Orioles sign top 2019 MLB Draft pick Adley Rutschman to record-breaking $8.1 million bonus

Earlier in the month, the Baltimore Orioles 2019 MLB First-Year Player Draft: Complete results tracker as Orioles take Adley Rutschman first overall with the No. 1 pick. On Monday, the two sides reached an agreement on a record-breaking deal that will see Rutschman receive an $8.1 million signing bonus, topping the previous high set by Gerrit Cole ($8 million) when he was the No. 1 pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011.

It's not a coincidence that Cole, the last No. 1 pick before slotting was instituted in 2012, held the record for nearly eight years. Baseball's hard-slotting system exploits young players by removing leverage from their side -- even the No. 1 picks, who have since averaged a $6.3 million signing bonus. For perspective, No. 1 pick Tim Beckham signed for $6.15 million in 2008.

The Orioles have now signed all but one of their top-10 round selections. The holdout is third-rounder Zach Watson, an outfielder from LSU whose slot value is less than $800,000. 

Rutschman, for his part, is held in high esteem by talent evaluators. He profiles as a potential All-Star-caliber backstop who contributes on both sides of the ball. 

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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