Dodgers @ Nationals July 17, 2015: Buehler TJ, Funkhouser unsigned

Happy second half! OK, I’m tired of starting posts that way. Tonight is the official-unofficial start of the second half, and the Dodgers (51-39) are in Washington to take on the Nationals (48-39).

4:10 p.m.
Washington D.C.
Bolsinger (R)
Zimmermann (R)

Mike Bolsinger is getting the start, with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke to follow. That’s fun. OK, onto the draft stuff.

It was a pretty active and interesting draft signing deadline day for the Dodgers. Let’s get the easy signing out of the way first.

Not sure why it took so long, but I’m guessing it had something to do with the unsigned 1st-rounders. So, the Dodgers saved $9,800 on Edwin Rios‘ signing. That’ll work. Now, onto the “fun” stuff.

This was actually the first news of the day:

This had been rumored for quite some time. I thought the Dodgers would find a way to get it done, but I’m guessing opposition to signing came from Kyle Funkhouser‘s camp, as the Dodgers offered him about $2 million. While Funkhouser was a Top 10-15 prospect entering draft season, a slow finish to his year knocked him down the draft board. He was really good value for the Dodgers at No. 35, but I was never particularly high on the pick.

I’m priceless.

Because Funkhouser didn’t sign, the Dodgers lost his $1,756,100 toward their bonus pool. It went from $7,781,700 to $6,025,600. Also because of this, the Dodgers do in fact get the No. 36 pick in next year’s draft. It was confirmed by Jim Callis on Twitter, along with many others afterward. This definitely helps, but it still hurts to not sign a 1st-rounder.

It’s really hard to see Funkhouser doing a lot better next year. The draft class is considerably deeper, he’s going to be a senior and he’ll have to be flat-out dominant to move into the Top 10 range.

Best of luck to Funkhouser. I’m not sure why you’d risk a guaranteed $2 million for a (not-great) chance at $6 million, but that’s just me.

If you thought that was bad, it gets a little worse.

Good! Interesting it’s less than slot, but it’s good the Dodgers are going to sign Walker Buehler.

Oh, OK. Well, his last start of the College World Series wasn’t great, but hopefully it isn’t anything too serious.

That escalated quickly.

It seems a little hypocritical that a guy near the top of my draft board already had Tommy John surgery (Michael Matuella), but man, this is a blow. They really should have just popped Matuella instead, but hindsight is always 20/20. Buehler had a great final season at Vanderbilt University and a great first outing of the CWS. I’m guessing the front office/scouting department didn’t know about this injury until after that start. Otherwise, I doubt they would have selected him at No. 24.

This doesn’t look good. At all. The Dodgers’ 1st-round pick needs TJ and they didn’t sign their supplemental 1st-rounder. Andrew Friedman’s draft history (mind you, not all on him) was less than stellar when picking outside the Top 10. This is his first draft with the Dodgers, and things didn’t go according to plan (or maybe they did — you never know with these nerds).

Round Player Slot Bonus Savings
1 Walker Buehler $2,094,400 $1,780,000 $314,400
1s Kyle Funkhouser $1,756,100 unsigned unsigned
2 Mitchell Hansen $921,100 $997,500 ($76,400)
2c Josh Sborz $827,000 $722,500 $104,500
3 Philip Pfeifer $564,700 $222,500 $342,200
4 Willie Calhoun $418,800 $347,500 $71,300
5 Brendon Davis $313,600 $918,600 ($605,000)
6 Edwin Rios $234,800 $225,000 $9,800
7 Andrew Sopko $178,600 $147,500 $31,100
8 Tommy Bergjans $167,00 $17,500 $149,500
9 Kevin Brown $155,900 $2,500 $153,400
10 Logan Landon $149,700 $2,500 $147,200
11 Imani Abdullah $100,000 $647,500 ($547,500)
30 Logan Crouse $100,000 ? ?
Total $6,025,600 $5,931,100 $94,500

Since the Dodgers saved $314,400 on the signing, some of which was used to land 30th-rounder Logan Crouse. Here’s what I wrote about him in my draft recap.

“Crouse was No. 199 on FanGraphs’ Top 202 board, but the prep right-hander might not ever make it to Los Angeles. He’s a large human being at 6’6, 225 pounds with an 88-92 MPH fastball. He also has a low-80s slider and a developing changeup. Seeing as he’s a 30th-rounder and didn’t have much fanfare, he’s probably going to Florida State. It would be a coup if the Dodgers could sign him, though.”

Coup! Hooray!

No word on Crouse’s bonus, but it definitely won’t be enough to put them in any draft pick penalty territory (and it won’t be just $100,00, either). Unless Crouse got a $194,500 bonus, the Dodgers also won’t have to pay a 75 percent tax on their draft spending — something that hasn’t happened since the new bonus pools were introduced in 2012.

Update: Scratch that.

That just about closes the book on the 2015 draft. It was interesting, to say the least. We shall see what happens, but it doesn’t look nearly as bad as some will make it out to be. The Dodgers still landed some premium talent in a draft that didn’t have a ton of it. They signed an 11th-rounder to a big bonus. The last time they did that, it turned out to be Joc Pederson (so it’s totally gonna happen again).

This isn’t an ideal outcome, but it’s far from the worst-case scenario.

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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.