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White Sox sign 26 draft picks while waiting for Carson Fulmer

First-round pick can't sign until Vanderbilt's College World Series run ends

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Because Vanderbilt is still alive and well in the College World Series, the White Sox couldn't sign first-round pick Carson Fulmer if they wanted to right now.

In the meantime, they did establish a ceiling for his bonus by announcing that they had agreed to terms with 26 of their 38 draft picks, including the first 14 non-Fulmer picks, starting with fourth-rounder Zack Ervin. We just don't know the exact amount, since the bonuses have not yet been made public.

If you're unfamiliar with the rules: The White Sox have $5,347,500 to spend on their first eight picks, all of which have assigned slot values. The slot value of the Sox' first-round pick (Fulmer) is $3,470,600, and the 10th-round pick (Jackson Glines) is $152,300. From the 11th round on, the bonuses have a $100,000 limit. If a team signs one of these third-day picks for higher than $100,000, the overage is taken from the team's draft pool.

In order to free up pool money for over-slot candidates, teams often draft college seniors during the first 10 rounds, even if their talent warrants a third-day selection. Reason being, college seniors have little leverage, so they're usually willing to cut a deal well below their slot value.

The Sox have done this the past two years. In 2014, they signed their sixth- and eighth-round picks for a combined $50,000, when their slot values totaled $384,200 between them. The White Sox needed extra money to sign Carlos Rodon, and they ended up using the leftover pool money and then some to make it happen.

And in 2013, they signed seniors with their sixth-, ninth- and 10th-round picks for a combined $50,000, which made it possible to lure Trey Michalczewski out of his Oklahoma commitment. Michalczewski signed a $500,000 bonus, when his seventh-round slot value was only $173,600. (In a wonderful bit of poetry, Baseball America lists his signing scout as Clay Overcash.)

This year's draft class will probably resemble 2013 more than 2014, although without the second- and third-round picks and their money in the pool this time, there's a chance it might be its own animal. The Sox did draft a college senior with their fifth-rounder (Rice pitcher Jordan Stephens), as well as their final two Day 2 picks, although Stephens is more qualified than most seniors and might command a bonus that isn't rock-bottom.

The Sox are reportedly using some of that money to buy sixth-round pick Corey Zangari out of his commitment to Oklahoma State. Seventh-round pick Blake Hickman, the Iowa righty and ACE alum, might also receive over-slot money, since the Sox nabbed him well after his Baseball America ranking (No. 69). Nobody else in the first eight has the traditional markings of a tough signing, so Fulmer should get his money, whenever he's allowed to.


*Fulmer will pitch for Vanderbilt in the Commodores' College World Series opener at 7 p.m. Sunday on ESPN2.

*The highest pick who could sign but hasn't: 18th-rounder Dante Flores, a second baseman out of USC. He's a junior who is Baseball America's 466th-best draft prospect. The problem? He was BA's 148th-best out of high school. He had a nice freshman year, but his production tailed off the next two years before a senior-year rebound (.304/.397/.461).