Last week news broke that the Cincinnati Reds had agreed to sign Nevada outfielder TJ Friedl after he went unselected in the 2016 draft and that he would be getting a significant signing bonus as a result. It’s been six days since that news came out and today we seemingly get the full story on how everything went down.
The Pleasanton Weekly, a local paper in his hometown got the scoop from the Friedl family on how everything played out.
The general manager of the (Los Angeles) Angels pulled TJ aside and asked him why he wasn’t in the draft,” said Terry Friedl, TJ’s father. “He told him that he needed to play three years of baseball. The Angels guy looked at TJ and said it was three years of academics.
Initially it was the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays that came through with the best offers. Finally, the Reds entered the fray late, coming from “out of the blue,” according to Terry.
Contrary to earlier reports, it seems that there were more than a few teams that got in on the TJ Friedl sweepstakes and that the Reds were one of the later ones to the table. Fortunately for the Reds, they had more money than anyone else to offer because the bonus he gets counts toward the 2016 Draft bonus pools and with the second highest pool to work with, they can go over their pool more than most before facing the penalty of losing their 1st round pick next season.
The article states that he will be in town for the Reds game tomorrow and will then join up with the Billings Mustangs for the season before going to Arizona for fall instructional league.
After the initial article on Friedl, a friend of mine who’s worked as a scout contacted me and had this to say:
Friedl is really fast and can put the barrel on the ball. Nice sign.
Nothing in depth, but always better to see encouraging things on signings than some of the things I hear at times on others.
Worth noting that as of this publishing, the transaction wire still has not listed him as having his contract approved. There’s no reason to believe that it won’t be, but it’s technically not official until that paperwork comes back from the commissioners office. (The transactions for today have not yet come through – I will update this if he’s listed when they do)