The Cubs’ Draft Bonus Pool

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With the MLB Rule 4 Draft still about a couple months away, we can look back at my previous assessment of the Cubs’ resources for acquiring domestic talent:

We can use the previous year’s draft slot values as a jumping point, although I’m fairly sure that each slot will go up for 2017:

  • #27    — $2,097,200
  • #30    — $2,003,400
  • #67    — $963,700
  • #105  — $568,400

This is already double what the Cubs had to spend for the entire draft in 2016, and this doesn’t include the slots for the next seven rounds.

It seems that the official slot values have been released, per Baseball America, and there were a few tweaks of the slotting system:

Every pick from third to 60th is actually a higher allotment than last year before it switches over again, with lower slots throughout the rest of the top 10 rounds.

This adjustment will change the incentives and the bargaining power at the top of the draft.

The Chicago Cubs have a total slot allotment of $7,454,900 for the first ten rounds, which includes the sandwich pick they received for Dexter Fowler.  We can see the breakdown throughout those rounds:

  • 1st round, 27th overall: $2,373,300
  • 1st round, 30th overall (sandwich pick received for Fowler signing with STL): $2,184,300
  • 2nd round, 67th overall: $901,900
  • 3rd round, 105th overall: $511,900
  • 4th round, 135th overall: $382,300
  • 5th round, 165th overall: $285,800
  • 6th round, 195th overall: $222,600
  • 7th round, 225th overall: $175,500
  • 8th round, 255th overall: $148,500
  • 9th round, 285th overall: $137,500
  • 10th round, 315th overall: $131,300

According to last year’s rules, the slot restriction from rounds 11 through 40 was $100,000, so any amount above that also counts against the team’s total bonus pool for overage tax purposes.  This later round slot restriction does not seem to have changed with the newly ratified CBA.  Many of the draft overage penalties remain the same:

• Teams that exceed the pool by 0-5 percent will pay a 75 percent tax on the overage.
• Teams that exceed the pool by 5-10 percent will pay a 75 percent tax on the overage and lose a first-round pick in the next draft.
• Teams that exceed the pool by 10-15 percent will pay a 100 percent tax on the overage and lose both a first-round pick and a second round pick.
• Teams that exceed the pool by more than 15 percent will pay a 100 percent 100 on the overage and lose first-round picks in the next two drafts.

Since the Cubs are extremely unlikely to forfeit future picks for anyone, especially not picking so late in each round, let’s assume they only go 5% over their allotted amount.  This gives Chicago North a total of $7,827,645 to spread across their picks, including whatever amount over $100,000 they spend on rounds 11-40.  This is still a significant amount over what they could do in 2016, so I expect some interesting names to follow come June.


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About Rice Cube

Rice Cube is the executive vice president of snark at World Series Dreaming. He loves all things Cubs, with notable exceptions (specifically, the part of Cubs fandom that pisses him off). Follow on Twitter at cubicsnarkonia

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