeding drafts.
I’m going to try to do some math here, which could be dangerous. I’m also going to assume the Mariners won’t risk the loss of a future draft pick, but may be willing to pay a financial penalty by going over slot by up to 5 percent. Five percent of $8,223,400 is $411,170. Subtract the $36,600 they are over budget for the previously signed players, and that would seem to leave them $374,570 dollars, above and beyond the $139,800 he’s slotted, to entice Halamandaris — a total of $514,370. But at the tax rate of 75 percent, to go up to the 5 percent limit would cost an additional $308,377.50 in penalties.
So, really, it would cost them over $800,000, including penalties, to lock up Halamandaris if they go to the maximum allowed overage without losing a draft pick. Here is what the Mariners spent on the picks above him, according to Baseball America:
1, Mike Zunino, catcher, $4 million
2, Joe DeCarlo, 3B, $1.3 million
3, Edwin Diaz, RHP, $300,000
3 supplemental, Tyler Pike, LHP, $850,000
4, Patrick Kivlehan, 3B, $300,000
5, Chris Taylor, SS, $500,000
6, Timmy Lopes, 2B, $550,000
7, Taylor Ard, 1B, $149,700
It should be interesting. And remember, I was an English major at Cal. Please let me know if I mis-calculated.