Bubba Starling Chooses Kansas City

The fifth overall pick in the 2011 draft, Bubba Starling, signed a deal with the Royals, going down to the last moment of the signing deadline before the decision was announced.

Starling (as you may know by now) had a commitment to Nebraska for football and baseball, but chose professional baseball over Big Ten football.


He signed for a Royals record $7.5 million (according to Keith Law), eclipsing Eric Hosmer‘s $6 million in 2008.  Jim Callis of Baseball America adds that it’s spread over three years (since he has a college scholarship from Nebraska for football, the Royals can split his bonus over up to five years).

In speaking about the signing at the official press conference, Dayton Moore stressed the importance of getting talent from “your own backyard” (Starling lives in Gardner, Kansas), and reiterated the special athletic ability that allowed Starling to choose between a career in baseball or inclusion in an elite college football program.

The size of the signing bonus is a surprise, as Starling, a Scott Boras client, was rumored to be seeking $10 million.  The Royals supposedly offered $7.5 to start negotiations and eventually, that’s what both parties agreed upon.

From here, Starling should be assigned to instructional leagues since many rookie leagues are soon to wind down for the season.  Further instruction over the winter is likely and he may make his way to rookie level baseball next spring.  After that, it’s all up to Bubba and utilizing the athletic ability that made him a five tool player in the draft.  Starling turned 19 on August 4, so he’s not really young relative to a lot of high school players now entering professional baseball, but he has as much upside as anybody who was in the 2011 draft class an if he puts it together, he’ll be a fast riser in the system.

Rustin Dodd’s story on the signing is on the Kansas City Star website here. 

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Tags: AL Central Baseball Bubba Starling Dayton Moore Eric Hosmer First Round Signs Kansas City Royals KC MLB MLB First Round Draft Pick MLB Signing Royals

  • jim fetterolf

    Gotta love it, good draft, good pick-ups in IFA, the reloading has stated, not really another wave so much as a steadily rising level.

  • michael.allen.engel

    @jim fetterolf yep…loaded up a lot of young talent in the last two months….Hernandez and Mondesi plus Starling, Smith and Brickhouse (and many others of course)…very nice job.

    The Royals current payroll is about $38 million or so…and Dayton just spent nearly $20 million on the draft/Latin America. Allard Baird must be piiiiiiiissed.

  • jim fetterolf

    @michael.allen.engel David Glass had a learning curve, always an employee, never an owner. Took some time to get comfortable with spending his own money. I think he gets it now and wants to build a dynasty as his legacy. He’s doing it the way I would do it, stockpile talent, don’t waste money on free agents.

  • michael.allen.engel

    @jim fetterolf Definitely.

    The investment is a good one…you put 6 million into Eric Hosmer and get six years of him as a developing top level player, or you go out and sign someone at 14 million a year.

    It’s more likely to end up with some lost costs up front since you have to develop those guys but getting it to work, it saves so much. And now, Dayton has reloaded behind this first group coming up. There’s still Cuthbert, Odorizzi, Jason Adam, Colon, Arguelles, Myers to come before any of this year’s acquisitions. Keep a stream of talent…very impressive to look at KC in 06 and now and how much more talent there is in the majors and minors.

  • royal_in_cincinnati

    It definitely was a nice summer. 38 mil on the KC roster vs 20 mil on IFA/Draft. They really need to start throwing a little more money at the MLB team now. What is Gordon worth? 4 years 25-30 mil with a 5th team option to push it to 40mil (4/6/8/10/12 mil)? Hosmer for 10 years 100 mil? haha. They have the money to do it now. They still need that #1, unless Monty, Duffy, Lamb, Dwyer, Smith, Marks, Ordorizzi is our #1 going into 2013, or someon else emerges.