Although his signing has been known for about 10 days now, the Chicago Cubs finally announced the signing of supplemental first round pick Pierce Johnson, who has been assigned to the Arizona Cubs (rookie league). Johnson will reportedly receive his full slot bonus of $1.196 million.

The Cubs also officially announced the signings of fifth round pitcher Anthony Prieto (whom we already knew about, and who received $200K), 10th round pitcher Chad Martin (who received $10K), 13th round outfielder Bijan Rademacher (terms not known), 16th round pitcher Michael Hamann (who received the full $100K), and 22nd round pitcher Eduardo Orozco (who received $1,000).

There have also been a handful of as-of-yet unannounced signings, including 6th round pitcher Trey Lang, and 26th round pitcher Jasvir Rakkar (fresh of a cinderella season with Stony Brook). Each player announced the signing himself on Twitter, naturally.

Lang is a big (6’3″, 225 lbs), hard-throwing (mid-90s fastball), junior college pitcher with absurd numbers (0.87 ERA). The terms of his deal haven’t yet been disclosed, but, with his signing, the Cubs have signed 9 of the 12 players they took in the top 10 rounds. The only picks remaining to be signed are first round Albert Almora, second rounder Duane Underwood, and third rounder Ryan McNeil (though quotes from him soon after the Draft suggest there won’t be an issue signing him, and he may have already agreed to terms).

Setting aside Lang’s signing (and other late-round signings that might have been over slot), since we don’t know the dollars yet, we can take a look at how the Cubs are doing relative to their $7,933,900 bonus pool. The Cubs have done a solid job of signing players, where reasonable, to under slot deals, and they’ve now saved about $425,000 under their pool amount for the picks they’ve signed. That’s a healthy amount that could be used to entice later picks to sign (picks from rounds 11 to 40 can receive a maximum of $100K, and any amount you give a player over $100K counts against the bonus pool), or to ensure that Albert Almora signs. And, who knows? Maybe Underwood, for example, is going to require over slot to sign.

The Cubs can exceed their bonus pool by just shy of 5% – or another $396,700 – without losing a future draft pick, so you can expect that, right now, they feel like they have a total of an extra $800K to play with.

The full, official list of signings so far can be found on Cubs.com. Once the signing period has passed – July 13 – I’ll have a full round up on all the signings and, where available, the bonuses.

  • Patrick G

    I really hope they sign Underwood. Have heard good things

    • Jack Weiland

      Yeah, agreed. Loved the pick, but it’s wasted if they can’t get him to sign.

  • Spencer

    Does that mean the Cubs saved 99K on Orozco?

    • Jack Weiland

      No. You get 100K for those signings, but they don’t count towards your pool unless you go over, in which case the overage gets deducted from your Rd 1-10 pool.

      • Spencer

        gotcha. thanks. still fuzzy on all the ends and outs of this new system.

        • Jack Weiland

          No worries. I don’t proclaim to know all the ins and outs myself.

  • Jp

    NOOOOOOOOOO! Brett you know doing this you’re just asking you know who to chime in!!!!!!

    • DocPeterWimsey


  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    Almora recently joined Twitter.  That’s almost a prerequisite to a player signing these days.

    If the Cubs can save another $100k or so somewhere, they could make a $1 million offer to Rhett Wiseman.  That may not be enough to land him, but it would be tough for anyone to turn down that kind of cash.

    • Webb

      Do you see a player yet unsigned where there is potential to save that kind of money?

    • Kyle

      I don’t know if Wiseman warrants such an offer.

    • JulioZuleta

      If the number for Wiseman is really $1 mil, we are better off letting him go. His bonus demands have resulted in him being overrated by Cubs fans. He’s asking for $1 mil, but he’s not a $1 mil player. He wants top 40 money but is really top 130-150. He’s very raw and not close to the level of prospect Dunston Jr was last year. We’re better using that money to go after Hickman, Drossner, Amlung…

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        Wiseman already said he was going to school….

    • DocPeterWimsey


    • Still Love the Cubs

      Hey Luke,

      Did you see how Almora was retweeting tons of stuff about how good he was going to do on his professional career? Also, he has in his profile that he is 6th overall pick in the draft.

      Now granted, he could change his profile, and he could have been retweeting that stuff just getting used to twitter, but it sure doesn’t seem like a kid who has any intentions of turning down 3 million dollars.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Despite his “I love Miami” talk soon after the draft, I don’t think anyone seriously believed that Almora would fail to sign.

    • Joey Collins

      Im all for the big offer to Wiseman if… We sign all of our 1-10 guys and we sign any other 11-40 overslot types who the FO rates higher than wiseman. If that happens then why not throw the cash at the kid. It may be a bigger bonus than he should get but if the pool space is there its got to be spent somwhere. Just rank the players you want the most pay them what it takes to sign them and any savings offer to the kid, wether its 100K or 1MIL.

