stanford mark appelThe top pitcher in the 2013 MLB Draft went to the team with the top pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, so you can’t much be bothered that the Cubs didn’t get Stanford’s Mark Appel. (Besides, the Cubs got the top bat in the Draft, so it’s six of one, half-dozen of the other, right?) In some ways, that makes Appel irrelevant to the Cubs. They never had a shot at him, and they didn’t get him. Best of luck in the AL West.

That said, there is at least one last touch of relevance to the Cubs in the Appel story: how big is the signing bonus he gets from the Houston Astros?

It looks like the Houston Astros are getting close to finalizing a deal with Appel, who slid in last year’s Draft and passed up on a $3.8 offer from the Pittsburgh Pirates. According to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan’s sources, Appel and Houston are likely to finalize a deal at some point next week. His bonus is “expected to be twice as big” as the one he turned down from the Pirates.

If true, that $7.6 million bonus would be very close to the full $7,790,400 slotted at the top of the Draft. If Appel, who is represented by Scott Boras, gets close to full slot at No. 1, you can assume that the Cubs’ top pick, Kris Bryant, who is also represented by Boras, is going to be pushing for close to full slot. That said, if Appel receives a couple hundred thousand under slot, the Cubs will have at least a little something to point to in the negotiations. Slot for the No. 2 pick is $6,708,400.

In some ways – as we discussed with Jonathan Gray, who received an under slot bonus from the Rockies at No. 3 – these bonuses are wholly unrelated to each other. A player is paid what he is worth. But in a system with slots that actually mean something, precedent and nearby picks do have some importance in negotiations – because, frankly, there’s very little else to point to. That’s especially true when there is no argument that guys like Appel or Gray were selected as “value” picks.

So, if Appel gets about $200,000 under slot, and Gray got $800,000 under slot, the Cubs have an argument for giving Bryant an under slot bonus that falls somewhere in that range (i.e., $5.9 million to $6.5 million).

The other impact here: if Appel and Gray sign this quickly, I would no longer be shocked to see Bryant sign well before the July 12th deadline, which would be swell.

  • King Jeff

    This is kind of funny, I expected Bryant to be the easiest to sign of these three.

    • fromthemitten

      I think Bryant has the most leverage. Gray failed his pee test and Appel was a senior. Bryant has the option of going back to college (even though it really wouldn’t help him out that much)

  • DarthHater

    Shelby Menge: Please read! πŸ˜›

    • Jp3

      Oh no,if we don’t make this happen quick I’m guessing doubles downs on the big question πŸ˜πŸ”«

  • tgk

    FWIW, in the Draft Pick signing thread on the PSD site you referenced in the last article, Ty said “Bryant close to signing… ” about 30 mins ago (12:40 CST). From following along over the year or so he appears to some kind of access through the KC org. and is pretty plugged in. May or may not mean anything, but is a good sign.

    • tgk

      Supposed to say “the last year or so” sorry.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Well, given this Appel report, that seems pretty plausible.

    • Jp3

      That would be awesome. Forgive my stupidity but school won’t interfere with him reporting to Arizona and then Daytona or wherever they decide right? I know obviously he won’t be attending for his senior year but is there summer school or something finicky that could hold him up for a month or so?

    • Bric

      I’m going to site myself and confirm that Bryant is indeed close to signing. My source? Jedi mind channeling ability.

      • Jp3

        Good enough for meπŸ˜€

      • Cleanup poster

        Seems legit

      • DarthHater

        The Force is not to be trifled with.

    • Superman

      Can you post a link to the PSD where you see that. I cannot locate it.

  • King Jeff

    Yagyu says Scott Frazier is signed pending a physical.

  • Mike

    Am I the only one who thinks the sizes of these bonuses are kind of crazy? It’s not like the NBA draft where the top few picks are expected to come in and start from day one (and often star.) I know these are the most likely draftees to become stars one day, but they aren’t guaranteed to ever even play in the majors. What are the contracts like that these guys sign?

