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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.

  • hcs

    Let the system-gaming begin. Don’t let that sound negative, I’m all for it. While the old system allowed for some crazy bonus requests (particurally re: Scott Boras clients) I think the hard-slotting is kinda ridiculous.

    • hansman1982

      I think you will see an adjustment after a couple years to go along with the NL getting the DH. My belief is that we will see the 5% penalty start go up and maybe a non-counting-against-your-pool signing or two for each team so that they can go after a hard to sign big upside guy in round 25 and not worry about moving money around.

      • hcs

        I’d be all for that. The existant system just seems too rigid. Hopefully the bugs get worked out over time.

  • cjdubbya

    Is there any sense to the thought that the draft portion of the new CBA was a bit rushed and not well enough thought out? Am I crazy?

    • Cubs Dude

      Yeah, it seems weird that teams are picking late round picks in the top 10 rounds to just way underslot them. Seems like the system is really flawed.

  • jp

    Boras has his calculator adding up how much the cubs have saved to this point and you can bet he’ll add that to Almora’s slot recomendation….

    • tim815

      And Theo will recommend some good restaurants near campus for Almora to eat at if he begs too much overslot.

    • When the Music’s Over

      That’s precisely what I was thinking.

      Public news of dollar amounts do nothing but hurt the Cubs’ leverage, at least in Boras’ eyes. The more information the Cubs have that Boras doesn’t have the better leverage the Cubs will have in negotiations.

      Hypothetically, if I’m Boras, and I know the Cubs have saved a combined $650K for all of their top ten picks (eg. Almora is the lone remaining holdout), I am, at the very least, asking for the slot amount, plus that $650K, plus the entire 5% overage cushion.

      All that said, I hope and expect Theo and crew are smarter than the obvious I have laid out, and are for whatever reason, purposely allowing this information to be leaked out.

  • jp

    Hopefully Theo and Boras had some talks on what they’re looking for before the draft otherwise i think your right and Theo will tell him to study hard and play some good college ball for 3 years and hope he can be in this position again.

    • Spriggs

      For some reason, I don’t think this is going to end as well for the Cubs as people are assuming. Chalk it up to being a long time Cubs fan, I suppose.

  • EricR

    Brett when you say someone has signed for $10k, is that just a signing bonus? Surely that can’t be their yearly wage…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Just the bonus. But minor league pay isn’t much better.

      • ETS

        Minor leaguers from my high school talked about guys working part time jobs while playing.

    • Cubbie Blues

      This is from 2010 but it will give you an idea how much players make going through the system.

  • Kevin

    Hopefully the Cubs can ink a deal with the extra bonus money and sign 25th rounder Rhett Wiseman. If you throw a $750K signing bonus his way then Vanderbuilt may not look so appealing. This way, the Cubs get a quality player in the 25th round, and they basically use up all the extra Bonus money so Boras can’t demand more than slot money for Almora.

    • Cyranojoe

      LOL nice plan!

  • Curt

    hey Brett is super severe anything like double secret probation lol, srry couldn’t help it. these cap limits make no sense save a little here so you can overspend there.

  • http://Yahoo shelby menge

    Do you think the chicago cubs are going to sign there top pick albert almora sometime this month or next month?

  • http://Yahoo shelby menge

    How many darft picks have the chicago cubs signed the the 2012 draft so far?

  • josh

    its been reported by other sources that prieto signed for 250k not 200k, i hope your right brett and i turst that u are, ive just read other places that the amount was 250

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Prieto, himself, said $200K. See the article I linked.

      • josh

        thanks for clearing things up, appreciate it.

  • JB88

    Has there been any speculation on how much it would take to sign Wiseman?

    I’m also hoping that the $3M that has been bandied about lately for Almora is more accurate than the $4M guys like Goldstein and Law were throwing around right after the draft.

