Detroit — Tigers first-round draft pick Alex Faedo will fly to Detroit on Monday to meet the front office and start negotiations on his first professional contract.
Faedo, the ace of the College World Series-champion Florida Gators, expects to sign and skip his senior season.
"Yeah, I hope so," he told The News on Friday. "But you've gotta see what happens, though."
The slot value for Faedo, the No. 18 overall pick in the Major League Baseball Draft this month, is $3,214,600, and the Tigers don't have a lot of wiggle room to go over budget. They did make two "money-saver" selections in the first 10 rounds, but used up most of that savings to give $1 million to high school catcher Sam McMillan, a fifth-round pick whose slot value was $313,900.
McMillan will forego his career at Florida.
Faedo is the Tigers' lone top-10 pick who hasn't yet signed.
Faedo, 21, a Tampa, Fla., native, is coming off a spectacular season in which he was 9-2 with a 2.26 ERA and 157 strikeouts in 123⅔ innings. He had two fantastic starts in the College World Series, earning the tournament's Most Outstanding Player Award after Florida beat LSU in the championship series this week.
He's a three-year starter at Florida, who also was drafted by the Tigers in the 40th round of the 2014 MLB Draft, out of high school.
The Tigers knew he was heading to college, but took him anyway in 2014, and a relationship was built. While Faedo didn't do much talking to scouts this year — he resisted, wanting to keep the focus on his college team — he always made time when the Tigers came around.
"I've only heard great things about Detroit," Faedo said. "I'm really excited to go up there and see what they're all about."