06/07/11 9:16 PM ET
Beede taking economical approach to Draft
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
Beede, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound right-hander, was selected by the Blue Jays with the 21st overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft on Monday.
The 18-year-old already has made a commitment to Vanderbilt University, but if the price is right, then his decision likely could be easily swayed.
"Money is obviously one of the big factors," said Beede, who went 14-1 with a 0.80 ERA while striking out 189 in 96 1/3 innings at Lawrence Academy. "We know that Toronto is a great organization and they are developing their young players very well. So that's not really a factor, we know they're going to be great on that side.
"It really comes down to the money and if we can work things out that way I'm sure we'll be all set."
Beede was projected to go lower in the Draft by many experts because it was believed he would be a tough player to sign. His father went as far as sending out letters to area scouts in recent weeks reiterating his son's plans to attend school in the fall.
That was viewed by many as a negotiating ploy in an effort to impact future contract talks. Last year, Minnesota signed the 21st pick, Alex Wimmers, for $1.332 million, but it has been rumored that Beede is seeking Top 10 money.
Beede's camp has denied that any specific figures have been discussed. That's something that will have to sort itself out in the coming weeks and months leading up to an Aug. 15 deadline to reach an agreement.
The negotiations and the ultimate decision likely won't be an easy one to make, but Beede is looking forward to the challenge.
"The commitment to Vanderbilt is obviously a strong one," said Beede, who would not be eligible to re-enter the Draft until his junior year if he chooses to go to school. "It has been a guarantee since the beginning and I really had no say in what team drafted me, when or where.
"Our family is very excited about the opportunity that is laying ahead of us, but that decision will be made in the future and I'm very excited about making it, and it's going to be a hard one."
Toronto clearly has enough resources to make a deal happen. The club spent $11.6 million in bonuses last year, which was the third highest total in Draft history.
That sum could increase again in 2011, but general manager Alex Anthopoulos has stated in the past that his organization places a predetermined value on each pick.
If the club can get the player signed for that amount then it will gladly do so. If not, the Blue Jays would be forced to walk away from contract negotiations and instead receive the 21st overall pick in next year's Draft as compensation.
That's a worst-case scenario and one the club doesn't feel like it will have to go through.
"As far as him committed to Vanderbilt, I think he is pretty excited about the opportunity of playing professional baseball," Blue Jays director of scouting Andrew Tinnish said on Monday night. "Only time will tell if we sign him, but we feel pretty confident."
Beede talked to Toronto-based reporters during a conference call on Tuesday afternoon. He spoke articulately and sounds mature well beyond his years.
The native of Auburn, Mass., also appears to have an interest in the business side of baseball. Beede says that background comes from his father Walter, who is a former professional baseball player and has a handle on how negotiations should go.
"I guess the business side comes from my dad," Beede said. "He has really handled the business side of it this spring. I was just the one to take the ball, go out on the mound and do my thing and not worry about the business side."
Walter was taken in the 13th round of the 1981 Draft by the Cubs. He played one season of rookie ball in the Gulf Coast League and has had a big impact on Beede's development as a budding prospect.
The former Minor Leaguer taught his son how to throw a curveball by age 13 and has been instrumental in Beede's smooth and almost effortless pitching delivery.
"He has been everything for me," said Beede, whose fastball has been clocked as high as 94 mph. "He started teaching me simple pitching mechanics and the mental side of the game early too, just to be poised and composed on the mound.
"To learn that at a very young age I think was very big for me. It stuck with me through Little League and through high school and made me the person and pitcher I am today ... He has gotten me to this point and I wouldn't be here without him."
Even though a large portion of Tuesday's conference call was spent talking about the business side of the game that doesn't mean Beede was any less excited when commissioner Bud Selig called his name with the 21st overall pick.
Beede watched the Draft with more than 120 people at his trainer Eric Cressey's livingroom in Massachusetts. There was jubilation in the room from family and friends when the pick was made.
Toronto had been rumored to be after the young right-hander, but had not been in touch with him since watching his final start for Lawrence Academy on May 25.
That made for a welcome surprise for Beede, who is familiar with the Blue Jays after having grown up a big fan of the Red Sox.
"When they said my name it was pretty much a shock because we really didn't hear about it prior to the pick but we were very excited," Beede said.
"The Jays are a tremendous organization and I was very excited to be drafted by them. I'm hoping that we can get something done and that would be an amazing opportunity."
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB b>. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.