contractHere’s an interesting signing.

The Chicago Cubs have reportedly agreed to terms with their third round selection in the 2013 Draft, Brigham Young center fielder Jacob Hannemann. What was considered at the time of the Draft to be a “value” pick and an easy under slot signing has proved to be a relatively healthy over slot signing. Jim Callis reports that Hannemann’s bonus reached seven figures: a cool $1 million, or $264,000 over the slot value for the Cubs’ third round pick.

Hannemann, 22, was an old freshman at BYU thanks to serving time on a Mormon mission. It didn’t seem to limit his ability, though, because he hit like gangbusters upon his return to baseball. He is also a speedy center fielder with good makeup, so it’s easy to see why the Cubs liked him.

But they liked him to the tune of (1) picking him earlier than most folks expected, and (2) signing him for well over slot.

What does this tell us?

Well, a few things. First, it tells us that when Scouting and Player Development Chief Jason McLeod said Hannemann emerged as a guy the Cubs “just had to have,” he meant that as expressly as possible. Second, it tells us that Hannemann was probably a late riser whom the Cubs didn’t expect to still be on the board come the fourth round, third party projections be damned. Third, it tells us that the Cubs have a great deal of confidence that they’ll sign first round pick Kris Bryant for a fair bit under slot. For reasons I’ll get into tomorrow when I round up where the Cubs’ draft stands financially, the team wouldn’t be inking a flurry of over slot deals, as they reportedly have, unless they knew they were going to have plenty of money to work with – without risking losing future draft picks by spending too much over their allotted bonus pool.

There’s at least one lesson here: while the prevailing thought on a player by the various scouting services might have him pegged for a certain range, that doesn’t necessarily mean MLB teams see him the same way. This is probably especially true for a player like Hannemann, who has a unique history and limited recent playing time.

  • frank hutch

    What happened to carreno. The pitcher that was the ptbn in the baker trade to the tigers. He sounded kind of promising. Is he hurt?

    • King Jeff

      Yes, not sure what the injury is, but he was put on the DL towards the end of spring training.

    • #1lahairfan

      I think he WAS on extended spring training.

  • davidalanu

    I’m no draft slot expert, but I’ve heard the theory that Bryant may wait to sign until he sees how much extra slot money the Cubs have left, meaning he would get any “left-overs”. At this point, he may want to go ahead and get signed quickly, before his slot money gets eaten into too much.

    • MichiganGoat

      I believe a price + what’s left over (including the 5% overage allowed without draft penalty), that hesitation before he was selected and the over slot signings we’ve seen points toward an agreement like I stated above.

    • Cyranojoe

      That was my theory when the overslot signings first started coming in. Not only will the Cubs end up lowering their payout to Bryant, this will send a resounding message to future first round picks: sign early, or lose out on big dough!

  • BleedCubbieBlue

    Is it possible that they are intentionally signing the players that they knew would be over slot so as to pressure Kris Bryant into signing since the Cubs will only have so much money to spend on him? The more they spend on other picks, the less that will be available for Kris Bryant.

    • BleedCubbieBlue

      Ok, ignore my comment….it seems davidalanu had the same thought. Sorry for not seeing your post before writing mine!

      • davidalanu

        Quite alright. I thought yours was a brilliant and insightful post.

    • King Jeff

      I doubt the front office would paint themselves into a corner like that. Word is that the framework of the deal is agreed upon, but Bryant is taking a breather before signing. I have read that the deal is pretty much done pending a physical.

      • Internet Random

        That makes me feel a little better.

        • Internet Random

          Wait… You didn’t read that from Nightengale, did you?

      • hansman1982

        We really need to get Assman in on this one.

    • 5412


      I think it is possible however they want Bryant signed, the don’t want to lose him. In addition they want him happy. They don’t need a stud who feels a need to get even the next time around.


  • Internet Random

    I will cry—a lot—if we don’t sign Bryant.

    • ari gold

      Yeah because we’ll lose our 1st round pick next year. we pretty much need to sign him below slot in order not to lose our bonus pool. But fear not, Theo and Jed already know Bryant is going to sign for. They wouldn’t F this up.

