MacArthur: Anthopoulos doubts Jays will sign Bickford

Scott MacArthur
7/11/2013 3:18:38 PM
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CLEVELAND, Ohio - With Friday's 5pm et deadline looming to sign 2013 draft picks, it seems the Blue Jays and 10th overall selection Phil Bickford won't come together on a deal.

"Right now it looks as though we won't be signing him," said general manager Alex Anthopoulos. "I guess anything can change, tomorrow is the deadline, but I would say right now we probably won't have a deal in place."

Bickford, 18, is a 6'4", 185 pound right-hander who pitched at the prestigious Oaks Christian School in Westlake, California. Bickford has committed to Cal-State Fullerton this fall in the event he doesn't sign professionally.

Major League Baseball pegged the slot value, the recommended signing bonus, for the 10th pick at slightly more than $2.9-million.

It's not known what the Blue Jays offered Bickford. Per Major League Baseball's Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Players' Association, if a club offers a player drafted in the top three rounds at least 40-percent of slot but the player doesn't sign, the club is guaranteed to pick in the same spot in the following year's draft.

All of that to say that the Blue Jays will receive the 11th overall pick in 2014 as compensation for not signing Bickford.

Anthopoulos urged caution in jumping to conclusions about why the two sides couldn't reach a deal.

"Out of fairness, like anything, offers are made no doubt about it," said Anthopoulos. "We definitely made an offer but it doesn't look like it's going to be accepted. I wouldn't jump to conclusions (on why)."

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