Blue Jays close to signing first-round picks Warmoth, Pearson

The Blue Jays selected Logan Warmoth 22nd overall in the 2017 MLB Draft (Gerry Broome/AP)

TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays are closing in on deals for first-round picks Logan Warmoth and Nate Pearson, two industry sources told Sportsnet.

Terms weren’t immediately available but Warmoth, a shortstop selected at No. 22, had a slot value of $2,795,200 while Pearson, a hard-throwing right-handed picked at No. 28, had an assigned value of $2,302,900.

The Blue Jays on Sunday announced the signing of second-round pick Hagen Danner, a high-schooler who received an above slot bonus of $1.5 million, according two industry sources.

That deal paved the way for Warmoth and Pearson to sign with the rest of the Blue Jays’ picks from the opening 10 rounds locked up.

The Blue Jays, in their first draft under new amateur scouting director Steve Sanders, have a bonus pool of $8,230,400 for the first 10 rounds (players selected after the 10th round can sign for up to $125,000, with an overage counted against their pool).

Teams that outspend their pools are subject to a sliding scale of penalties, starting with a 75 per cent tax on any overage up to five per cent. Any overages beyond five per cent include taxes and the forfeiture of future draft picks.

The agreement with Danner put them at an overage of about $155,000, leaving them roughly $5.354 million to spread between Warmoth and Pearson without losing a draft pick.

Warmoth starred at North Carolina and gives the system a well-regarded middle infielder who can run and has the potential to hit for power. The Blue Jays believe he’ll be able to stay at shortstop long term.

Pearson, a starter at Central Florida Junior College, shot up the draft board in the past year when he was clocked up to 102 m.p.h. The Blue Jays will give him a chance to start but he needs to sharpen his secondary pitches.

Danner starred at Huntington Beach High School and was scouted by teams as both a catcher and pitcher, but the Blue Jays seem him as a backstop with a chance to star both at the plate and behind it. He had a commitment to UCLA.

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