Tampa Bay Rays to Set Record with Brendan McKay
By David Hill
The Tampa Bay Rays are not a team expected to set records when it comes to payroll or salaries. Well, they did just that as they have signed fourth overall pick Brendan McKay to a record signing bonus.
The words “record signing bonus” and the Tampa Bay Rays just do not seem to go together. After all, given their payroll limitations, the Rays have never been a team to break the bank in any real sense of the word. They simply do not have that capability.
That perception changed last night. The Rays have reportedly inked fourth overall draft pick Brendan McKay to a $7,007,500 signing bonus. That amount is the new record for the largest bonus under the current draft system, edging out the bonus that Kyle Wright received from the Braves.
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There is no questioning the talent that McKay possesses. He was considered to be a consensus top four pick in the draft, with MLB.com ranking McKay as the second best prospect in the draft. However, scouts were divided as to whether or not his future would be on the mound or at first.
For now, at least, the Rays will allow McKay to play both positions. While it is expected that he will progress as a legitimate prospect at one or the other, they are content to let McKay develop as he will. Perhaps he could even exceed expectations, and end up becoming a part of what may well be a wave of two way players to come to the majors in the next few years.
It could well be that the two way player becomes the next trend in the game. The Padres attempted to turn Christian Bethancourt into that type of player, although he had limited success. Without much fanfare, former Rays catcher Chris Jimenez appears to becoming just that in Minnesota. And let us not forget the hype surrounding Shohei Otani.
With players like McKay, Hunter Greene, and Hagen Danner this past year, the two way player may be starting to return. If so, the Rays may be at the forefront of that wave with this signing. And if it costs a bit more, the cost may well be mitigated in the long term.
Next: Rays must overhaul bullpen
The Tampa Bay Rays gave Brendan McKay the largest signing bonus in MLB history under the new draft rules. If he becomes a star, it will be worth every penny.