Cubs can spend $4M+ on Almora without losing draft pick

Cubs can spend $4M+ on Almora without losing draft pick

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...

For instance, as of now, #Cubs could pay Albert Almora $4,063,961 without giving up a #mlbdraft pick.

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.

Filed under: MLB Draft

Tags: Albert Almora, Scott Boras


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  • The big problem with Going too over slot with Almora is then you will most likely lose Underwood.

  • In reply to WickitCub:

    That's the kind of stuff the Cubs FO has to balance. Of course, Boras will want the max for himself but it's probably not going to work out that way.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That is, of course, assuming Underwood wants to sign at above slot, which we don't know at this time.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If Underwood was looking to sign for Slot. I think it would be done already.

  • In reply to WickitCub:

    Maybe, but Cubs could be trying to sign him for underslot to save more money. Or perhaps there is an agreement in place but the Cubs are keeping it private so they can continue to control the information on the amount of pool money available.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Is Underwood considered a difficult sign or is it more likely that he will be wearing Cubbie blue come July?

  • In reply to supercapo:

    Much more likely he's wearing Cubbie blue.

  • John
    You mean Ryan McNeilinstead of Ryan ONeil correct? Because youre leaving an opening to a lot of Tatum ONeal jokes here.
    Can we assume Rhett Wiseman signing is non-existent at this point?

  • In reply to Cub Fan Dan:

    Ha! I knew I was going to do that sooner or later.

    As far as I know, the Cubs have not signed Ryan O'Neal or Ryan McNeil. Although Tatum once seemed to have a promising pitching career.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Anyway, I went ahead and fixed it :)

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    Johnson has to weigh the risk of not signing, returning to Missouri State, and possibly getting hurt again. Only this time, maybe even worse, and even if he doesn't get hurt, what are the odds he significantly improves his draft position? I think Johnson will sign. Underwood has options, and he has reason to think he could significantly better himself by spending three years at Georgia, both as a player and financially.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Pierce Johnson is probably already signed, just not official, probably because it's in the Cubs best interest to keep it unofficial.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    He tweeted that he had signed a contract. The Cubs front office makes the CIA look like an open book.

  • I did see that tweet too and I've casually mentioned it here a couple of times, but I didn't want to write a story on it until it became official, especially since the amount is so important in this case.

    And these guys are like the CIA, but it really does make sense in this situation.

  • I was thinking about this earlier and if almora doesnt sign, which i am pretty positive wont happen for the various reasons that have been stated, the cubs end up with the #7 pick and what is looking like the #1 or 2 in what is considered a strong 2013 draft class right? They would lose the slot money and again i strongly believe Almora will sign but that wouldnt be the worst thing ever, it would be annoying for sure though..

  • In reply to Andrew13:

    Next year's class isn't very strong, more like this class A -- even down to the point where it's weak in college position players. And considering the Cubs got one of their top targets and a guy they really like in Almora, I think they'd much rather sign him than get an extra pick next year. Even if they get an equal player, it sets them back a year.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I believe it was Brett from Bleachernation that made a strong case that it doesnt need to set them back a year. If they got a top notch college junior pitcher for instance, that player might be further along than Almora would be by that time as well. It is an interesting idea but it definitely relies on the 2013 draft class being very good which Brett said it was.

  • In reply to Andrew:

    College pitchers are the least likely to make an impact in the majors, so I don't agree unless it's an exceptional case, which means the guy is extremely unlikely to be available at the 7th pick -- especially since, with all due respect to Brett, the draft is just not considered to be a appreciably stronger next year. There are some interesting college arms, but no premium ones at this point. No Priors or Strasburgs or Bauers or even a Hultzen or Cole. There's time for that to change, but I don't think that's something I would want to count on. It's a fallback, not a strategy. And like I said, if it's a premium college arm, then he won't be there at 7 anyway.

    And it's all moot anyway because Almora is going to sign.

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    In reply to Andrew13:

    Yes, it would suck, but it wouldn't be the worst thing ever. We still got Soler, and next year's draft class, assuming we don't see the unusual outbreak of injuries to the top college pitching prospects we saw this season, will be deeper. It won't come near the 2010 class, but it will be better than the 2011 class. Imagine having a top 3 pick followed by #7 and the wiggle room to sign both of them.

    As for Almora, not signing would be a far worse thing for him. In fact, I'm not sure Boras has not set himself up for a fall with Appel. Almora not signing would compound that. 3 years from now, Almora will be a Junior with far fewer options, and he will be facing a better draft class. He won't do better than what he could do now, and neither will Appel.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Agree 100% on Almora signing, his odds of going higher or the same in 3 years are not good. The risk of injury, a more talented draft class, the loss of three years spent in a professional environment and the loss of 3 years investment growth on his bonus all point to him signing now.

