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Tigers sign Louisville pitcher Funkhouser

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Kyle Funkhouser of the Louisville Cardinals signed with the Tigers Tuesday.

Detroit — Kyle Funkhouser lost some cash, but not as much as some folks suspected he might.

Funkhouser, a right-hander out of Louisville who was the Tigers' fourth-round draft pick earlier this month, has signed for a $750,000 bonus, according to MLB.com's Jim Callis.

The Tigers haven't yet confirmed the move, as they tend to announce their draft signings in clusters.

Despite being a senior — and seniors usually have to settle for less than slot money — Funkhouser bucked the odds.

Being represented by Scott Boras, a long-time friend of the Tigers and their wallets, doesn't hurt.

The Tigers also considered Funkhouser to be a first-round talent, which he, indeed, was as a junior, when the Los Angeles Dodgers took him with the 35th overall pick. He reportedly turned down an offer beyond slot of $1.75 million to return for his senior year.

His velocity, though, was down this season, to high 80s to low 90s, but did improve as the season went along. He beat Western Michigan in the NCAA Tournament opener, with the Broncos raving about his exceptional command, especially with his secondary stuff.

For the season, he was 9-3 with a 3.86 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 93.1 innings.

Slot value for the Funkhouser pick, No. 115 overall, was $516,200. By going over that amount, the Tigers will try to skimp elsewhere to stay under their allotted budget of $5,424,300 and avoid a penalty, and that could be a challenge, given they have only two picks left to sign out of the top 10 rounds.

Their first-round pick, Matt Manning, is a high-school right-hander from California, and might be willing to come down a bit on his slot at No. 9, $3,505,800.

Sixth-round pick Bryan Garcia, a catcher out of Miami (Fla.), also has yet to sign, as the Hurricanes just completed their season in the College World Series.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

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