Top picks Sale, Vettleson signed
UPDATE, 11:20 A.M.: And with the press release from the Rays comes this quote from scouting director R.J. Harrison: "It was a long arduous process, but in the end we're happy to have two players that we have liked very much for a couple of years now join our organization. We look forward to getting them into Rays gear and getting them started in professional baseball.''
Because the two high school outfielders took so long to sign, it seems unlikely they will play in what's left of the minor league season, so it may be the fall instructional league before they take the field.
DEVELOPING: The Rays didn't make it official until around 2:20 a.m., but the deals to sign top choice Josh Sale and supplemental round pick Drew Vettleson were done by baseball's midnight deadline.
”We’re pleased to announce the signings of Josh Sale and Drew Vettleson,'' executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. "We feel like both players add a lot to our system in terms of their advanced feel for hitting. We’re anxious to get both guys out in Rays gear and get the process started on them becoming major-league players.’’
Sale posted on his Facebook page at about 1:20 a.m.: "It's official. I'm a Ray!"
Baseball America reported earlier that the two outfielders were signed, with Sale, the No. 17 overall pick, getting $1.62-million and Vettleson, 42nd overall, $845,000.
The Rays did not come to terms with fourth-round pick RHP Austin Wood (of St. Petersburg College) and 7th-rounder OF Michael Lorenzen, but did sign the rest of their top 10 selections.