The mind goes to strange and dangerous places on Draft Day.
For example … I see a simple Peter Gammons tweet about the Cubs not knowing who to pick at No. 2:
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) June 6, 2013
But my mind wanders to the second part of that tweet. And then I see this follow-up from Keith Law:
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) June 6, 2013
And then I start doing some mental math.
Let’s imagine that the Astros are planning to take Jonathan Gray or Colin Moran, the two most frequently rumored picks at the top. That leaves the Cubs to take Mark Appel or Kris Bryant, right? And everyone seems to think the Cubs will take Appel in that scenario, and I certainly wouldn’t complain.
But if the Rockies aren’t going to take Bryant, as everyone assumed they would, might the Cubs have a little leverage with Bryant that they don’t have with Appel? The Twins pick fourth, and no one seems to have them taking Bryant. So, Bryant would fall at least to the Indians at five, where the slot value is just $3.787 million.
In this scenario, the Cubs could tell Bryant: look, we’ll take you at two if you agree to sign at $4 million, which is probably more than you’ll get if we pass on you.
If there’s no deal to be had with Appel, he’s going to want full slot (or more), which could approach $7 million.
So, it might be fair to ask: would you rather have Mark Appel for $7 million, or Kris Bryant for $4 million (with all the saved money to spend later in the Draft)?