The Cincinnati Reds have reportedly agreed to sign their 3rd round draft pick, infielder Tyler Callihan, to a signing bonus worth $1,500,000. That’s more than twice the value of the slot for the 85th overall selection.

The Reds, and nearly every team in baseball, aren’t drafting players in the top 10 rounds that they haven’t basically already agreed to financial terms with. This played out on Monday night, when the Reds reportedly called Maxwell Romero and couldn’t come to an agreement before moving on. They would later draft him in the 38th round. This all suggests that while Tyler Callihan is getting more than twice the bonus money that his slot is for, that the team has already worked out that they’ve got the money available to sign him, and everyone else, and remain out of the penalty box – at least to the point where they’d have to give up future draft picks.

The scouting report on Tyler Callihan has his bat being the selling point. He shows potential for an above-average hit tool as well as above-average power in the future. Defensively he’s played shortstop in high school, but most believe he’s going to wind up at second or third base in the future. You can get a full, more detailed scouting report from draft day right here.

While we are going to start seeing more and more deals agreed upon, right now there are only three that we know of. Clearly, the one with Tyler Callihan. First round pick Nick Lodolo reportedly agreed to sign for the full slot value. 9th round pick TJ Hopkins says he’ll report to Goodyear this weekend for his physical, so he’s on board, too – assuming he passes his physical (there’s no reason to believe he won’t).

With the Billings Mustangs season starting starting a week from today, and the AZL Reds and Greeneville Reds a few days later and in need of players, there will likely be plenty of signings that become official over the weekend once players pass their physicals. They will hang out in Goodyear and go through some work outs before they get assigned to a team and hit the road to their destination (at least those heading to Billings or Greeneville – some will remain in Goodyear to play for the Arizona League Reds). You can keep up with everything on who has signed, the available money for signings, and more at the 2019 Cincinnati Reds Draft Tracker.

24 Responses

  1. Schottzie

    When are you thinking about adding these guys to your ranking or your overall update?

    Would think Lodolo slots in behind India, Senzel graduates, and Callihan is right behind Stevenson?

    • Doug Gray

      When the guys who will make it are all officially signed. That could be Monday. Or that could be July 5th, like last year.

  2. RedsKoolAidDrinker

    Do teams ever draft a player in later rounds that they know they can’t sign just to keep another team (especially in the same division) from signing them?

    • Doug Gray

      No. Because the guys worth even thinking about doing that with simply aren’t signable when drafted later.

      • SaveTheFarm

        Do you think 40 rounds are too many, considering most of the lower guys never end up signing?

      • Doug Gray

        1 round is too many. Let them sign with the highest bidder. All of them.

      • SaveTheFarm

        Not sure how I feel about that. lol

        But I guess teams wouldn’t tank anymore lol

      • Dollar Bill

        Doug how well do you like this years draft results for the Reds?

  3. Brad

    I guessed Lodolo would be at his slot #, Hinds between $1.6-7M and Callihan at $1.5M. Right on par. Figure Contreras and Merrero may get above the $125k in rounds 11-12.

    Interesting HS/AZL infield with 2B Callihan, SS Contreras, 3B Hinds. Time will tell if any of the 3 can stay at those spots.

    Can see Lodolo making a handful of starts between Billings/Dayton this year. Daytona/Chattanooga in 2020 and Louisville/Cincinnati in 2021. On similar path with Hunter Greene assuming he comes back healthy in 2020.

    Lot to like with future rotation options:
    2020: Castillo, Gray, Mahle, Desclafani, Santillan (Sims out of options)
    2021: Castillo, Gray, Mahle, Santillan, Lodolo, Greene
    *obviously can add a FA, through a trade or other current prospects

    • Cguy

      Brad, not to disagree per se, but the future is here. Reds have a pretty good rotation right now. What more can you ask of your #5 sp on the road than to limit the Cads to 1 ER in 5 innings. Signing either of Roark or Wood to a “team friendly” contract could put the Reds in the cat-birds seat next year as far as sp(s) are concerned. It’s the offense that’s in need of an upgrade or 2.