  • In reply to Northside Neuman:

    Agreed except for the next class being a lot more talented. That's not really how it's being viewed right now. It's going to be another relatively weak class.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Even at the 7th pick in the strong, deep draft last year, there really were no great, sure thing college pitchers to take. There were guys like Jungmann, Bradley, Gray, and Barnes but none, with the possible exception of Barnes were really considered guys with frontline stuff and Barnes was somewhat raw/risky and not considered a premium pick because of that.

    That being said, next year is going to be a lot like this year. Right now there are a lot of questions and unless a talented guy like Stanek or Whitson takes a step forward, you're not going to get a premium college arm next year, and even if one or two or even three emerges, they almost certainly won't be there at the 7th pick.

  • I really don't want to lose Underwood. Find a way to get them all signed Theo.

  • In reply to Bilbo Baggins:

    I'd be surprised if Underwood doesn't sign.

  • John, what Cubs picks have officially signed and for how much?

  • How about I give you the official signings and the amounts for the guys signed in the top 10?

    Here's a link for guys signed in top 10 with amounts...

    Also signed

    11. Rashad Crawford, OF, HS (GA)
    14. Corbin Hoffner, RHP, JC (FL)
    15. Carlos Escobar, C, Nevada
    17. Nathan Dorris, LHP, Southern Illinois
    21. Steven Perakslis, RHP, Maine
    28. Lance Rymel, C, Rogers St.
    30. Isaac Garsez, OF , Idaho St.
    32. Tim Saunders, SS, Marietta
    35. Ben Carhart, 3B, Stetson
    40.Jacob Robers, 1B, Mount Olive

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    Non-thread related: John, did you see where Rosenthal suggests Ryan Lavarnway could be part of a package to get Garza? I could see where this front office would like Lavarnway.

    Maybe Garza, DeJesus and a cost controlled player for Lavarnway, Barnes or Workman, Pena or Owens and Bradley or Cechinni?

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Funny thing is I alreadxy suggested something like that not that long ago and got hammered for it.

  • In reply to WickitCub:

    Who did the hammering...Cubs fans or Red Sox fans?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Bothe the Cubs fans were like we dont want Lavarnway because we have Castillo and Clevenger. To keep this clean I think it stupid because I am not completely sold on them yet. Red Sox fans said they dont need Garza their SPing is coming together. I could type I was laughing so hard.

  • In reply to WickitCub:

    Oh yeah. No problems with the Red Sox staff. Sounds like a lot of wishful thinking in beantown.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    The Red Sox system just doesn't excite me, so I guess I'd have to trust Theo and Jed if they do trade Garza to the Red Sox.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    You like the Yankees system more than I do, and I like the Red Sox system. Neither really has much to like in AAA or AA. Boston seems to have an advantage in High-A to me. I like the Yankees Low-A guys better.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I don't really like the Yankees system too much either. I like Gaby Sanchez and maybe a couple of other players in Charleston, but that's low A high risk there.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Between Hi-A and Low-A, I think Boston has more depth to deal from, but not much more. I also wonder if Boston's ownership and upper FO types will get desperate and force Cherrington into making a deal he might not otherwise make. Of course, they'll blame him when it all goes south, but I'm pretty sure ole Ben would have a job with the Cubs if that happened.

    Would the Yankees give up Hughes as part of a deal to get Garza? Maybe, but Hughes has actually pitched better as of late. He may now just be starting to come into his own.

    Charleston's Sanchez, Austin and Mitchell might be a doable deal for Dempster from a Yankees perspective, but would they be enough for Garza from a Cubs perspective?

    I would see the acquisition of Sanchez or Lavarnway as desirable. We're okay at catcher now, but the added depth that such an acquisition would provide might lead to other deals.

  • In reply to John Arguello: if we had a choice other than to trust the FO. We as fans like to think we have some influence in the decisions of the organization. Reminds me of a really funny portion of the movie Fever Pitch.

  • In reply to WSorBust:

    I just meant that I have my own opinion and I'm thinking that it's possible they make a deal that I may not be that crazy about, but of course, I have to trust that they know what they're doing, especially when it come to Boston because of the tons of info they have.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I'd actually like to see the Cubs hang onto DeJesus. He's likely to give the Cubs a home town discount and he's a good clubhouse guy that would make a nice 4th or 5th outfielder once the OF is hopefully filled with the likes of Soler, Almora, and Jackson. That is if he's still able to produce at that point. He is very good defensively and could do a fine job of keeping an OF spot warm until the promising youngsters are ready. Besides, it's not as if the return for DeJesus would be that significant. I think we need to hope that our primary trade bait (Dempster, Garza, Marmol, Soto) can get and stay healthy over the next month or so, and that those guys really get on a roll.

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    In reply to WSorBust:

    I like dejesus sticking around another year. He's been solid. But if your going to keep lahair and bring up Bjax you just have to unload Soriano.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Soriano and Garza to the Orioles along with a boatload of cash for a package of young arms headed by Dylan Bundy.

