The Braves will not sign first-round draft pick Carter Stewart
The Braves failed to reach an agreement with right-hander Carter Stewart prior to the 5 PM EST signing deadline on Friday, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman. The 18-year-old pitcher was selected in the first round of June’s amateur draft and was reportedly seeking $4.5 million of the $4.98 million slot value he generated. The club was said to have offered something in the $2 million range.
Signing bonus disputes aside, however, the primary reason Stewart was not picked up by the Braves had more to do with the results of his physical. According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, the young pitcher had a “wrist ailment” that gave the team considerable pause when it came time to put pen to paper. It’s not clear how severe the injury is, or how it might continue to affect Stewart’s path to the majors in the years to come, but it clearly jeopardized the elite curveball and power pitcher status that made him stand out so clearly during the first round this summer.
The right-hander was one of four draft picks that went unsigned by the deadline. The other three -- high schoolers Matt McLain (Diamondbacks), J.T. Ginn (Dodgers), and Gunnar Hoglund (Pirates) -- have elected to attend their respective universities in 2019. As compensation for offering at least 40 percent of each player’s slot value, the Braves are slated to receive the ninth pick in the 2019 draft, while the Diamondbacks will receive no. 26, the Dodgers no. 31, and the Pirates no. 37.