Red Sox

Red Sox second-round pick Jud Fabian opts to return to college

The Red Sox will get the No. 41 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft as compensation.

Red Sox draft pick Jud Fabian will be returning to Florida. AP Photo/Gary McCullough

One of the Red Sox’s top picks in the 2021 MLB Draft won’t be signing with the team.

Outfielder Jud Fabian announced Saturday that he is returning to Florida to play his senior season of college baseball. The Red Sox selected Fabian with their second-round pick, No. 40 overall.

It was reported in July that contract talks between the Red Sox and Fabian hit a snag. Fabian had two $3-plus million contract offers from teams selecting after the Red Sox, a number that Boston wouldn’t match, Peter Gammons reported. Fabian’s contract ask was over $1 million more than slot value for the No. 40 pick, which is $1.86 million.

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Fabian was thought to be a first-round pick entering the draft and the Red Sox even thought about selecting him with the No. 4 overall pick before the season, MLB.com’s Jim Callis reported.

Fabian batted .249/.364/.560 last year at Florida with 20 homers and 46 RBIs, earning him Third Team All-American honors.

The good news for the Red Sox is that this pick was protected, which means they’ll get the No. 41 overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. Fabian is believed to be the highest Red Sox draft pick to not sign with the team since Greg McMurty in 1986, who Boston selected with the No. 14 overall pick in the first round, according to the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Entering Sunday’s 5 p.m. signing deadline, the Red Sox have agreed to contracts with 14 of their 20 draft picks, including first-round pick Marcelo Mayer.

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Fifth-round pick Nathan Hickey, who also played college baseball at Florida, was the latest Red Sox draft pick to sign. The catcher agreed to a $1 million deal with Boston, nearly $600k more than slot value for his pick, Callis reported.

Fabian is the lone player the Red Sox selected in the first 10 rounds of the draft not to sign a deal.

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