  • In reply to WSorBust:

    I don't think Castro would get the Cubs Bundy, let alone Garza. He's basically untouchable at this point...

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    If Jed were crazy enough to offer Castro for Bundy, the Orioles would have him on the next plane. No prospect is untouchable.

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    I hope the Almora signing doesn't go down to the wire or he will likely not play any minor league games this year.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    The deadline is earlier this year, so he should get some time, unlike previous years where players waited until almost the end of the season.

  • I'm stuck watching this game on WGN. Ken Harrelson should be fed to the jackals.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Eddie:

    Save your ears the trouble and exercise the mute button in its place. Gets me by...

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    He's gone into his "Stretch" routine twice now on balls that died on the warning track.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    My condolences!

  • Call me crazy, but based on the money the Cubs are saving I believe they are going to make a serious attempt at signing Rhett Wiseman or one of the other prospects that was though of as "unsignable". I believe Almora will sign for the slotted amount and not more. Here's why I think this...

    1. The Cubs have all the leverage in the Almora negotiation. Almora's resume clearly shows he has prepared himself to play at the Major League level sooner rather than later. If he doesn't sign, he can not be drafted for another 3 years. I think both he and the Cubs are hoping he will be in the big leagues in 3 years as he one of the most major league ready high school prospects in this draft. Even if he is the next Ryan Zimmerman, he only stands to lose money by going to college as the clock will almost surely start later for him to get his next big paycheck.

    2. Boras can not afford to have Almora not sign. Mark Appel supposedly turned down 6 million. Even if he does sign with Pittsburgh, how much money did Boras lose for him? Now imagine if Almora doesn't sign either... would you choose him as your agent next year. Houston has already made the statement that Boras will not push them around by passing on Appel and signing Carlos Correa for $4.8 million and then using the money saved on signing Lance McCullers. I understand that if they are unable to sign Almora that the Cubs can not use that money elswhere, but at least they would be compensated with a pick next year.

    3. I believe the Theo and Jed know what they are doing. I believe they made it a point to draft players in the 1st 10 rounds they knew they would be able to sign. They also drafted a couple players that they knew they could sign for well under the slotted amount knowing that as long as they sign all their players in the first 10 rounds, they could then use that money saved to try to draft a player that teams stayed away from in the first 10 rounds due to concerns they would not be able to sign them. If I understand the new rules correctly, the key is they need to sign every player they drafted in the 1st 10 rounds... if they do that, any player drafted after round 10 who signs for more than $100,000 will have that bonus counted against the money they are allowed to spend in the 1st 10 rounds.

    Almora and Boras have no leverage. The Cubs are saving money with some of their picks, but that does not mean they plan on spending it on Almora. I believe Theo and Jed are playing moneyball at it's finest. Boras will drag this out to the deadline, but when it is all said and done, Almora wants to play pro ball and is not going to delay that over a few hundred thousand dollars.

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    I hope that's crazy enough to work :) It would be great to add another potential impact talent like Wisemann. His college commitment is strong, but we heard the same thing about Maples, Jacquez, and Dunston last year, and the Cubs wind up signing 2 of the 3.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    At some point I read a statement from him that he had a number in his head that would keep him from college... he then said he didn't believe a team would be able to get to that number. I'm realistic and I believe he will be very difficult to sign, but he's also from Boston and has been working with Nomar Garciaparra... maybe Theo has an inside track.

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    All part of the Boras script... I want to see Boras lose face in the worst way. I still hurt from the Maddux negotiations...

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    Maybe Theo thought he had a good shot at signing him...maybe some inside info from Nomaaah.

  • John - If you get a chance in the next few days, I would love to get your take on Yasel Puig and the Cubs chances of signing him.

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    I'll see what I can find out. Agent says he's better than Soler...but of course, he's an agent!

  • John, I wonder if Almora and other Cubs draftees this year look ahead and think that they might be star players on the team that finally wins the World Series. If I were Theo I'd play that up as much as possible in my sales pitch: "Maybe you could get another 100K by not signing with us this year. But if you do sign, in four years you will be a star player on the team that wins the big one along with the hearts of Cubs fans. You'd be legend and your business opportunities would be thru the roof, even 30 years after you retire."

    I mean it's the same reason Theo and Jed signed on to come to the worst team in baseball. Winning anywhere else could never compare. It has to be a powerful incentive for a young player, something other teams cannot offer.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    I think the WS part is too hard to predict or rely on, but I'm sure agents like Boras realize the opportunities in a big market like Chicago should their clients become popular stars. I suspect Boras is pretty pragmatic about this. He realizes that signing out of high school is almost certainly going to get him to the majors quicker -- and that's where the real money is.

  • I wonder if this means teams are going to try and not draft high picks who share the same agent.

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