The Chicago Cubs have been working over the last week to sign a number of Draft picks, and, though they still have yet to formally announce any signings, quite a few members of the top 10 rounds have signed with the Cubs.
Why do I mention the top 10 rounds, specifically? Recall, those are the rounds whose slot values add up to the Cubs’ bonus “pool.” In short, you total the slot recommendations for those first 10 rounds, and that’s how much the Cubs have to play with when signing Draft picks without incurring penalties (subject to a ton of caveats including an amount you can go over without having super severe penalties, and the amount you can spend on players after round 10 … you know what? It’s long and complicated, but here’s the full rundown if you need a refresher on these new rules).
Against that backdrop, there is some great news on the Cubs’ signee front. Not only have the Cubs signed their fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth, and ninth round picks, they’ve signed them, for the most part, for less than their slot recommendation. That means the Cubs will have more money to play with in order to sign, for example, first rounder Albert Almora, or overslot reaches like 25th rounder Rhett Wiseman.
As for the signings, the big one is 4th rounder Josh Conway, a junior pitcher out of Coastal Carolina, who was thought to be a top round pick until he was forced to have Tommy John surgery earlier in the year. The Cubs have reportedly signed him for $280,000, more than $60,000 under the slot recommendation. If Conway recovers well, the Cubs could have gotten a steal, both in dollar value and round value.
The Cubs have also reportedly signed fifth round pick, high school pitcher Anthony Prieto for $200,000, which is $57,000 below slot. Prieto says he was happy to get what he got, but mostly he was just eager to get started on his professional career.
The Cubs have also signed seventh round pick Steve Bruno, a second baseman out of Virginia. Bruno essentially received his slot value of about $150,000.
Finally, the Cubs were also able to ink eighth and ninth round college picks, pitcher Michael Heesch, and catcher Chadd Krist, for about $10,000 each, which is more than $100,000 below slot. This was something we anticipated the Cubs were doing when the picks were made last week.
All told, between these five signings, the Cubs have saved about $370,000 against their pool, which funds, as I said, can be used to step up the offers to some of the tougher signs.
In the coming weeks, more signings will trickle in, and we’ll keep tabs on where the Cubs stand against their bonus pool. Some signings have already taken place, but we don’t have the financial details quite yet. For example, we know that supplemental first rounder Pierce Johnson has signed (pending a physical), but no terms have yet been announced.