  • http://bleachernation.com JY

    I know its not coming out of my back pocket, but i do not want to lose Almora over a couple hundred thousand. We need to stock pile talent and i would hate to see our first round draft pick walk. On the other side…if Boras tells him to walk over a couple hundred thousand, he is doing a diservcice to the kid….he may never see that kind of money again.

  • http://Yahoo shelby menge

    Have we signed any new draft picks today from the 2012 draft yet today?

  • JoeyCollins

    I’m sure the Cubs wont announce any singings, especially under slot deals, until the almora deal is done. I know numbers leak and kids talk but I really wish Boras didn’t have any of these numbers. I’m sure theo will get it done though.

  • Toby

    I’m not sure if anyone has read, but Cubs sign Paul Blackburn who was the supplement pick obtained by not resigning Pena.

  • http://Yahoo shelby menge

    Do you think the chicago cubs will signed any more draft picks from the 2012 draft from this year?

    • Leroy K.

      I hope so! Almora is still out there!!!

  • http://Yahoo shelby menge

    How many draft picks have the chicago cubs signed from this class of 2012?

  • http://Yahoo shelby menge

    Are the chicago cubs going to makes some trades before the deadline?

    • Tim

      I bet that 6 guys will be gone by July 31st. Including Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Carlos Marmol, Bryan Lahair, and David Dejesus.

      • Leroy K.

        no way we’re lucky enough to get rid of Marmol.

      • Cheryl

        Six to ten guys by various ways but Marmol may not be one of them.

  • Cubs Dude

    Really you can get rid of anyone. It is just a matter of how much of their contract are you willing to pay and what type of garbage players are u willing to take back. See the Zambrano and Byrd trades. I would rather hang on to Marmol since we wouldn’t receive jack back. He still has a live arm.

  • http://Yahoo shelby menge

    How good do you think is paul blackburn is go be in a pitcher for the chicago cubs in the next few years?

  • http://Yahoo shelby menge

    Are the chicago cubs any closer signing the top pick albert almora?

  • Cubs Dude

    Who knows Menge…

  • Pepe

    Cubs should sign wiseman with the xta cash and offer almora his 3 million slot.
    If boras rejects than the cubs get another pick next year.
    The key is signing wiseman fist to force boras to sign or not.

    • calicubsfan007

      @Pepe: Totally agree. Get Wiseman first, then Almora. That would be smart in a lot of ways, including the fact that it would call Boras’ bluff.

  • http://Yahoo shelby menge

    How much more money do the chicago cubs have left to spend from the 2012 draft?

  • http://Yahoo shelby menge

    Do you think the chicago cubs are going to sign anymore draft picks ftrom this class of 2012?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yes. Most of them.

  • Cheryl

    With the CBA can the Cubs offer Wiseman enough? At this point who cares about Almora? If he wants to go to college tell him the cubs won’t stand in his way and let Boras get 0 for his client. To show good faith they must make an offer and when Boras turns it down, they’ll have two picks next year in the first ten. Its almost to the cubs advantage not to sign him.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I care about Almora. No reason not to.

      • Cheryl

        Tou’re right Brett, but with Boras I really wonder if it’s worth what Boras may ask.

  • http://Yahoo shelby menge

    Do you think the chicago cubs are ghoing to sign any more draft picks from this class of 2012?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Why do you keep asking this? Yes. They will sign most of them.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Ya they will probably sign 30-35 of the 42 picks my guess. Hopeful they sign almora, Rhett Wiseman, and draft picks 11-15 rounds, because those guys are all high upside guys. Also hopefully they sign their 10th round pick for chump change and save some more of the signing pool

  • http://Yahoo shelby menge

    Do you think matt garza and ryan dempster will be gone by trade deadline?

  • http://Yahoo shelby menge

    Who do you think the chicago cubs will trade first matt garza or ryan dempster?

  • ColoCubFan

    I wonder if there are any GM’s that purposely avoid drafting/signing players connected with Scott Boras. I think the man is a pain in the tookus!

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