More information on the Chicago Cubs’ draft signing process is trickling out by the day, with a couple more names in the top ten rounds with whom to associate a bonus – and thus do some more bonus pool calculating.
Jim Callis reports that the Cubs’ 8th Round pick Tommy Thorpe has signed an under-slot deal:
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 24, 2014
Thorpe was Oregon’s Friday night starter, posting excellent numbers in a quality baseball conference. The upside might not be enormous, but he’s a lefty who has three pitches and has shown effectiveness at the college level. He’s also a junior, so the Cubs must have liked Thorpe a fair bit, otherwise they would have used this pick on a “senior sign.”
Baseball America (via its database) reports that East Carolina righty Ryan Williams, whom the Cubs undoubtedly saw a fair bit while scouting Jeff Hoffman, has signed with the Cubs for $1,000. If that’s accurate, the Cubs get a significant savings under the bonus pool allotment of $141,000 for their 10th Round pick, and Williams gets a shot to play pro ball. Williams, a senior, was an all-conference reliever for ECU,
Updating the Cubs’ bonus pool picture:
1. Kyle Schwarber – Signed for $3,125,000 (Slot amount: $4,621,200)
2. Jake Stinnett – Signed for $1,000,000 (Slot amount: $1,250,400)
3. Mark Zagunis – Signed for $615,000 (Slot amount: $714,900)
4. Carson Sands – Signed for $1,100,000 (Slot amount: $480,600)
5. Justin Steele – Signed for $1,000,000 (Slot amount: $359,900)
6. Dylan Cease – Unsigned, expected over slot (Slot amount: $269,500)
7. James Norwood – Signed for $175,000 (Slot amount: $201,900)
8. Tommy Thorpe - Signed for $135,000 (Slot amount: $161,800)
9. James Farris – Unsigned, expected under slot (Slot amount: $151,000)
10. Ryan Williams – Signed for $1,000 (Slot amount: $141,000)
The Cubs are up to $780,700 in savings below the bonus pool allotment. That does not included expected savings on their 9th Rounder, senior James Farris, but does include the reported deal for 3rd Rounder Mark Zagunis, which has not yet been confirmed by the Cubs.
Throw in the additional $417,610 the Cubs can spend without incurring a loss of draft pick penalty (just a $ penalty), and the team now has $1,198,310 extra to play with to sign guys like Dylan Cease or Isiah Gilliam. And keep in mind: Cease has a slot value of $269,500 to start with – we’re talking about what the Cubs can spend on top of that.
In other words, if we conservatively estimate $100,000 in savings on the Cubs’ 9th Round pick, the Cubs could sign Cease for $1 million, and would then still have about $570,000 left in “over slot” money. Would $670,000 be enough to entice Gilliam to go pro? It’s hard to say. It’s also hard to know at this point whether $1 million is enough to get Cease, or whether Gilliam would be the Cubs’ top post-11th Round target (based on where he was picked and his scouting reports, it sure seems like it).
We’ll keep following. Once Farris’ deal is officially done, and when we find out whether there were already any additional over slot signings after the 11th Round (Joe Martarano could be close), we’ll know where things finally stand for the Cubs to go after their picks. The good news is that even if negotiations with Cease are difficult, the Cubs do have plenty of intriguing over slot types in the later rounds at whom they could throw some money if Cease won’t sign. In that instance, the Cubs would lose the $269,500 associated with Cease’s slot from their pool, but they wouldn’t be using that money on him, either. So, the actual impact to the bonus pool, if Cease doesn’t sign, is just the 5% overage for that slot – about $13,500. Not really a huge concern, all things considered.