  • King Jeff

    No, nothing from anybody even close to official. Just a lot of talk. Between Yagyu, twitter, and how they’ve spent their money elsewhere, it seems to be just a matter of when he’s going to sign. I would think that since Appel is now officially signed that word on Bryant won’t be far behind.

  • Bric

    Well, that’s a million bucks the Cubs just threw away.
    Question- what’s the difference between a 22 year old college freshman tearing it up against a bunch 18ish year old other college freshman? Answer- The same as a 22 year old prospect busting it up in rookie ball against those same kids but with a million dollars in his pocket.
    Question #2: When did the Cubs scouting suddenly skyrocket past other teams such as the Rays, Reds and Cards in their ability to find hidden gems that apparently got overlooked in the first 3 rounds? Answer- They didn’t. ~Sincerely, Hayden Simpson

    • Austin

      1. He is younger on the baseball side than his 22 year old age. He is basicly a 18 year old freshman when it comes to baseball but more mature which could lead to a better chance of improving with work ethic. And 2. Hayden Simpson was a different GM and Scouting pick. Can’t even mention Simpson with today’s draft picks as their is NO connection.

      • Bric

        Do you happen to remember a 27 year old rookie quarterback in the NFL a couple of years ago named Chris Weinke? Neither do I.

      • 5412


        Has anyone known a Mormon kid who did a 2 year mission? The few I have known had their stuff together and were a cut above.

        No, not Jim McMahon…..


        • Drew

          Anyone heard of David Robinson? Took 2 years to fulfill his Naval Requirements between College and his Pro Career? Worked out O.K. for him.

    • cubchymyst

      I was unaware that colleges have a freshman baseball team. I thought they simply had a baseball team so he played against the same competition as Bryant.

      • Bric

        We’ll see. Everything about it sounds like wasted money. JMO ~Sincerely, Mark Pawalek

        • hansman1982

          You do realize that the fact he wasn’t a first round draft pick nearly ensured it was wasted money?

          No sense in getting too bent about it.

      • 5412


        The impression I had was he is a freshman playing varsity baseball.


    • DReese

      Different front office dude

  • King Jeff

    I tried, I think I’m being spam filtered.

    • Brett

      Weird. I just unspammed it. There shouldn’t be a reason that the spam filter catches that link unless Pro Sports Daily has been flagged by a service for being an unsafe site (which, to my knowledge, it isn’t).

      • King Jeff

        I tried linking back to the article where you linked it too, with no luck.

  • nkniacc13

    my guess is that Bryant and Cubs have a number they agree to and maybe any extra $ goes to him. There is no way the Cubs would go this much over slot with this many situations unless they had a base number that’s agreed to

  • Dumpgobbler

    Strange. There was a slew of better ranked talents that received less money in the 3rd. I guess the FO must love him.

    • 5412

      We will see how it pans out. They have some stiff criteria for a 3rd rounder. They may have a coaching connection no one knows about.


  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    I have a buddy of mine in the Giants scouting dept. and I asked him about this kid. He said they loved him and might have picked him in round 3 if he was still there.
    He said quite a few teams were hoping this kid would slide to them in the top 5 rounds.

    • Rich H

      A buddy of mine with the Cards said the same thing. First round talent but the time off and the idea that he wanted to play football made him available in 3rd but he was gone soon if the Cubs did not get him. He actually sounded ticked off because the Cards thought Hannemann would still be there for them.

      • Good Captain

        Given both of your comments of other teams’ deliberations and their strong feelings about his abilities, this provides additional rationale or the “over slot” too IMO. If Hannemann was aware of multiple teams interest in his services, then it may have given him negotiation leverage w/ the Cubs that he was prepared to further build his value and hope or a stronger outcome next time.

  • cub2014

    quick who has more stolen bases Vogelbach or Almora?

    • CubbiesOHCubbies

      Quick, WHO CARES????? Almora missed the first two months with the broken Hamate bone. I suppose him hitting .400 for his first month or so is unacceptable due to a lack of stolen bases????