    I certainly don’t fault the kids for getting what they can though.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Market value. An employer will only pay his employee what he has to. Other wise he is cutting into his profits.

      • Hee Seop Chode

        Yea, but this isn’t a market. The product is not being sold for what a market can bear; instead there is only one seller and one buyer. It’s not like the Cubs could buy Appel if he didn’t sign with Houston.

        The slot prices were negotiated with the collective barganing agreement. I’d rather see young studs get something like $250,000 for all first round picks, and declining amounts of equal value for each player taken in rounds thereafter. Move the money they’re giving up to the MLB level.

        • SenorGato

          Oh God no.

        • Patrick W.

          Which would only further push the most talented athletes away from baseball and into sports which promise a faster, bigger payday.

  • Polar Bear

    Not gonna even attempt the spelling, but in that link they are reporting that Scott Z. has also signed. That would be great!!!

  • Patrick G

    Jim Callis on MLBN saying Baez could very well see Wrigley next season. Now I know its just one guy saying this and just his opinion, but that sounds pretty sweet. Hope he’s right

    • Mike

      Would Baez play 3B? Or would either Baez or Castro move to 2B?

      • Patrick G

        he didn’t say but I would assume 3B if Barney is still around

  • ssckelley

    BA has updated the Cubs draft list that says 9th round pick Charcer Burks has signed for $170k, which is 21K over budget for that pick.


  • Rebuilding

    One nice thing as a fan about drafting Bryant is that we will get to see him more extensively this year as opposed to Appel and Gray who will probably get very limited innings

  • Jp3

    That’s a great point, not worried about fatigued batter’s eye. Very interested to see where they put him after Arizona. Where did the last big college bat get assigned 1st?

    • Cubbie Blues

      Almora debuted in the Arizona Rookie League and hit a HR in his first game.


    • Dynastyin2017

      Last year’s best college bat, Mike Zunino, was assigned to the Northwest League (short season low A), absolutely crushed it there and was promoted to AA. Crushed it there. He just called up to Seattle.

      • Spriggs

        And he also played in the Arizona Fall League

      • DarthHater

        I don’t think our FO will promote that aggressively, even if Bryant hits better than Zunino.

      • King Jeff

        Zunino was kind of struggling at AA, and his promotion is being widely questioned as rushing him to the majors.

        • DarthHater

          I think you mean AAA. He hit well at AA.

  • ssckelley

    I still hold out hope the Cubs can get Bryant signed under slot so they can get one of these stud high school catchers signed. According to twitter it sounds like Tyler Alamo (24th round) is willing to sign, Carlos Pena (26th round) is not showing any indications one way or the other. Pretty much no hope for Jeremy Martinez, the twitter exchanges he has had indicate he is going to USC. I think it would have taken 2nd round money to land Martinez and the Cubs simply may not have it.

    • SenorGato

      Alamo is really interesting. Great size and hes a smooth athlete to go with it. Might even be a more interesting pick than Martinez, who offers little projection.

      Besides pitching this system is missing a badass catching prospect.

  • SenorGato

    I loathe Houston.

  • steve123

    What do you think it would take for the Cubs to land Giancarlo Stanton without giving up our new big 4. I honestly think the Marlins will want young people that can contribute also. How about Barney, Valbuena, Vitters, Jackson, Alcantrara, Vogelbach, and Szczur? That may be enough, if not throw in Christian Villanueva. This would be 8 people (6 prospects, 2 players).

    • DarthHater

      Not a chance. But if you make it 14 prospects and 6 players, then maybe. πŸ˜›

    • ssckelley

      Oh ok the Marlins want quantity not quality for Stanton? I say the Cubs should offer #21-40 (20 players in total) of their top 40 prospects in exchange for Stanton. If that is not enough throw in some of the MLB bench players, like Ransom.

    • cms0101

      No way they give up Stanton without at least 2 of the “big 4”. They’ll get at least that from every other team that enters the Giancarlo Stanton sale, whenever the Marlins decide to hold it.

