Sunday’s 5 p.m. eastern time deadline for clubs to sign their 2021 draft selections has passed, and it can now officially be said that the Red Sox failed to sign second-round pick Jud Fabian.
Fabian, an outfielder out of the University of Florida, announced via Twitter Saturday that he would be returning to campus for his senior season with the Gators next spring.
The Sox selected the 20-year-old in the second-round of last month’s amateur draft with the 40th overall pick, knowing it would likely take more than $1,856,700 (the recommend slot value for that particular selection) to sign him.
Last week, The Athletic’s Peter Gammons tweeted that Fabian would not be signing with Boston on account of the fact that the Sox were not willing to offer the Ocala, Fla. native a signing bonus of $3 million.
Earlier Sunday, MLB.com’s Jim Callis wrote that “the Orioles reportedly would have given [Fabian] $3 million had he gotten to them at pick No. 41, but the Red Sox took him at No. 40.”
Due to their remaining pool space after already signing a number of their draft picks, the most Boston could offer Fabian without surrendering their 2022 first-round pick was approximately $2,100,680, per Callis.
This is the case because, in this scenario, the Red Sox would be exceeding their total bonus pool space by more than 5%, resulting in next year’s first-rounder being taken away from them as punishment.
Fabian, who turns 21 in September, was viewed by many as a potential first-round pick coming into the 2021 season, but saw his stock decline after an up-and-down spring in Gainesville.
Over 59 games (269 plate appearances) with the Gators earlier this year, the 6-foot-2 right-handed hitter and left-handed thrower slashed .249/.364/.560 with 10 doubles, 20 home runs, 46 RBI, 51 runs scored, six stolen bases, 40 walks, and 79 strikeouts while primarily playing center field.
Because he enrolled at Florida early and skipped his senior year of high school, Fabian will still be among the younger college prospects headlining next summer’s draft.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, will receive the 41st overall pick in the 2022 draft as compensation for not signing Fabian. That will come in addition to their own second-round selection.
According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Fabian is believed to be the highest Sox selection not to sign since first rounder Greg McMurtry, who the club selected at No. 14 overall out of Brockton High School back in 1986.
Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom had the following to say regarding Fabian returning to Florida, as transcribed by MLB.com’s Ian Browne.
(Picture of Jud Fabian: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)