Braves sign pitcher Bryce Elder, completing 2020 draft class

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ATLANTA — The Braves signed Texas righty Bryce Elder, whom they selected in the fifth round of last week’s draft, to complete their 2020 draft class.

Elder was the last remaining unsigned draftee after the Braves signed their other three picks in recent days. The Braves signed Elder for $850,000 which, as expected, was much higher than his $336,600 slot value.

The Braves signed first-rounder Jared Shuster and third-rounder Jesse Franklin to under-slot deals, creating room for Elder. They saved $542,800 in the Shuster signing and $101,600 in the Franklin agreement.’s Jim Callis was the first to report all the Braves’ signings and terms.

Elder was considered a good value pick. Baseball America ranked him its No. 83 overall prospect. The Braves expected him to go in round 3. Instead, due to signability concerns — Elder was a strong candidate to return to the Longhorns — he slipped down the board.

The Braves, without a second-round pick because of major league baseball’s free agent formula, saw the chance to land another third-round talent. In drafting Elder and Michigan outfielder Franklin (No. 97), vice president of scouting Dana Brown said he felt the organization was getting two third-rounders, helping make up for the loss of the second-round pick.

Callis referenced Elder as a “high-floor guy,” giving the Braves another safer, experienced pitching prospect alongside Shuster (No. 25), a lefty from Wake Forest. Clemson right-hander Spencer Strider was the team’s fourth -round pick, but he’s a lesser known quantity after missing the 2019 season following elbow surgery.

The Braves didn’t have much money to work with, owning the third-smallest bonus pool in this year’s draft ($4,127,800). Only the Yankees ($3,520,000) and Astros ($2,202,600) had smaller pools.

Under the new MLB format, teams could begin signing an unlimited amount of undrafted free agents beginning June 14, but the bonuses couldn’t exceed $20,000. The Braves have already signed several undrafted players, including Georgia shortstop Cam Shepherd.


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