Let's start by looking at a few numbers. $45 million. $11 million. The $45 million is this year's approximate salary for the San Diego Padres. Now the $11 million, that number is how much the Padres spent on 35 draftees this season.
The Padres were able to reach contracts on 22 of their first 23 selections. The only player not to sign was Brett Austin, who decided to play for coach Elliott Avent at North Carolina State. The Padres selected Austin with the 54th pick, so the Padres will receive a compensatory pick between the first and second round of next year' draft.
The Padres had a lot of work do before the 12:01 a.m. EST deadline. But before the proverbial clock struck midnight, the Padres were able to sign their first-round pick, right-handed pitcher Joe Ross (25th overall.) They also signed right-handed pitcher Michael Kelly (48th) and catcher Austin Hedges (82nd), a second-round pick who was thought to have first-round talent.
Ross and Hedges, both committed to UCLA, but decided to sign with the Padres. Ross received $2.75 million and Hedges signed for $3 million. Kelly received $718,000.
With the Padres spending nearly an equivalent of a quarter of their major league payroll just to sign players who may may never make it to the majors, makes one feel confident that CEO Jeff Moorad may be true his word of getting the Padres to a $70 million payroll in the future.