      • SenorGato

        Do other teams even have two guys in the class of the Cubs’ 4? We are not just talking upside here, there’s a lot of polish too. Even Baez’s power is playable despite his mediocre at best approach.

        • cms0101

          Cardinals, Rangers, Twins, Mariners, Mets, Redsox, just looking at the top 100 prospects in the game. Now whether or not any of these teams would make the deal is another story. I would guess the Rangers, Mets, and Redsox would consider a trade for sure. In fact, the Rangers have been rumored heavily to desire Stanton. They were in hard for Justin Upton and lost out to the Braves. They want to replace Nelson Cruz with a young OF with legit power. They’ll have money to pay him when his current deal runs out. Olt and Profar could be the bait needed to make it happen. Bottom line, there’s no way to get Stanton without including at least one of the top 4, and more likely it will take 2.

          • SenorGato

            Who are the guys in those organizations to worry about?

            Texas has Profar, St. Louis has Taveras, Mets have D’Arnaud, Red Sox have Boagerts, but who is the second? How much better are those guys really, if at all? I like Taveras and Boagerts enough, but have always found Profar to be pretty overrated. Who do the Mariners have to move?

            Mike Olt has been wildly overrated by Cubs fans for nigh on a year now. Decent player, nowhere near the class of.prospect as the top 4 here.

            • ETS

              Darnaud + Wheeler could return almost anything. I would think.

            • cms0101

              You’d need to look at any of the top 100 prospect lists to see the 2 guys from each of those teams that are ranked ahead of at least 2 of the three guys in the system already. The Cardinals have Taveras and a few pitchers. Redsox have Bogaerts, Bradley, and a few other pitchers. The Mariners have a few pitchers and a catcher. Despite your feelings on Profar, you won’t find any ranking that shows Baez, Soler, or Almora ranked above him. I don’t disagree with you on Olt, but if Profar is included in a deal, the Marlins would listen. Plus the Rangers have a deeper system to fill out the prospect package with good players. Forget my premise of trading 2 top guys for a second. The original post in this conversation suggested the Cubs could make a deal without even including one of the top 3. Do you agree with that? I don’t. And when the bidding starts for Stanton, my guess is the final price will reach 2 top prospects. Again, I’m not advocating the Cubs make that deal. But there is just no way they could get close to acquiring Stanton without giving up one of Baez, Soler, or Almora.

    • ssckelley

      on second thought just give the Marlins the Iowa Cubs roster.

    • THEOlogical

      If I had the time, I could name 5 teams and their prospects (whom would be better) and outbid the Cubs. Even with Stanton’s health issues, your going to have teams that will go just a little bit more than the Cubs to get him. Actually, I’d rather miss out on him because they’ll want (and get) that top rated prospect.

      • ssckelley

        But I would take that young experienced bat any day over prospects. I can remember back in 2001 when some people were saying the same thing about not trading away top prospects like Juan Cruz, Corey Patterson, Bobby Hill, ect ect. Wish we could have gone back in time and traded the entire lot for a Stanton type player back then. It is no different now, we will be fortunate for 1 of these prospects to pan out.

        • cms0101

          I would think that the Cubs would give significant consideration to trading for Stanton if he were to come available. Througout the system they are strong in the infield, especially if Bryant can stay at 3rd. As an example, packaging Baez and Soler could work. Stanton would take over RF, Almora would be in CF eventually, Bryant could be at 3rd. Alcantara moves over to 2nd. in LF you have several options to choose from. Jackson, Vitters, Szczur, Ha, or a free agent/trade. You’ll still have Candelario, Vogelbach, Amaya, Marco Hernandez, Rock Shoulders to use as trade bait too. Let me just qualify that I’m not necessarily for trading 2 of these guys to get Stanton, but that’s what I think the price will be. There are questions about his injury history, the knee in particular, that they would have to be sure about before doing something like that.

