Red Sox ink four Draft picks before deadline
Barnes, Swihart, Owens and Bradley all agree to deals
BOSTON -- The Red Sox had a busy but ultimately satisfying deadline Monday, finalizing contracts with their first four picks in this year's First-Year Player Draft.
All four players were taken by Boston in the first 40 overall picks back in June. The signings were all announced shortly after the midnight ET deadline, as Monday night turned into Tuesday.
Matt Barnes, the right-hander from the University of Connecticut who was taken 19th overall, is now officially property of the Sox after agreeing to a $ 1.5 million deal. A power pitcher who also has a solid curve and changeup, Barnes grew up a Yankees fan in Bethel, Conn. Now, he will work to get a chance to taste the rivalry from the other side.
Perhaps the most challenging signing Boston had was high school catcher Blake Swihart, who had a scholarship offer to attend the University of Texas. However, Swihart won't wind up a Longhorn after all, instead signing for $2.5 million to play in the Red Sox organization. His bat is one that scouts raved about both before and after the Draft.
Henry Owens, a lefty from Edison High School in California, came to terms on a $1.55 million deal. With a fastball in the low 90s and a sweeping curveball, Owens is a pitcher the Red Sox were excited to secure after drafting him in the sandwich round (No. 36 overall).
Jackie Bradley, the outfielder from the University of South Carolina, was the other key Draftee who signed with the Sox. Boston took Bradley with the 40th pick and ultimately signed him for $1.1 million. Bradley might have slipped a little in this year's Draft because of a left wrist injury that led to less than impressive numbers (.259 average, six homers, 27 RBIs) in '11.
"Obviously, we reviewed the medical file," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said the night of the Draft. "It's something our medical staff was really comfortable with, that he'll be able to come back at 100 percent."
"I want to thank Boston for the opportunity. It really means a lot to see how much faith they have in me," Bradley wrote on his Twitter account early Tuesday morning.