We’re more than a week out from the MLB Draft, where the Chicago Cubs had a solid if unspectacular set of picks to bolster their suddenly very intriguing pitching prospect pool. There is, of course, the non-waiver trade deadline coming up, but before then, the Cubs have to get as many of their draftees signed as possible.
Wes Saver (@Savermetrics) has done us Cubs fans a great favor in setting up a team-specific tracker for the past few drafts. The signing deadline is July 7th, at 5 PM Eastern which is just before my softball game, so we will find out for sure how many do sign, but for now we have a ready resource to keep us happy until then.
For the picks that matter in terms of slot value, the Cubs have already signed eight of the 11 picks in the top 10 rounds. Alex Lange is still pitching for LSU in the College World Series, who advanced to the College World Series finals after upsetting Oregon State. However, Lange is likely to sign per sources compiled by Wes. The College World Series will end no later than June 28, which gives the Cubs more than a week to figure out how much extra money they have, and how much Lange wants to sign. This will also determine how much extra money can go towards Jeremiah Estrada, who the Cubs are confident they can sign. The other holdover, Nelson Velazquez, sounds like he could be underslotted, but we will see.
It does help some that Brendon Little, the top overall Cubs pick, signed under slot, saving the Cubs $173,300 against their total pool. Interestingly, most of the others in the top ten rounds have already been confirmed to sign at slot, which saves the Cubs nothing. However, according to MLB.com’s tracker, the Cubs’ 9th and 10th round picks, Chris Carrier and Brian Glowicki, both signed for $5000, which should save the team about a quarter million dollars against their pool. Since the Cubs have never surrendered a draft slot under the updated system, I don’t think there’s any real worry that they might have to forfeit some slot money here.
On Wes’ tracker, 24 of the 41 total Cubs draft picks have already signed or are likely to sign. Seven players are marked as unlikely to sign, mostly already tough signs anyway since they are high schoolers with strong college commitments. All seven unlikely signs are outside of the major slots, so this won’t affect the Cubs’ bottom line, although the picks by the organization serve as a way to get their foot in the door and keep a relationship going with the player as they mature.
We have some time before we have to panic about an unsigned draft pick, but for now, most of the news is very good, and this is an opportunity for you to follow Wes (@Savermetrics) and reward him on his site for his hard work.