Well, we’re there. No, the Chicago Cubs haven’t signed all of their draft picks (they won’t), and no, they haven’t yet signed all of their top ten picks (the ones whose slot value makes up the bonus pool that impacts all of their signings).
But, according to MLB.com’s tracker, the Cubs have now signed 9th Rounder James Farris to a $3,000 signing bonus ($148,000 below slot), which means they’ve signed everyone in the top ten except 6th Rounder Dylan Cease. That, in turn, means we can do pretty much all the calculating we’ll need to do right now.
Farris, a senior at Arizona, was a 15th Round pick by the Astros last year, but he elected not to sign, and instead try to up his stock as a senior. That allowed him to be selected higher this year, but the signing bonus was probably not what he was hoping. His numbers as one of Arizona’s better starters were pretty good this year – 100 K in 113.2 innings, and just 19 BB.
Today the Cubs also officially announced their deal with 3rd Rounder Mark Zagunis, who was the first reported signing, but took a little while to become official. No worries, though. He’s in the fold.
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 – Signed for $3,000 (Slot amount: $151,000)
10. Ryan Williams – Signed for $1,000 (Slot amount: $141,000)
The Cubs are up to $928,700 in savings below the bonus pool allotment.
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 $1,346,310 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.
So, then, the Cubs could sign Cease for $1 million, and would then still have about $620,000 left in “over slot” money. Would $720,000 be enough to entice Gilliam to go pro? Could the Cubs get another post-11th Round target instead? Will Joe Martarano be getting more than $100,000, which would cut into that number?
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.
3. Mark Zagunis, C
8. Tommy Thorpe, LHP
9. James Farris, RHP
10. Ryan Williams, RHP
11. Jordan Brink, RHP
12. Tanner Griggs, RHP
13. Kevonte Mitchell, 3B
14. Chesny Young, 2B
15. Jeremy Null, RHP
16. Jason Vosler, SS
17. Michael Knighton, RHP
18. Austyn Willis, RHP
32. Andrew Ely, 2B