Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners reach $2 million deal with second-round pick Sam Carlson

Second-round pick Sam Carlson agreed Wednesday to a $2 million signing bonus.
Second-round pick Sam Carlson agreed Wednesday to a $2 million signing bonus. AP

The Mariners didn’t limit themselves Wednesday to merely overhauling their roster in a series of moves and adjustments to their lineup, rotation and bullpen.

They also signed their second-round pick, right-hander Sam Carlson of Burnsville (Minn.) High School, to above-slot bonus of $2 million.

Carlson, 18, spent the day at Safeco Field and, after a trip home, will report later this week to the Peoria Mariners in the Arizona Rookie League.

"He’s got a big-league face," scouting director Scott Hunter said. "That’s an old-school scout thing. Sometimes you just look at a kid, and you go, `That’s a big-league face. He’s good-looking enough to play in the big league right now.’"

The slot value for Carlson as the 55th overall pick was $1,206,900, but the Mariners saved enough on other signings to boost their offer in an effort to lure him away from a scholarship to Florida.

"I think I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do," Carlson said. "When the Mariners came around, the opportunity was right. Me and my agent felt it was the best decision for me and my future."

By signing Carlson, Hunter said the Mariners now have agreements with their top 12 draft picks and 30 of 40 overall — and still stayed within their allotted bonus pool from Major League Baseball.

"We wound up being under," Hunter said. "We were able to manage it. We had some opportunities to really balance it. We were able to get (first-round pick) Evan White and Sam Carlson done fairly quick and then made some moves."

White, 21, is a first baseman from Kentucky whom the Mariners selected with the 17th overall pick. He will open his career at Short-A Everett but is expected to spend Friday at Safeco Field and take batting practice with the big-league club.

Carlson plans to return to Minnesota in order to attend an awards banquet before heading to Arizona. Peoria’s 56-game season begins Saturday.

"He’s physically ready to go," Hunter said. "Now, just learning the baseball life and the pro lifestyle is the next step for him. I don’t think we’ve seen the peak of Sam Carlson’s 18-year-old campaign until August."

Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners