Heston Kjerstad officially signs with Orioles
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Heston Kjerstad’s legendary career at Arkansas is officially over, as he has signed with the Baltimore Orioles.
The No. 2 overall pick in the MLB Draft earlier this month, Kjerstad will receive a signing bonus of $5.2 million, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis. That is well below the slot value of just under $7.8 million, but it was also expected.
In a move that is common for the MLB Draft, the Orioles were reportedly looking to use the second pick on a player who would take less than slot value to free up some money in their bonus pool to use on picks later in the draft.
Baltimore's fourth- and fifth-round picks were highly touted high school players who will likely command a signing bonus larger than their signing bonus. The approximately $2.5 million it saved on Kjerstad can be used to sign those players.
It's also worth nothing that Kjerstad's $5.2 million signing bonus is closer to the slot value for pick No. 8 ($5.18 million) and more than what high schoolers Robert Hassell III ($4.3 million) and Zac Veen ($5 million) received as the eighth and ninth overall picks, respectively.
It is also slightly less than the full slot value ($5.43 million) Nick Gonzalez received as the seventh pick. The 7-9 range is about where he was projected to go in most mock drafts, so he is still receiving a bonus around what he would have gotten had he not been willing to sign under slot and fallen to the back end of the top 10 picks as expected.
Both of Arkansas’ drafted players have now signed, as Casey Martin signed with the Phillies last week. His signing bonus is reportedly $1.3 million, which is well over slot value for pick No. 87.
The Razorbacks had a trio of their 2020 signees drafted, as well.
Texas two-way standout Masyn Winn and in-state right-hander Markevian “Tink” Hence have each signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. They reportedly received signing bonuses of $2.1 million and $1.115 million, respectively.
Canadian outfielder David Calabrese is the third signee who was drafted. Although some outlets have reported it, the Los Angeles have yet to announce he has signed. Head coach Dave Van Horn previously said he expected all three high school signees to forego their college eligibility and sign professionally.