UPDATE: Monday, 9:15 a.m.
We now know how much Lonnie White Jr. will be getting from the Pirates as his signing bonus, thanks to this from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Source: Lonnie White Jr. gets $1.5 million. Slotted value for that pick was $1,050,300.
— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) July 26, 2021
Baseball insiders said all along that it was really a foregone conclusion that 4-star athlete Lonnie White Jr. would choose baseball over football after getting selected high in the MLB draft. Sunday, White confirmed that he will indeed go the baseball route and sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to a story by the Philly Voice.
The outlet reported that White informed PSU coach James Franklin of his decision. This is what White told the Philly Voice:
“I am happy and this decision wasn’t about any type of money, it was more about the happiness of doing something I love to do, even though I still love football,” White said. “Baseball has always been in my heart. The contract is over the slot value, and it also involves my future education.”
“The past week has been very, very stressful for me,” White said. “I had to follow my heart. I played baseball as a kid and I always loved the game. I’ll be signing (Monday) to be with the Pirates. I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of my family, especially my parents. If it wasn’t for my parents, I wouldn’t be where I am today. They pushed me and pushed me, but it’s also my family at Malvern.
“I’m lucky to have the people I have in my life.”
White was the No. 64 pick in the MLB draft, in the competitive balance portion of the second round. The slot value for that pick is $1,050,300, but the Pirates have made several moves to put themselves in position to be able to pay White more than the slot value.
Exactly how much he’ll be getting from the Pirates isn’t known yet. But there’s a good chance it will be significantly more than $1 million, since the Pirates knew they would have to give him an amount big enough to help entice him away from football.
From the Philly Voice story:
White will sign his deal with Pittsburgh’s organization for a figure above the slotted bonus with a college stipulation.
If things do not work out for White in baseball, he still could come back and play college football at some point. If that proves to be the case, Penn State certainly would be interested in him once again as a recruit.