MLB.com senior writer Jim Callis is reporting that Jake Thompson has gone and done what we always figured he’d do eventually and signed with the Boston Red Sox:
This represents a bonus of around $45-50k below the slot value for where Thompson was picked and, although it does take the Red Sox above their pool of draft money, it keeps them under the threshold for losing a pick in next year’s draft—and even preserves a small amount of flexibility for signing later round prospects.
Thompson will join a solid Red Sox farm system loaded with 12 pitchers among its top 20 prospects, and will likely begin his professional career in Lowell, Massachusetts with Boston’s Short-Season Class A affiliate, the Lowell Spinners*. The only question that remains is whether the Red Sox will groom Thompson as a future starter, or convert him to a relief option, given that his stuff has the ability to play up during shorter appearances.
Although the loss of Thompson is disappointing, it is by no means unexpected. Thompson was widely expected to forego his senior season, with the possibility of his return being floated only recently given the lack of a signed contract. The Red Sox are getting an excellent pitcher who represented both himself and his school with class and dignity—during good times, and during tougher ones—at Oregon State University.
Even without Jake Thompson, however, the Beavers’ prospective 2018 rotation remains formidable with Luke Heimlich, Drew Rasmussen, and Bryce Fehmel forming a potential three-headed monster.
The future remains bright.
*Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Thompson would presumably be sent to the GCL Red Sox, in Fort Myers, Florida (a Rookie League team). Thank you to Chris Hatfield of www.soxprospects.com for the correction.