This was a tweet sent by ESPN’s Keith Law when asked about what it would take for the Bucs to sign 2nd round pick, Josh Bell. Bell, who was ranked as the draft’s 15th best player and 5th best hitter by Baseball America, fell to the Bucs in the 2nd round due to signability issues. He mailed a letter out to every ML team telling them not to draft him because he wanted to go to college.
Josh Bell seems like a smart young man. He comes from a pretty affluent family, so it’s not like he is in dire need of money right now. His mother is a college professor, and he has a commitment to the University of Texas. But back to the first sentence…”Josh Bell seems like a smart kid.”
I can totally understand someone’s interest to go to school and get an education. I did it, and basically all of my friends did it. However, none of my friends, nor I, unfortunately, had the opportunity to make millions of dollars at age 18.
The Pirates will negotiate with Bell, and Scott Boras, who Bell has chosen as his financial advisor. The offer he will ultimately receive will break the record for the highest signing bonus given to someone out of the first round. It just will.
Ultimately, I believe Bell, due to him being a smart kid, will realize that this is something that is simply impossible to pass up. There will always be college. There will always be baseball. However, the opportunity to get paid this much to play baseball may not always be there.
First off, baseball is about to get a new CBA, it would be in place by the time Bell would be eligible to be picked again. Who knows what the draft will be at that point. A lot of talk has gone around about MLB going to a hard-slotting system. If that happens, you can guarantee Bell won’t get as much money then as he would now.
Second, baseball is a sport. And unfortunately in sports, nothing is ever a given. A career ending injury can occur at anytime or a player can simply fail to develop. If either of those 2 things happen, Bell loses out.
Bell may be saying all this to play “hard-to-get” or he could honestly mean it right now. However, when the Pirates make him the offer that he will receive, it just simply will not make sense for Bell to turn it down. Like I said before, the young man is smart. And turning down that kind of money for something that will always be there simply doesn’t seem smart.