    • CubsFaninMS

      Yes, but also look at how many times Vogelbach has been caught stealing.

  • The Dude Abides

    As mentioned when we drafted him it’s similar to Sczur and the leverage of a two sport collegiate, hopefully he’s better than Matt.

    • gocatsgo2003

      So we’re going to ignore the fact that Szczur is a pretty effective player? If the power develops (which I understand has been the question with him all along), he could be a damn fine player. He’s probably profiled as a 4th OF at this point, but could develop into a regular with more time.

      • Kyle

        Szczur is a somewhat effective AA player who is too old for AA.

        He’s not terrible at baseball or anything, but he’s not good enough to make you think he’s going to be a good major leaguer. Or even a regular major leaguer.

        • gocatsgo2003

          And it’s not possible that he’s still at AA as a 23-year old because he split his time throughout college between football and baseball. No… that wouldn’t make any sense.

        • jt

          Szczur is listed as being 23 y/o.
          There are 6 players on the Smokies who are listed as younger than 23.
          There are 5 players on the I Cubs who are 23 y/o and nobody who is younger.
          Why do you consider Szczur to be too old for AA?

      • Rich H

        SHHHH don’t use opinion that are contrary to what people want to hear. Szcrur is a bust because he is not in CF in Chicago already. No matter what happens at this point he is already over just like Jackson and Vitters.

        • The Dude Abides

          I hope Jackson, Vitters and Szcrur all make it. My point is for a million bucks I hope he is better than Szcrur. And similar to Szcrur he is a two sport collegiate and that gives him leverage to maximize his $$’s. Good luck to all of them we shall see how it plays out.

          • Scotti

            The leverage that Hannemann had was that #1, he had 3 more years of college left (typical college kid has 1) and #2, he came on really strong in divisional play after shaking the rust off (meaning, he got better as time went on and against tougher competition). Going back to school was a real possibility for him (unlike Bryant).

            Re. Sczur… He has panned out more than most kids have and he has a very good shot a having a nice mlb career. The guy is a plus defender, runner and walks without high k’s. That’s a lot to work with.

  • Brian

    I can’t seem to find it now, but wasn’t there an article posted that had Theo comparing Hannemann to Jacoby Ellsbury? If he’s a healthier version, that’s a heck of a 3rd round pick.

    • X the Cubs Fan

      I think it was a tweet but the comparison does make sense, speed, defense, power it’s all there.

  • BABIP (MichCubFan)

    Alright, here is how I think our front office looks at prospects when it comes to age…mostly relating to when a prospect reaches the majors:

    You want a prospect to come up when they are ready to be a fully developed competitive Major League player. Everybody talks about bringing up Baez or Soler next year. They want to see them in the majors as soon as possible. I think our FO generally looks at prospects to come up when they are 24 years old and maybe 23. This way they are more prepared and more mature than they would be if they were to skip triple-A ball and play in the majors as a 21 or 22 year old. Look at Starlin Castro. He is a very talented player who has a bunch of flaws that should have been worked through in double and triple-A.

    This is applicable to Hannemann because this front office is more concerned with how good a player is when they are called up to the majors, not how soon they can get up to the majors. Let’s say that Hanneman actually makes it to the majors, and does so in 2016. So lets say he is 25 when he makes it to the majors. You have 6 years of control over a player who is fully ready for the majors. He is still going to be in his prime when he is done with his contract.

    You lose a little on his age, but you get a little more in talent when you consider where he was taken.

    • sven-erik312

      Very well said.

    • Scotti

      Little to none of this applies to Solar–his clock is started because he is on the 40 AND he has a 9-year contract (arb doesn’t matter for him). You still want him to progress but that applies to all prospects.

  • Dynastyin2017

    We have to have a deal in place for Bryant. If we don’t, aren’t we in the range of going over our total slot amount? This FO wouldn’t make that mistake.

  • Dumpgobbler

    lol at not signing Bryant, Who really thinks we’re going overslot on Hannemann only to not have money for Bryant? I can see it now. “Forget Bryant, we need Hannemann!”

