August 15th might not seem like a big day to many, but for College Baseball fans, it can be more nerve-racking than signing day. August 15th was the final day for MLB negotiations. The last chance for MLB clubs to sign their draft picks before either packing up shop and accepting compensatory picks next year, or scuttling late additions to low A, GCL/DSL, or Rookie Ball. For Auburn, it was patiently waiting on the status of 5 guys: Current RHP Derek Varnadore and signees Clay Holmes (Pirates), Rocky McCord (Twins), Colton Davis (Astros), and Ryan Tella (Twins). When the dust settled, Auburn was left with good news and bad news. Holmes was gone, signing for a record 9th round bonus of 1.2 Million but Varnadore was staying; giving Auburn at least some stability on the mound for next year.
It also starts the numbers game for the Auburn roster. The NCAA Limit is 35. Auburn is JUST at that limit, but of course that could all change. Here's the Roster from Last Year. It was set at 33 Players. Here's my Math:
33 Players - 9 Seniors = 24 Players
24 Players - 2 Draft Losses (Casey McElroy/ Dan Gamache) = 22
22 Players - 1 known transfer (Tyler Dial) = 21
21 Players + 14 Original Fall Signees = 35
37 Players - 1 MLB Draft Loss (Clay Homes) = 36
36 Players - 1 Signee (Grant Bush to JUCO) = 35
Now that puts Auburn right at the edge, but there's still room for some movement. If Justin Bryant gets granted a 6th year of eligibility that takes up a roster spot. Same deal goes any walk-on that may make the team. Currently, all the signees have turned up in the Auburn University people finder.
For Now? Auburn is set. Honestly, it's a team in a bit of flux and will have a completely new look for 2012. I'm excited about the new blood, some fresh faces. I want to see just how hungry these guys are. Hopefully, we'll have some answers on position battles after the Fall World Series. For Now? I'm just waiting until February.