Blue Jays’ talks with Martin set to pick up with Torkelson signed

MLB insider Ben Nicholson-Smith joins Good Show to discuss the latest in Blue Jays talks with their first round pick Austin Martin, and why they might wait until closer to the deadline in August to sign him.

TORONTO – Talks between the Toronto Blue Jays and first-rounder Austin Martin are expected to pick up after No. 1 pick Spencer Torkelson signed a record deal with the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday.

Both players are advisees of powerful agent Scott Boras, who landed Torkelson, the Arizona State slugger, a deal worth $8,418,800, slightly above the first-overall spot’s assigned value.

Martin, the versatile Vanderbilt star selected as a shortstop, was expected to go second overall to the Baltimore Orioles, but instead slipped to the Blue Jays at No. 5, with an assigned value of $6,180,700. The sides are thought to be making progress, but work remains.

Boras is likely to seek more than slot and the Blue Jays have $239,300 in extra bonus pool space, even after giving second-round pick C.J. Van Eyk and third-rounder Trent Palmer slightly above-slot deals, thanks to a $97,500 bonus for fifth-rounder Zach Britton. That was well below the No. 136 pick’s slot of $410,100.

Fourth-rounder Nick Frasso, a right-hander from Loyola Marymount shut down for part of the spring with elbow tightness, is also unsigned and his pick carries an assigned value of $549,000.

Teams that exceed their bonus pools are subject to penalties, with any overage ranging from 0-5 per cent of the total bonus pool taxed at 75 per cent. 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 roughly $364,000.

Teams have until Aug. 1 to sign their draft picks but the Blue Jays kept two spots open on their 60-man player pool for the regular season, with the expectation that one of the spots will go to Martin.

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