2014 mlb draftIf you’re already looking ahead to the draft in June (why wouldn’t you be?) and the opening of the next international signing period in July (why wouldn’t you be?), then Jim Callis has some info for you.

Callis has a breakdown of all of the pool dollars that will be available to teams this year in the draft, as well as the international signing pools that each team will receive. Callis reports that those figures have increased by 1.7% this year over last year.

For the Cubs and their 10 picks in the first 10 rounds of the 2014 draft, they will have a signing pool of $8,352,200, which is the 6th highest amount (although the Cubs pick 4th, other teams have more than 10 picks in those first 10 rounds, thanks to free agent compensation and the competitive balance lottery (for which every other NL Central team is eligible except the Cubs)).

We’ll get into the nitty-gritty of the draft’s bonus pool rules when the draft gets a little closer, but, suffice it to say, that’s the amount of money the Cubs will have available to spend on their first 10 picks, assuming they sign them all, and to spend on guys after the 10th round who command more than $100,000 to sign. The Cubs can exceed their pool by 5% without triggering any serious penalties, and in both drafts of the new CBA era, they have done so. I’d expect them to do it again this year, making their effective pool closer to $8.77 million.

On the international side, the Cubs will have $3,962,700 to spend, which is the fourth highest amount. The pool comes from totaling four “slots”, each of which is tradable.

Because the Cubs dramatically exceeded their allotment last year, they will not be allowed to sign any single player this year for more than $250,000. You can make a lot of hay in the IFA market with a $250,000 bonus, so don’t think the Cubs won’t still get some nice prospects. However, it can be difficult to spend nearly $4 million that way, so I would look for the Cubs to shop around one or two of their IFA slots when they become eligible to be traded on July 2. It’s a nice extra asset to have – if the Cubs find a team that plans to exceed their pool, the Cubs could trade a $1 million slot as though it were $1 million in real cash. That could “buy” them a decent, albeit not elite, prospect.

  • Smitty

    Is it allowed under the CBA to trade the IFA slots for cash, or does it have to be involved with a player?

  • Johnny Chess

    If you can point to one player and say he is a liability then bench him, otherwise get the kids as much playing time as possible. The Pirates out coached the LH RH platooning with selective pitching.

  • ruby2626

    someone said Olt and Lake sitting today, glad I didn’t go to the game, they’re 2 of the few guys worth watching. If I were managing the Cubs Darwin Barney would never start another game, we just don’t have the hitting to support his anemic bat.

    • Funn Dave

      We’ve got to get rid of him somehow. I don’t think he should be playing every day, or even every other day, but teams have to see that he can still play GG D if they’re going to have any interest in trading for him.

    • ssckelley

      But you play him hoping that he hits at the levels in 2011 and 2012. If this happens then you have a decent trade chip, and he has been showing more patience at the plate and drawing walks.

  • Edwin

    If the Yankees end up going way over their slot and signing a large number of the top IFA prospects, how might that impact the trade market for the Cubs with their IFA cash slots?

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I guess since the Yankees are going all in this year for International FA’s it’s just as well that we are in this position. Let them exceed their allotment this year so next year they will be in the position of not being in competition with us.

  • Brocktoon

    I don’t think IFA slots are really worth much on the trade market. We got a nice sized slot for Ron Torreyes.

  • Idaho Razorback

    Off topic, it was 20 years ago today that Tuffy Rhodes hit three homeruns on Opening Day, all of Dwight Gooden. This day is especially memorable for me because later that nite my Hogs beat Duke to win the NCAA Basketball Championship. Thank God for Scottie Thurman!

    • Jon

      ha, remember that Rhodes game like it was yesterday.

    • Jon

      What’s Oslo funny is that this is 1994, so I’m 13, before the internet, etc. I really have no idea about players much outside the cubs/minor leagues, sustainable performances, etc.

      So immediately after that game I assume Tuffy Rhodes is a new Cubs superstar. Safe to say, I was a bit disappointing as the year went along.

      • Jon


      • ssckelley

        Tuffy is one of those guys where you look at his numbers and he has PEDs written all over him. He was a guy who went from hitting 2/3 homers per year to 30 in the minors and went on to hit 464 career homers in Japan.

      • DarthHater

        You’re always a bit disappointing, Jon. 😛

  • Cubsin

    Some clarifications:

    Each team gets a $700,000 base allotment plus their four slots. The Cubs’ slots are $2,288,700, $458,000, $309,300 and $206,700. The Cubs can’t trade a $1,000,000 slot because they don’t have one (although their three lowest slots total $974,000). The Astros sent us their second and third slots last year (totaling $784,700) for Ronald Torreyes. I wouldn’t expect much in return for our draft slots unless we were willing to trade the largest one, which is unlikely.

  • Hee Seop Chode

    This will sound and feel dirty, but can ball clubs pay agents/handlers/family members to get around the $250M limits?

    • SKHERK

      I’m positive the CBA has all kinds of rules against that type of thing

      • CubFan Paul


      • Jon

        What you see as illegal I see as a market inefficiency :)

  • Eternal Pessimist

    I would imagine the Cubs could find 16 players worth about $250k and guarantee to select them in whatever round they can (would have to be prospects who could chose to go back to school or go somewhere else for a year so the player could tell other suitors they wouldn’t sign if drafted). They would need to offer to “overpay” since these slots artificially hold down costs…might not be such a bad problem to have.

    • TonyP

      The 250k limit is for IFAs not the draft.