HOUSTON -- The Brewers have reached preliminary agreements with two more First-Year Player Draft picks, second-round selection Jorge Lopez and fifth-rounder Michael Reed, two baseball sources said Friday.
Lopez, a prep school right-hander from Puerto Rico, and Reed, an outfielder from Leander (Texas) High School, must pass physical examinations before their contracts are complete. Formal announcements are expected from the Brewers within days.
The deadline for teams to sign their 2011 Draft picks is 10:59 p.m. CT on Aug. 15, and talks between the Brewers and their two first-round picks, collegiate pitchers Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley, could go right to that date. Both are coming off their junior seasons and are represented by high-profile agents -- Alan Hendricks for Jungmann and Greg Genske for Bradley.
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin sent a letter to both players making a case for signing early and reporting to a Minor League affiliate. Now, it is evident that their professional debuts will not come until 2012.
"We're not alone with that," assistant general manager Gord Ash said, pointing to the large number of first-round Draft picks who remain unsigned. "The problem is there's no advantage to signing at this point. They might as well just wait to the end and see what happens.
"I can never [understand] it. If you get out and play, especially players of this caliber, you can be in the big leagues a year to a year and a half sooner. You're waiting to start your own clock, and where is the money made? I don't care what bonus you get, it's going to pale when compared to what you're going to get in the big leagues. For me, this isn't about the kids as much as the high-visibility agents wanting to ensure that their recruiting record is intact."
Talks are ongoing but informal to this point, Ash said.
"You can't negotiate with yourself," he said.
According to Baseball America, Reed received a $500,000 bonus, well over Major League Baseball's $154,800 recommendation for his slot.