08/18/09 1:10 AM ET
A's sign two key picks before deadline
Green inks in final minutes; fourth-rounder Stassi gets $1.5M
By Mychael Urban / MLB.com
With their top pick, they selected Grant Green, a junior shortstop out of USC whose "advisor" was Scott Boras, the high-powered agent known as an unyielding negotiator who'll take talks to the wire.
In the fourth round, Oakland selected high school catcher Max Stassi, widely considered to be a first-round talent, but also looking for first-round money armed with some serious leverage in the form of a full scholarship to UCLA.
High risks, both, but the A's were rewarded Monday when they reached agreements with both players.
The players were handsomely rewarded, as well. Green got a signing bonus of $2.75 million, and Stassi signed for $1.5 million -- a record for a fourth-rounder.
Just minutes before the 9 p.m. PT deadline to sign Draftees who hadn't yet exhausted their college eligibility, Oakland announced that it had come to terms with Green, who was selected 13th overall in the first round.
Just before noon, the A's had announced that Stassi was already in the fold.
"We're very excited," Oakland general manager Billy Beane said.
Green, 21, batted .374 with a .435 on-base percentage, both team highs, and hit 19 doubles, five triples, four home runs and 32 RBIs in 54 games for the Trojans this year, finishing third in the Pac-10 in batting and while earning All-Pac-10 honors for the second consecutive season.
He finished his USC career with a .359 batting average, 20 home runs and 102 RBIs in 160 games and set a school record with 20 triples.
Beane said he wasn't sure where Green would be assigned to play -- if at all -- for the remainder of the regular season, suggesting that his new shortstop of the future might get his first taste of pro ball in instructional league work in Arizona this fall.
The GM also had some fun, after being asked when the deal was finalized, with the notion that grinding out an agreement with Boras is akin to sucking on glass shards.
"It went right down to where me and Scott expected it to go -- 10 minutes [before the deadline]," Beane said with a smile. "I enjoy working with Scott, to be totally frank with you. I enjoy talking with him. He's extremely smart."
So, Beane said, is Stassi. That's part of the reason the 123rd-overall pick got the first-round money he'd been seeking. Chad Jenkins, a right-hander selected 20th overall in the first round, on Monday got a $1.359 million bonus from the Blue Jays.
"Obviously signability was ... an issue," Beane said. "He's a good student, and UCLA was a very real possibility for him, so when we were talking about him, we knew it would take something close to first-round money to get him."
Ranked as the 30th-best prospect by Baseball America entering the Draft, Stassi -- a four-year star at Yuba City (Calif.) High -- batted .538 with 11 home runs and 38 RBIs this season at Yuba City and was named the Sacramento Bee's High School Baseball Player of the Year. He had a .513 average over the course of his high school career, belting 40 home runs with 142 RBIs.
Stassi's father and grandfather were catchers in the Minor Leagues, and his great uncle, Myril Hoag, played in the Majors with the Yankees.
Less than an hour before the deadline, the A's announced that they'd agreed to terms with left-hander Ian Krol, whom they drafted in the seventh round from Neuqua Valley (Ill.) High School.
Krol, Baseball America's 26th-rated prep player, saw his Draft stock drop because he didn't pitch this season; he was suspended from the team for the year after an alcohol-related incident.
He went 9-1 with an 0.94 ERA, a perfect game and two other no-hitters as a junior, enough to convince the A's that he was worth a signing bonus of $925,000.
In all, Oakland came to terms with 29 of its 49 selections from the Draft, including each of the first eight and 15 of the first 18.
Mychael Urban is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.