BY ZACH EWING, Californian staff writer email@example.com
All it took was a little home-cooking, and Bakersfield College's Art Charles had himself a contract.
Charles signed with the Toronto Blue Jays organization Wednesday, a quick turnaround after the team drafted him last week.
Charles will fly to Dunedin, Fla., on Saturday to report to the Blue Jays' Rookie-level team, the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays.
"I'm excited for it," Charles said. "I'm mentally prepared and physically prepared to move my way up the ranks and hopefully get to the majors. It was the right decision and the right move for me."
Charles, a first baseman who played at Ridgeview, and Toronto circumvented a negotiation process that can often take all summer -- teams have until Aug. 16 to sign their draft picks.
Charles, in fact, has been drafted twice before and didn't sign either time. This time, after Charles declined the Blue Jays' initial phone offer, Blue Jays area scout Blake Crosby came to his home.
"It's been pretty much one step after the other," Charles said. "Their initial offer wasn't good enough, so the scout came to my house with a better offer, we talked it over, said, 'This is what we want,' and he was able to make it happen. It's been kind of hectic, but we came to a happy medium."
Charles declined to state his exact signing bonus, but he said it was well over MLB's recommended slot value for his 20th-round draft position.
"I ended up getting like ninth-round money," Charles said.
Charles could see a familiar face, Stockdale graduate K.C. Hobson, in Florida. Hobson, drafted by the Blue Jays in the sixth round last year, has been in extended spring training in Dunedin. The GCL Blue Jays begin their season Monday.