When Brian McTaggart and Zach Levine reported on the Astros' signing of Rio Ruiz Monday, they both emphasized that Jeff Luhnow had achieved the team's goal of signing three first-round type players.
The bountiful haul of potential was accomplished in large part when Houston signed their first pick Carlos Correa for a reported $2.4 million under the amount that was allocated by MLB for the pick. This savings was in turn used to bring in Ruiz, Lance McCullers and on a smaller scale sixth round pick Brett Phillips.
Ruiz, who was selected in the fourth round, signed for $1.85 million(almost $1.5 over his slotted amount). Ruiz's bonus was equal to the amount allocated for the 20th pick in the FIRST ROUND. McCullers signed for $2.5 million, which was approximately double his budgeted amount as a supplemental first round selection. His actual signing bonus fell between the amounts for a 12th and 13th pick in the FIRST ROUND.
The club's thriftiness in signing the first over-all pick also allowed them to get a potential fourth-round talent in the sixth-round of the draft. Brett Phillips, a sixth-round selection, signed for $300,000(about $100,000) over his slotted amount. The amount Phillips signed for is equivalent with a fourth-round draft pick's budgeted signing bonus within MLB's guidelines.