  • ssckelley

    I do not understand this at all, even this guys dad said they were looking for 700-800k. This draft pick was considered a reach, one the Cubs could save slot money on. Heck for that money they might as well drafted Denney.

    • Dynastyin2017

      Unless they really think he’ll be better than Denney.

      • ssckelley

        But still, why this much money when his dad was quoted saying they were looking for 700-800k?

        • Dynastyin2017

          This I do not know.

        • hansman1982

          Well, they probably didn’t get a quote from the scout who say “Who the eff is that guy and why are you listening to him?”

      • Dumpgobbler

        They must. Some teams just fall in love with players. These guys have historically drafted very well. Hannemann is a bit older but has a legit skill set. I doubt there are too many real scouts on here so we all have to rely on people like Mayo / BA / Sickels ect ect. Its hard to like Hannemann over Denney, Cord Sandberg, Jacoby Jones, Daniel Palka, Stephen Tarpley and Carlos Salazar but we’ll see.

    • cubzfan

      It is my understanding that the draft rules allow a club to pay extra (without penalty) to sign a player who is on an NCAA Div. I football scholarship. This loophole was in place when the Cubs signed Samardzija and Szczur. If it still exists, then (a) the amount over slot may not count against the Cubs’ pool and (b) Hannemann and his advisor would know that they could request this money without it preventing the club from signing other players.

      I suppose the same rule applies to two-sport athletes who play something other than football, but there are a lot more two-sport football players because there are more football scholarships and athletes can be role players on the football team.

      • ssckelley

        I would love to know more about this loophole and if it still exists. There has to be some logical explanation to go from 700k that he wanted to giving him a million.

        I keep going back to this but it really makes me sick. The Cubs weakest position in the organization is catcher, Denney was taken 6 picks after this one and was considered, by some, the top HS catcher prospect and the thought was he would need 1st round money to sign. Turns out the Red Sox only needed 875k to sign him, 125k less than what Hannemann signed for. When the Cubs drafted Hannemann it looked like a classic save pool money kind of pick. They could have gotten first round talent but instead paid more for 4th/5th round talent.

        Ok, I am done.


  • X the Cubs Fan this shows Theo Epsteins drafts. All of them before 2012 were Theo, seems like theres at least one every year.

  • Kevin

    This year when Brett holds his Blogathon at the trading deadline, lets all show our appreciation by digging deep in our pockets for hosting the BEST Cubs site ever! Admit it, we get our daily fix here on Bleacher Nation. At a minimum, our fix is worth at least $0.50 per day. Work out your own calculations and please give generously. Thanks Brett for everything you do to keep us updated. Job well done!

    • Brett

      That is very kind of you, Kevin, and there’s an announcement about the Blogathon coming soon – your spirit will be appreciated.

  • BD

    Not sure if anybody said this… but it seems like there are only two options. The easy answer is that Bryant is signing under slot.

    But what if the Cubs are just foregoing next year’s draft and going way over budget this year? It would make sense that they could add as many arms that might be closer to the majors (rather than high schoolers), if they turn around and also sign some free agents that cost draft pick compensation to also boost their 2014 roster.

    I don’t think they would do that, but it doesn’t seem like the math is adding up so far.

    • hansman1982

      No. You don’t go overslot on a weaker draft class and forgo a top-5 draft class in a stronger draft class. Ever.

  • SenorGato

    Jeremy Guthrie is the only guy I can think of who delayed his career for a mission, came back, was drafted high, and became a solid major league starter. No clue how many have been drafted.

    This guy seems like Almora-lite + 4 years.

  • jacob w

    That’s 6 of our top ten in the fold. Doesn’t the draft pool only affect the top 10?

    • Scotti

      Unless the lower rounds go over 100k per. Coming under for those cats means nothing. Each guy that goes over counts against the cap.

  • Eric

    He cost more money, that means I like him more.

  • rudy

    Haha, just ran into Jay Chapman and Casey Coleman at the bar in Des Moines drunk and taking kamakazi shots with some OKay looking girls and all wearing helmets (its tradition at this place) bragging about their at bats at 2 am in the morning.

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