CHICAGO -- With the third pick of the 2014 First Year Player Draft, the White Sox … still have a number of factors to consider before making their first selection Thursday night.
That first selection almost certainly will be a pitcher from the group of Brady Aiken, Tyler Kolek, Carlos Rodon and Aaron Nola. Any one of those players is a high-quality talent, meaning signability could become a small but still considered factor.
The White Sox have a total pool of $9,509,700, with that No. 3 pick slotted at $5,721,500. The goal for the White Sox in this Draft is to reinforce the Minor League system, not just get one top-notch player. So selecting a player who could sign over slot with that first pick could affect other selections.
"Is it a consideration? Sure. We wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't explore signability both above our number as well as below our number," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn explained. "You've seen clubs go that opposite direction where perhaps they take a guy a little higher than expected and save a little on the bonus for that specific slot and reallocate it throughout the rest of the draft.
"It's certainly an interesting and sound strategy and one we need to discuss. But ultimately, I think it will come down to taking the player that we feel fits the best. We want to get the best guy available at No. 3, but we also want to have the healthiest draft through the entire bonus pool."
White Sox director of amateur scouting Doug Laumann believes the best player/best fit available remains the White Sox focus.
"We're very confident that we're going to take whoever we feel like has the highest ceiling," said Laumann on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field. "Now, all things being equal if two guys are really, really close and one guy might afford you the ability to save a million, million and a half that you can spread later in the draft, you might. But initially we're just looking at the best guy out there."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.