    • scorecardpaul

      maybee the Cubs could just go out and sign 100 or 1,000 undrafted free agents. Then we could offer the Marlins 1,000 players that are really young with lots of upside for one older already peaked player. They would have to take that deal

      • DarthHater

        Now you’re talking!

  • SenorGato
  • fester30

    I liked the Bryant pick over the pitchers, but it so often seems like a toss up. I agree with Mike that the slot values are way too high for talent that hasn’t produced anything. Far too many of these top picks wind up washing out to justify such a huge expenditure of funds. FWIW I also think the NBA and NFL are way too unreasonable in their rookie contracts, and they don’t flame out at nearly the rate of MLB draft picks. What is the alternative for the players? Independent leagues?

    • Bric

      I disagree about the NFL’s contracts. On the contrary, I think their collective agreement is the most fan friendly, which is honestly the only side I care about. I’m just a fan and have no real delusions that these guys aren’t anything more than really, really talented athletes that get paid huge amounts of money to provide a pleasant hobby or distraction for the rest of us.

      True, a lot of these guys provide role models and services for kids as well as raise money for charities and stuff and that’s all good. But clearly any business that’s going to pay 5 mil plus to an 18 or 19 year old kid (NBA and MLB) with no guarantee of anything in return is wwayyyyy the F out of control. I stated my concerns about Dylan Maples’ character issues when he used the possibility of going to college into a bargaining chip with the Cubs. I said he sounded like he just cared about the money which doesn’t bode well about his desire to get to Wrigley.

      I was roundly criticized on this sight for stating this. Well, a year later I still stand by my assertion. *Cue Luke and the other guys now to jump on me with their sample sizes, sabermetrics, injury issues and whatever other excuse you want to use to avoid the reality that he hasn’t even earned 1 tenth of the money paid to him yet. That’s what happens when you give an 18 year old kid money that a 35 year old father of 3 doesn’t make. Money doesn’t mean responsibility, especially to an 18 year old kid.

    • frank

      Remember that NFL contracts are not fully guaranteed. I believe in the most recent NFL CBA, rookies are put on a rookie pay scale and only a portion of the money is guaranteed. If I remember correctly, all MLB money is guaranteed. In addition, football players don’t have the option of returning to college once they declare for the draft.

      • Bric

        Exactly my point. “We’ll guarantee your money for 5 years even if you flame out after 2 months.” WTF is that????! These kids aren’t serving combat, they’re living the dream.

        Anybody that ever pokes fun at how baseball and basketball players seem like total pussies compared to the NFL and NHL, just look at how their contracts are structured. It’s not that big a mystery.

  • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

    Why trade for Stanton expensive in terms of prospects and puts the organization in a position of having to back up the trade with a big player contract (years, money). For a player who has played in several garbage games, with garbage time AB’s, with several hitting coaches and Managers at the MLB level. Not to mention his DL stints. This is exactly the past cub FO management play and expect the Cub field manger to deal with it even if the said player decides to play hard or not. Instead when competitive find an old proven bat, like the Cardinals did on their last WS title.

  • Die hard

    College Player of the Year shouldn’t need any help to get top dollar

  • Mark

    Get him signed and get him to Kane County ASAP! I want to see him and Almora in the same line-up

    • Jimmy james

      I would think by the time he is in Kane co. Almora wil have already moved to daytona

      • Jp3

        I don’t think he’s going to Kane county, I’m pretty sure Brett/Luke thinks he’ll jump to Daytona in all likelihood. They can just meet there

        • Jimmy james

          I’d take that

  • Kevin

    Is there a site that shows the status of all the players drafted by the Cubs, status of signing, amount of bonus $ committed, running total status of over/under slot budget. I followed such a site last year but can’t find one yet that has all this information.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Baseball America does it. But they include players only when they’ve confirmed the signing.

    • cms0101

      What Brett said… Plus give BA some time to catch up and confirm all of the reported signings. They’re delayed out of the gate a bit. They’re actually missing one or two signings from last year if you go back to that database. Still, it’s the best “official” place on the web to see the info you’re looking for.

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