So Baseball America has a new feature that allows you to see the amount of money available for unsigned picks. The calculation includes the maximum you can spend before losing a draft pick.
So how much can the Cubs use on Albert Almora? According to the calculator and Callis' tweet...
If the Cubs don't want to incur any fines, the most they can pay is $3,675,200
As of now, because the Cubs have yet to sign all of their 10th round picks. Pierce Johnson and Ryan McNeil are rumored to have signed, but it has not yet been made official. That is probably by design, as the Cubs would have the advantage if their status/bonus amounts are not made public. That gives them the edge in information. They know how much they can offer, but Scott Boras does not.
It's possible the Cubs have that much to spend, but it's also possible that they will have more....or less...depending on whether they sign some of their remaining unsigned picks at under or over value.
There are also some parameters set already. The highest signing bonus will be Byron Buxton's $6M and the picks that sandwiched the Almora pick (5th round RHP Kyle Zimmer and 7th round pick LHP Max Fried) have signed for $3M each. Boras will likely exceed that $3M, which by itself is a victory for Boras and his client.
Moreover, I do expect Almora to sign because he will lose money if he doesn't, but with the signing deadline less than a month away, Boras will try to call the Cubs bluff on this as he tries to minimize the front offices' information advantage as much as possible. I fully expect the negotiations to go down to the wire, but then again it's Scott Boras...
Should we really expect anything different?
Other spending limits of note:
- The Cubs can spend up to $913,961 on one of their picks past the 10th round. Of course the players of note in this category are OF Rhett Wisemann and RHP/C Blake Hickman.
- The most RHP Mark Appel can sign for right now is $3,831,012. Appel reportedly turned down a $6M offer to be selected first by teh Astros and is now considered the toughest sign in the first round.