  • Steve

    It would take me 8 years to earn a million. Yet, after taxes you are only looking at right at 750k.
    If Wiseman is truly wise, he goes to college.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I’m as big a proponent of college as anyone, but I’m not sure I agree in this case.  Even with the college being Vanderbilt.

      Say the Cubs do offer him $1 million, or $700k after taxes.  He could drop $400k of that in bonds and have his college paid for… even at Vanderbilt… when his baseball career ends.

      If he goes to college, though, unless he leaves after his junior year, he probably won’t come anywhere near that amount.  College seniors have absolutely no leverage in the draft.

      I think the smartest idea is to take the money while it is there, stash a big chunk for college, and go to school when his baseball career ends.

      • Beer Baron

        Lots of chatter about signing Wiseman, but last I saw wasn’t he approximately the 140th player on BAs rankings? That’s great value in the 25th round, but if college wasn’t an option that puts him somewhere around the 4th to 5th round of the draft. Which would get him around $200-$300k. Just doesn’t seem to me he’s the kind of guy you go crazy to sign. If its a potential front of the rotation starter like Maples, that’s one thing, but a high school outfielder…I’d say make him an offer a little better than a 4th round guy, and if he passes then so be it. And don’t do anything until you’re sure about Underwood because I’d rather go over slot for him.

      • Ben

        You discount the inflation of the price of college….The cost of college increases a TON more than any reliable bond will pay, even over an extended period of time…..Vanderbilt Scholly is worth about 400k…..All that being said if he is offered 1million and doesn’t think he can significantly improve in 3 or 4yrs he should sign

        • Joey Collins

          Im sure he believes he can improve. He’s talked about being a Northeast kid who doesn’t get to play ball all year long like the kids comig out of the West and South. So it sounds like he feels more experience and more games in a year would really help.

    • mul21

      Aren’t they allowed to include a “we’ll pay for college if you sign” clause in these contracts still? I thought I read that somewhere and it doesn’t count against the signing bonus total. If so, he doesn’t have to save anything and the Cubs will pick up the tab.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Callis has said that, yes.

  • Benny

    I believe that Tyler Bremer has signed with the Cubs. His signing should be official in a few days.

  • Spoda17

    … did we actually draft Sveum’s kid??? I mean, how many Sveums are actually out there..?

    • Jack Weiland

      I did not know that, but I wouldn’t be surprised. That kind of stuff happens a lot, actually, especially that late.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      That is Sveum’s kid.  Last I heard he was not expected to sign.

      And I’m pretty sure he was drafted as a favor to Dale Sveum.

      • ShootTheGoat

        Len and Bob said on last night’s broadcast, that he was going to college. To a really good baseball college, I think in Utah.

      • Chris

        Sveum’s kid was not really a professional baseball prospect, by all accounts. There was never any thought that he would sign, and further I don’t believe the Cubs ever had any intention to sign him. He’s not going to play professional baseball. He’s a very slight kid. Somebody throwing 90 or more could probably knock the bat out of his hands. It’s just a nice thing they did for the manager’s kid. Happens all the time in the later rounds.

    • Beer Baron

      Yes. He was at Wrigley this past weekend, taking BP and shagging fly balls. His dad (Dale) has already advised him to go to college and pass on the minors for a few years (although that may have just been him joking with the media)

  • emrac

    front office doing a great job hopefully we have more hits than misses on these prospects

    • Andrew

      a bit optimistic to get ove 50% of the kids to be hits. Im hoping for like 10-20% to make it to the bigs, if that.

      • Kyle

        50% on the blue-chippers (Rizzo, Baez, Almora, Soler, next year’s top pick). 10-20% on the remaining “top 10” guys.

  • Derrick

    10th round pitcher Chad Martin received 10k but a 16th round pitcher received 100k. Why the difference?

    • Jack Weiland

      Why = the new CBA. Under the new CBA, you get a pool of money to use on your top 10 picks. They have “suggested” slot amounts for each pick, and all of those add up to the total amount you can spend on those 10 picks.

      HOWEVER, if you don’t sign a player, you don’t get the allotment for that pick. So basically a lot of teams made real picks on their first five, and then picked a ton of college seniors who had no leverage and little expectation and would sign for very little, so clubs could “save” on the slot amount for those picks to use elsewhere on their top 5.

      After the 10th round, however, the rules change and you get a max of 100K per pick. So starting in the 11th round, teams started making real picks again and trying to lure them for that 100K.

      *EDIT: “Your top ten picks” above means Rounds 1-10. Obviously with comp picks and what not you could have more than 10 in there. Just for the sake of clarity.

  • Patrick G

    Not sure if this website will work since I’m on my iPhone, but Ken Rosenthal reports, although very unlikely, the Cubs were in contact with Seattle for a King Felix-Castro trade. As much as I like Castro, I would do this deal. Felix is still very youg and a definite ace and would still be around when the Cubs want to compete. And proven himself I dominate the American League, imagine what he could do in the NL.


