Dodgers sign 2014 first-round pick Grant Holmes

Grant Holmes screencap

It was just a matter of time before it happened, but the Dodgers on Tuesday officially inked 2014 first-round draft pick Grant Holmes.

Jim Callis of tweeted and said Holmes’ bonus is worth $2.5 million. At most, it’s a deal worth almost $519,500 more than the slot amount for the No. 22 pick. That amount would have made him the 14th or 15th pick, which was supposed to be his floor. Instead, he fell to the Dodgers at 22 and was paid as a Top 15 guy. Not a bad deal all around.

Holmes is already in Arizona after visiting Dodger Stadium last night. While there’s no official word, it’s pretty clear he’ll begin his professional career in the Arizona Rookie League. That’s exactly where the 18-year-old should be.

Here’s what I wrote about him when the Dodgers selected him 13 days ago.

“Holmes has a legitimate mid-90s fastball that touched 100 MPH in the past. It even hit the mid-90s late in outings and has plus-life. It definitely grades out as a plus-pitch down the road.

He has one of, if not the best, high school curveball in the draft. It’s a true hammer that sits in the low-80s. It can easily be mistaken for a slider. It’ll be a big swing-and-miss pitch for him going forward.

Holmes also has a changeup that has flashed average in the past. That will need to be refined for him to remain in the rotation, but the 18-year-old has plenty of time to work on that.

His delivery needs a little work, as he finishes a more upright than I’d like to see. But everything else really reminds me of a more athletic Chad Billingsley. He doesn’t have the bigger lower-half that Billingsley does, but he has a similar delivery and arsenal (stay away from the cutter!). Holmes is also in the mold of former Dodger first-rounders Chris WithrowEthan Martin and, to a (much) lesser extent, Lee.”

Up to this point, the Dodgers had saved $292,100 on their rounds 2-10 signings. With the reportedly Holmes signing for $2.5 million, they’re officially over budget — but they’re not in an trouble regarding next year’s draft.


Dodgers 2014 MLB Draft Picks

Dodgers select RHP Grant Holmes at No. 22 in the 2014 MLB Draft
Dodgers select OF Alex Verdugo in the 2nd round of the 2014 MLB Draft
Dodgers take John Richy, Jeff Brigham, Jared Walker in rounds 3-5 of 2014 MLB Draft
Dodgers take Stewart, Oaks, Redman, Campbell, Hering in rounds 6-10 of 2014 MLB Draft
Dodgers picks Vanegas, Freeman, Allen highlight rounds 11-25 of the 2014 MLB Draft
Dodgers picks Sylvester, Bain, Moore highlight rounds 26-40 of the 2014 MLB Draft

Dodgers sign 10 picks from 2014 draft, including Verdugo, Richy, Walker, De Jong, Kowalczyk
Dodgers sign 2014 draft picks Jeff Brigham (4th) & Trevor Oaks (7th)
Dodgers sign 10 more 2014 draft picks, including Taylor, Freeman, Wolfe, Vela, Allen


Draft Bonus Pool Reminder

All money paid to picks in the first 10 rounds count toward the bonus pool of $4,947,700. Players selected from rounds 11-40 can be paid up to $100,000 without affecting the bonus pool, but whatever amount given over $100,000 counts against the bonus pool.

So what’s the penalty for going over?

Up to 4.999 percent over ($5,195,084) the team pays a 75 percent tax on the amount over. Up to 9.999 percent over ($5,442,469) the team pays the 75 percent tax on the amount over and loses next year’s first-round pick. Up to 14.999 percent over ($5,689,854) the team pays a 100 percent tax on the amount over and loses next year’s first-round and second-round picks. From 15 percent ($5,689,855) and up the team pays the 100 percent tax on the amount over and loses the first-round pick for the next two years.

So basically the Dodgers can use up to $5,195,084 on this year’s bonus pool draft picks without losing anything significant aside from money.


Round Player Slot Bonus Difference
1 Grant Holmes $1,980,500 $2,500,000 +$519,500
2 Alex Verdugo $914,600 $914,600 $0
3 John Richy $534,400 $534,400 $0
4 Jeff Brigham $396,300 $396,300 $0
5 Jared Walker $296,700 $296,700 $0
6 Brock Stewart $222,200 $190,000 -$30,200
7 Trevor Oaks $166,600 $161,600 -$5,000
8 Hunter Redman $154,500 Not Signed N/A
9 Matt Campbell $144,300 $20,000 -$124,300
10 Colin Hering $137,600 $5,000 -$132,600
Total 2014 Draft $4,947,700 $5,018,600 +$225,400

As of this moment, the Dodgers are $176,484 under budget, if you factor in the 5 percent. That means they can sign Hunter Redman, or any guy drafted in rounds 11-40, with that much money over slot. So, Redman could conceivably sign for $330,984, but that would mean only $100,000 bonuses for the remaining unsigned draftees. But that won’t happen, as Redman won’t command that type of bonus.

Eleventh-rounder A.J. Vanegas might command a bonus worth more than $100,000, and the Dodgers have some high school guys they drafted who they could try to sign, so the more money they can save on Redman, the better.


It’s great to have Holmes officially in the fold. Some say he could move fast through the system (and he could), but I’m betting they take it a little slow with him. Starting in Arizona is a good first step, and I could see him skipping Ogden and going to Great Lakes, which wouldn’t be the worst move.


In more minor signing news, the team inked 27th round pick Harlan Richter.

Round Player Slot Bonus Difference
11 A.J. Vanegas $100,000 Limit Not Signed N/A
12 Kameron Uter $100,000 Limit Not Signed N/A
13 Ryan Taylor $100,000 Limit Signed Unknown
14 Kelvin Ramos $100,000 Limit Signed Unknown
15 Joe Broussard $100,000 Limit Signed Unknown
16 Devan Ahart $100,000 Limit Signed Unknown
17 Tyler Wampler $100,000 Limit Signed Unknown
18 Clint Freeman $100,000 Limit Signed Unknown
19 Gary Cornish $100,000 Limit Not Signed N/A
20 Brian Wolfe $100,000 Limit Signed Unknown
21 Ivan Vela $100,000 Limit Signed Unknown
22 Bubby Rossman $100,000 Limit Signed Unknown
23 Andrew Godbold $100,000 Limit Not Signed N/A
24 Jimmy Allen $100,000 Limit Signed Unknown
25 Matt Jones $100,000 Limit Not Signed N/A
26 Deion Ulmer $100,000 Limit Signed Unknown
27 Harlan Richter $100,000 Limit Signed Unknown
28 Bill Bereszniewicz $100,000 Limit Not Signed N/A
29 Christian Trent $100,000 Limit Not Signed N/A
30 Brant Whiting $100,000 Limit Not Signed N/A
31 Derrick Sylvester $100,000 Limit Signed Unknown
32 Scott De Jong $100,000 Limit Signed Unknown
33 Carson Baranik $100,000 Limit Not Signed N/A
34 Hunter Bross $100,000 Limit Not Signed N/A
35 Tanner Chauncey $100,000 Limit Not Signed N/A
36 Kyle Kocher $100,000 Limit Not Signed N/A
37 Karch Kowalczyk $100,000 Limit Signed Unknown
38 Caleb Ferguson $100,000 Limit Not Signed N/A
39 Jeff Bain $100,000 Limit Not Signed N/A
40 Sam Moore $100,000 Limit Not Signed N/A
Total 2014 Draft 0 Over Limit Unknown Unknown

About Dustin Nosler

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Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.