Blue Jays have room to sign Martin even after pair of over-slot deals

The Toronto Blue Jays selected Vanderbilt's Austin Martin with the fifth pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. (Mike Strasinger/AP)

TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays have $239,300 in extra bonus pool room available after handing second-round pick C.J. Van Eyk and third-rounder Trent Palmer over-slot deals, with first-rounder Austin Martin and fourth-rounder Nick Frasso still to be signed.

Van Eyk, the Florida State right-hander with a chance to progress quickly through the system, signed for $1.8 million, a shade over the No. 42 pick’s assigned value of $1,771,100, while Palmer, the Jacksonville righty, landed $850,000, above the No. 77 spot’s slot of $805,600, according to industry sources.

In combination with the signing of fifth-rounder Zach Britton earlier this week, a $97,500 deal according to’s Jim Callis that is well below the No. 136 pick’s value of $410,100, the Blue Jays now have a sizable amount of room to work with.

The No. 106 pick used on Frasso, a right-hander from Loyola Marymount shut down for part of the spring with elbow tightness, carries an assigned value of $549,000 and the Blue Jays could build in more flexibility there, too.

They could then divert any bonus pool savings to Martin, the Vanderbilt infielder/outfielder who was expected to go second overall to the Baltimore Orioles, but unexpectedly fell to the fifth spot, where the assigned the value is $6,180,700.

The drop cost Martin about $1.6 million and his advisor, super-agent Scott Boras, is sure to try and recover as much of the difference as possible.

Teams that exceed their bonus pools are subject to penalties, with any overage ranging from 0-5 per cent of the total bonus pool charged a 75 per cent tax. Overages in excess of five per cent also result in the loss of future draft picks.

The Blue Jays could exceed their bonus pool of $9,716,500 by about $485,000 without losing a future pick. That amount would cost them a penalty of $364,000.

Teams have until Aug. 1 to sign their draft picks.


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