    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      No, the M’s were in contact with the Cubs:

      The Mariners in recent weeks touched base with the Cubs on shortstop Starlin Castro, asked the Royals about designated hitter Billy Butler, talked to other clubs about other hitters.

      None of the talks progressed, according to major league sources. Virtually every team contacted the Cubs about Castro after a published report said he was available (he wasn’t).

      • Beer Baron

        They’re seriously putting Billy Butler in the same class as Castro? That’s kind of discouraging.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          It has nothing to do with equating two players, and everything to do with the Mariner’s needs.  Smoak has not been overwhelming the world: he’s barely been whelming it.  Many people believe that the Royals will part with Butler because he’s “only” a DH now (forgetting that DH’s do not grow on trees).

          So, the only “equating” of Castro and Butler is that both guys play positions that are holes for the M’s and both have been erroneously rumoured to be on the market.

          • Jack Weiland

            Ha, “barely whelming it.”

            I love this message board. So glad I started taking part.

    • CC

      I’d rather have Danny Hultzen. If the M’s offered Hultzen, Nick Franklin and one or two others, it would be hard to turn down.

      • Jack Weiland

        I would find that very easy to turn down.

        • Gabriel

          so easy to turn down! There is only one set of prospects in baseball I would even consider trading Starlin for: Dylan Bundy & Manny Machado. And even then I almost certainly wouldn’t do it.

          There’s nothing wrong with Castro – he is well on his way to being elite at just 22 years old.

          • Jack Weiland

            Right, exactly. The only ones I would even pause to consider for a second are imaginary deals that would never, ever happen in real life. Like Bundy/Machado, or that “Diamondbacks Top Five” that was brought up a little.

            Castro is real good. We need to be acquiring more players like him, not trading them away.

    • Gabriel

      i would NOT do this deal, and the article is very clear that the Mariners reached out to us so I wouldn’t put any stock in this.

      Castro is literally one of the 5-8 most valuable assets in the league right now and is the type of player that is MUCH harder to find than a staff ace.

  • JulioZuleta

    Is Twitter not working for anyone else?

    • Jack Weiland

      Down for me as well. UNACCEPTABLE.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It is not.

  • Steve

    Lets put these Starlin trade rumors to bed. Besides, we will have too many Cuban players on our team to get rid of a Castro….

    **** Was that bad???****

  • Doctor_Blair

    Man I’d hate to be Orozco… “10th round pitcher Chad Martin (who received $10K), 13th round outfielder Bijan Rademacher (terms not known), 16th round pitcher Michael Hamann (who received the full $100K), and 22nd round pitcher Eduardo Orozco gets…” a giftcard to McDonalds!

    But hey you get a shot at playing baseball for a job so it’s not all bad.

    • Jack Weiland

      I don’t feel bad for him at all. He’s probably realistic enough to realize he would never have gotten drafted that high anyway if it weren’t for the CBA rules. He also will always get to call himself a Chicago Cubs draft pick, regardless of what happens from here on out, and that’s pretty cool.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yeah, the money would be nice, but some of these kids just want a shot to play pro ball.

  • cubs217

    Fangraphs did an interesting article on Soriano’s trade value. It came out yesterday but I just now saw it, here’s the link if anyone else is interested/hasnt seen it yet. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/alfonso-soriano-value/

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Orozco was a 23 year old senior in college who will get a quick look in Az. to see if he was even worth the $1000 he got from the Cubs. The innings in the Arizona league go to pitchers who are possibly part of the future. This guy wasn’t even the #1 on his small college school.

  • Jeff1969

    I love the draft, & imagining how many of our drafted players will become major leaguers, then I went & looked at the Cubs draft archive. Ugghhh. I especially love 2002 (I think), the only player who even really played in the majors from that draft started for the Cubs last night, Randy Wells. And he was signed as a catcher. Many of the 2000’s draft have produced so little of even organizational depth, players just playing to fill out the roster, average minor leaguers, that it’s amazing we can even field a full group of minor league teams. When Epstein mentions the lack of depth that he found when he was hired, he wasn’t kidding. Check for yourselves and be terrified.

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  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Hopefully we sign these guys underslot

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Brett or Luke: who would be a higher ranked talent: Yasiel Puig, a 21-year-old outfield prospect who defected from Cuba last week, or 25th round pick Rhett Wiseman high school OF who has a high ceiling and could be tough to sign? Who has the higher ceiling? I know Wiseman is only 18 and Puig is 21 but who would you say has a better chance to be a good mlb player? My guess is Puig would get the majors faster but Wiseman has higher ceiling.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Other than comments by his agent, I have very little data about Puig’s ceiling.  He should reach the majors more quickly, and I suspect he’d be the safer choice, but I can’t compare ceilings right now.

  • Jp

    Something about this question sounds Shelbyish, am I wrong?

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      ha ya its is but was really wondering. Because if they sign Wiseman I would be less disappointed if they didn’t sign Puig. Thats more or less my reason for asking. Promise I’m not a machine

  • Jp

    Haha ok you had me wondering:).

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