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General | Top Ten | 8/23/2007

Largest Signing Bonuses, Draft History

Allan Simpson     
Last week’s signing frenzy that netted all remaining unsigned first-round picks from the 2007 draft resulted in two of the three largest bonuses in draft history being paid out. The Orioles gave Georgia Tech catcher Matt Wieters a straight-up $6 million bonus as the fifth overall pick, while the Devil Rays paid No. 1 overall selection David Price, the former Vanderbilt lefthander, a $5.6 million bonus as part of a six-year major league deal.

Both those deals came close, but fell just short of the all-time draft record of $6.1 million that the Diamondbacks gave No. 1 overall pick Justin Upton in 2005.

The attached list includes only the bonus amount in the case of a player signing a major league contract, and considers only players who signed with the teams that drafted them. Righthander Matt White, a 1996 first-round pick of the Giants, signed the largest bonus in draft history, $10 million with the Devil Rays, as a loophole free agent.
  Player, Pos., Team, Year Signing Bonus
1. Justin Upton, ss, Diamondbacks ’05 $6,100,000
2. Matt Wieters, c, Orioles ’07 6,000,000
3. *David Price, lhp, Devil Rays ’07 5,600,000
4. Joe Borchard, of, White Sox ’00 5,300,000
5. Joe Mauer, c, Twins ’01 5,150,000
6. B.J. Upton, ss, Devil Rays ’02 4,600,000
7. *Mark Teixeira, 1b, Rangers ’01 4,500,000
8. *Dewon Brazelton, rhp, Devil Rays ’01 4,200,000
  Gavin Floyd, rhp, Phillies ’01 4,200,000
10. *Mark Prior, rhp, Cubs ’01 4,000,000
  Bryan Bullington, Pirates ’02 4,000,000
  *Stephen Drew, ss, Diamondbacks ’04 4,000,000
  Jered Weaver, rhp, Angels ’04 4,000,000
  Alex Gordon, 3b, Royals ’06 4,000,000
  Mike Moustakas, ss, Royals ’07 4,000,000
* Signed major league contract
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