White Sox sign Courtney Hawkins, reverse draft spending trend

Courtney Hawkins could replace Zach Stewart in the bullpen.

Perhaps the White Sox really took to the new draft rules. Or maybe their draft picks read Larry's words of warning from a couple weeks ago.

However it happened, now that the agreement with backflippin' Courtney Hawkins is official, the White Sox have signed their top 11 draft picks. You have to go back to 2008 (a pretty good draft) to find a longer streak, as the White Sox signed their first 13 picks that year. Fourteenth-round pick Jorden Merry was the team's highest selection to opt out, and, well, the next year's draft wasn't very merry at all for him.

In the process, the White Sox ended up reversing their trend of decreased spending in a big way. The White Sox had $5,915,100 to spend across their first 10 picks, and they came surprisingly close to using it all, especially when looking at entire budgets from previous seasons:

  • 2008: $4,663,500
  • 2009: $4,178,600
  • 2010: $3,930,200
  • 2011: $2,786,300*
  • 2012: $5,360,000**

(*2011's numbers are skewed by the lack of a first-round pick.)

(**The official bonuses for Kyle Hansen (sixth round) and Jose Barraza (seventh) haven't been added to Baseball America's Draft Database, but if both players received the recommended pool amount, the Sox will have spent $5,686,300. Barraza was said to have signed for over slot, but when a report uses "200-thousand dollars" instead of "$200,000," it doesn't look all that official.)

UCLA pitcher Eric Jaffe (11th round) is the top current holdout, but he can't sign until after the College World Series. BA considers him signable as a draft-eligible sophomore. Out of players who can actually sign, junior college pitcher Derek Thompson (13th round) is the top pick without terms. He says he's "leaning toward signing," although that should be taken with a grain of salt.

As for Hawkins, he received the official welcome treatment at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday. He put the pen to paper, met the media, toured the clubhouse and took batting practice.

Hawkins' baseball season will continue mostly uninterrupted. He'll move from Corpus Christi to join the Bristol White Sox, who open the season today.

Kenny Williams on Hawkins:

And a Q&A afterward:

Fun fact: Best I can tell from Baseball-Reference.com, Hawkins is the second Courtney to play in the White Sox organization. The other one? Courtney Ervin in 1949. So it won't take much for Hawkins to become the most successful Courtney in White Sox history, but let's hope he has his sights set a little higher.

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