Marlins, 1st-round pick Garrett reach deal

Marlins, 1st-round pick Garrett reach deal

ST. LOUIS -- The Marlins on Friday locked up what the organization hopes is a future top-of-the-rotation talent. Left-hander Braxton Garrett, the seventh overall pick in last month's MLB Draft, passed his physical in the morning and officially signed.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network first reported that Garrett and the Marlins had reached an agreement.

"We're excited to get him going," Michael Hill, president of baseball operations, said on Friday prior to the opener of a three-game series against the Cardinals. "He will report to Jupiter tomorrow and begin his professional career."

Garrett, a left-hander from Florence, Ala., who possesses an advanced breaking ball, will start with the Gulf Coast League Marlins, and if he progresses as expected, he could be promoted to Batavia in the short-season New York-Penn League.

"Obviously, we leave that up to him," Hill said. "He drives that train to what he's going to be. He's a tremendous young high school left-handed pitcher. Everyone who saw him liked the ability, loved the athleticism and his ability to repeat his delivery with three plus-pitches. We feel like he is someone who will get into our system and move quickly."

Garrett also has an advanced curveball. As a senior at Florence High School, he posted a 0.53 ERA, striking out 131 batters in 65 1/3 innings.

By locking up their top pick before the 5 p.m. ET deadline, Miami has reached deals with its first 12 selections. The club did not come to an agreement with its 13th rounder, right-hander Nick Eicholtz from the University of Alabama, whose bonus allotment ended up going to Garrett.

The Marlins signed 33 of their 39 selections.

Garrett's bonus was for $4,145,900, according to's Jim Callis, which took the Marlins to 100 percent of their bonus pool. The recommended slot for the seventh overall pick is $3,756,300.

If he had not agreed, Garrett, who is represented by Scott Boras, was planning on attending Vanderbilt University. Had that occurred, the Marlins would have been compensated with a similar Draft-choice slot in 2017.

Shortly after Garrett was drafted, it was expected that his negotiations would take a while, and there was a risk for both sides in not reaching an agreement. If Garrett had decided to attend Vanderbilt, he would not have been eligible to re-enter the Draft until after his junior year or until he turned 21. He will be 19 on Aug. 5.

Marlins draft LHP Garrett No. 7

The Marlins were in similar situations with first-round picks in the past. Christian Yelich (2010) and Andrew Heaney (2012) previously finalized deals at the deadline.

Since Jeffrey Loria assumed ownership in 2002, the organization has signed all of its first-rounders.

On Thursday the club finalized an agreement with its third-rounder, outfielder Thomas Jones from Laurens, S.C. , who has chosen to turn pro rather than attend Vanderbilt.

Jones signed for $1 million, above his slot of $741,700, Callis reported.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.