While the Cubs slog through the 2013 regular season, we continue to look towards the future. Think about it rationally for a bit…even if they are going to come out of this funk and perform better than their record has suggested, they’ll still sell off this summer, including possibly a trade of Alfonso Soriano. That is to reload the farm with prospects that will hopefully fill in the roster as the Cubs continue to rebuild.
The other method, in addition to buying prospects off the foreign amateur free agent market, is the Rule 4 MLB Draft which starts on June 6th. June 6th might turn out to be the Cubs’ version of “D-Day,” when they got the next big thing to turn this franchise around and go from pretender to contender. We wrote about the draft at the beginning of the season. The Cubs pick second and have some $ to spend:
The Cubs have exactly $10,556,500 to spend for these ten picks. The most recent collective bargaining agreement dictates that the Cubs can spend overslot up to 5% total before they must forfeit future first round draft picks. Therefore, the overage is $527,825 which brings the total that they can spend on the top ten picks to $11,084,325.
The always-informative John Arguello has a much better draft update than we could ever hope to achieve on Cubs Den if you wish to read it. John was also gracious enough to hang out with us on our most recent podcast. Our best guess is that the Cubs will pick Mark Appel with their first round pick (second overall), and then the board will shuffle depending on what happens between the second pick and pick #41, when the Cubs select again in the second round. Unfortunately, the Cubs didn’t have enough qualifying offer’d assets to flaunt this offseason, nor were they in a crappy market, so they don’t get extra random picks via the compensation system nor the competitive balance system. That said, the Cubs pick at #2, #41, #75 and #108 over the first four rounds before all the random compensations are done with and it goes to straight team-by-team based on record.
Best guess is still that the Cubs spend the bulk of their pool money on the first four or five rounds before drafting seniors or junior college guys with no alternatives for dirt cheap. That way they can throw as much money as possible at Mark Appel (or potentially Jonathan Gray or Kris Bryant). The Cubs may also surprise us with some other pick, but we are fairly confident it won’t be another Hayden Simpson. There’s a remote possibility that an injury-bitten prospect with high upside like Sean Manaea may skip past the sandwich round to the Cubs at #41, but I wouldn’t count on it.
With the #2 pick, the Cubs cannot afford to miss and cannot afford to not sign the pick, so I would be more than happy with a Mark Appel. We’ll find out in a couple weeks.