      • Brad

        I agree. Saying that they have a lot of pitching, not to mention bullpen pieces, in pipeline and only ~$86M on books for 2020 after projected arbitration numbers. $40M less than currently on books for 2019. Lot of position player depth as well. Maybe 1 signing or a bigger trade.

      • Colorado Red

        I would be afraid of Wood. The Injury history.
        We cannot afford another bad contract.
        That being said, I do like the Idea of signing Roark.

    • B-town fan

      The only thing about the Lodolo to Billings and Dayton this year you mentioned is that Dick Williams said he is so advanced that he anticipated him skipping rookie ball.

  4. AirborneJayJay

    I didn’t think he would sign for less than $2MM and therefore he would not sign. Good to see it worked out. I think they got the better player in Callihan than they would have with Romero. I think this worked well in the Reds favor. They got a top 40 player instead of a 234th ranked player. So, Romero will go to Vanderbilt and could be available in 3 years.
    Lets see how long Lodolo will drag this out. Hopefully not long at all.

  5. Billy

    Suppose you have a senior sign in the later half of the top 10 who signs for well below slot. You bring him in for a physical, and he fails it. Would the team sign him anyway and subsequently cut him, simply to preserve the additional money for the slot, which is likely needed to sign other players?

    • Doug Gray

      A senior sign? They’d probably just sign him because he’s getting $5,000 or less. But, because of things like failed physicals and such, it might be why guys like Lodolo and Callihan don’t sign until near the deadline, just like last year with Siani and India, because the money needs to work and until you get the others on board first, you can’t count on it.

      Remember that this all blew up in the Astros faces a few years ago with Brady Aiken and Jacob Nix. He had agreed to a $1.5M deal with the Astros as a 5th rounder. Aiken failed his physical and the Astros couldn’t sign him. That meant they didn’t have the money to sign Nix anymore, either. Because he filed a grievance against the Astros with the help of the MLBPA, the NCAA decided he wasn’t eligible to play in college. Guys aren’t signing until all of the money is accounted for anymore – so while terms may be agreed upon for some guys overslot, that doesn’t always mean they are going to sign immediately. Sometimes they have to wait on others.

    • Tom

      I think you lose the value of the slot if you don’t sign anyone, so might as well sign the injured player.

  6. Krozley

    It should help that the Reds don’t have any main draftees still playing in the CWS. Only Raby and Warren and they are both seniors drafted outside the top 15. Last year, India and Byrne played into the semi-finals, the last game on June 22 which caused some delays in at least the announcement of the signings. With Callihan’s signing, they should be able to lock up three players from the top 50 draft prospects, which is excellent work.

  7. DaveCT

    Really liking this pick, in particular. Without their comp pick (traded), nabbing a talent like Callahan was very astute. Arguably, three top 40 players in rounds 1-3.

    • Colorado Red

      That is really nice.
      I did like the Sonny trade, but I wonder what they would have done with the comp pick this year.

  8. Bdh

    Doug maybe you can answer this but if the Reds couldn’t come to terms with Romero in the 2nd then why waste the pick on him in the 38th round?

    • Doug Gray

      Because in the 38th round there’s almost no possibility you’re drafting someone who will be a big leaguer anyways. So you draft a guy there and use the next month to talk to him, get to know him better – build that relationship – and maybe in the future that comes in handy.

  9. RedFuture

    Do teams have flexibility to hand out much higher minor league salaries that can make up for lower signing bonuses?

  10. sixpack2

    Doug, ‘1 round is too many. Let them sign with the highest bidder. All of them’ So you want to go back to the haves and have nots time, where a 250 million cable contract allows you to out bid everyone? That is the one reason the Yankees had the records they had. They just bought everything and I was there.