Seid relieved to strike deals with top picks

After more than two months of slow negotiations, the Brewers struck deals with their top two First-Year Player Draft picks.

The team announced at 11:22 p.m. CT, 23 minutes after the deadline for teams to sign their picks, that University of Texas right-hander Taylor Jungmann and Georgia Tech left-hander Jed Bradley had agreed to terms and would begin their professional careers instead of returning to college.

The Brewers also signed 18th round pick Chris McFarland before the deadline, luring the prep shortstop away from a scholarship waiting at Rice University.

“The bottom line is it was a long process and it went down to the wire, but it got done,” amateur scouting director Bruce Seid said after the deadline has passed. “We couldn’t be happier about getting these guys signed and into our system.”

They came at a price. All three players received signing bonuses in excess of Major League Baseball’s “slot” recommendation for their position in the Draft.

Jungmann was the 12th overall pick and, according to Baseball America, received a $2.525 million signing bonus. Bradley went 15th overall and received a $2 million signing bonus, according to Baseball America and the website McFarland received $315,000, plus a promise given to many other high school signees, that the Brewers will pay for his college education.

Both Jungmann and Bradley were coming off their junior seasons and had a year of NCAA eligibility to use as leverage.

Jungmann went 13-3 with a 1.60 ERA in 18 starts and one relief appearance for Texas. He won Big 12 Pitcher of the Year honors and the Dick Howser Trophy, college baseball’s version of the Heisman, while pitching the Longhorns into the College World Series. Bradley went 7-3 with a 3.49 ERA in 16 starts for Georgia Tech.

Seid and Brewers general manager Doug Melvin spent much of Monday in the Miller Park “war room,” co-handling negotiations with the players’ high-profile advisers. Alan Hendricks represents Jungmann, and Greg Genske, the agent for second baseman Rickie Weeks, represents Bradley.

“Both sides were represented extremely well,” Seid said.

Seid declined to reveal the team’s immediate plans for the pitchers. He and Melvin are scheduled to participate in a press conference at Miller Park on Tuesday morning, and the players are expected to take part in conference calls later in the day.

Seid called the McFarland signing “a bonus.”

“He wanted to play,” Seid said.

In all, the Brewers signed 33 of their 51 Draft picks including each of their top 12. The team also inked six undrafted players.


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