What do Marwin Gonzalez, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement in MLB, added systemic interest in technology, and emphasizing College players in this draft have to do with some potential upcoming trades the Cubs might make this next year or so? Before I get there, I have added some new players to my list of prospects. Don't get too over-hyped if I have a guy you really like ten spots under a guy you don't prefer. I'm trying to come up with seventy-some names I would be comfortable with on our pick in Round Two.
On Minor League Ball, Princeton is 'going all Tim Wilken' and drafting for us for the first three rounds. I will toss in a few ideas, but I think he's doing well so far. Join our sister site if you are intrigued.One of the contentions that I've sort of tossed off a few times without much explanations is as follows. I think the Cubs will take one high schooler early, but not two. The reason I think so goes beyond basic Moneyball theory and gets to my four above points. In the past, a team would set their own draft budget. Now, to a large extent, that budget has been set by Bud Selig.
Based on a team's draft positions, their 'total budgetary cap' is set for them. While the caps can (and will) be exceeded, there will be increasing penalties for exceeding such limits. For instance, the Cubs have twelve picks in the first ten rounds. They have 3 First Round Picks, and have one in each of the following nine (or 39, whichever way you prefer). Each selection has an attached value. If the pick goes unsigned, that attached value will be subtracted from the budgetary cap. I don't like the rule, but at least it's reasonable, if you have to cap things.
The earlier the pick, the higher the value.
The Cubs supplementary picks have 'no protection', meaning if the player doesn't sign, the pick isn't replaced by a pick next year. An early pick or two go unsigned most years. Those teams are compensated the next year by an unprotected pick the next draft. This limits the draftee from extorting their drafting team. That is part of the reason I think the Cubs will shy away with the Ramirez and Pena pick from selecting a high schooler there. If he is secretly committed to going to college unless the Cubs overspend, they get nothing.
A bit of business. Major League Baseball wants the slot values to be a secret. I don't know what the values are. I could find the out with half an hour of effort. I'm not that motivated yet. I don't know Al's policy on these numbers. MLB wants them secret. They're not. Some BCB members probably know the numbers. Others might be intrigued by them. I won't post them. If Al gives the okay, have at it, here or under different cover.
So, why do I think only one of our picks at 6 and 67 will be high schoolers? Of the 8 names seriously mentioned at 6, half are high schoolers. Three (Appel, Zimmer, and Zunino) are college juniors. They have little leverage. In theory, if the Cubs lowball them (which I doubt), they could go back to school. They could upgrade their status, but then they'd be seniors with no leverage. If the Cubs offer any of those three slot or a bit more, they'll sign without much drama. Kevin Gausman is a Sophomore-eligible, due to his birthdate (really). He has a slight bit more leverage, but it isn't likely he will push the deadline too tightly.
On the other hand, Buxton, Correa, Fried, and Giolito are high schoolers. They have quite a bit of leverage. I don't know how committed they are to starting a pro career soon. The important thing is, neither do the teams in the MLB. Before, if a high schooler 'held a team hostage' with his demands, all that was important, in the final analysis was, "Did he sign?"
Now, if the Cubs select (insert high schooler here), and he says, "Give me $4.3 mil or I go to school", the entire draft is flipped. Not only does the team not know if the Top Pick will sign, they won't know (until just before the deadline) how much they have to sign the rest of their picks. (Thanks, Bud.)
I think all Top Ten Picks will sign this year. Some will be close to the deadline. Despite that, I think it will be risky to have 6 and 67 be both high schoolers. So, if the Cubs pick (Fried/Giolito) and a Tyler Mathison (HS-C TX) is on top of the Cubs board at 67, the temptation may be to go safer and get a college player.
Either way, there will be more trade options soon. The CBA, as I understand it, will allow trades of players for International Spending Dollars and trades of players for Competitive Balance picks. A drawing will be held from among 'small market teams' for 6 picks to be given for those teams to remain competitive. Of the teams in the pool that don't get selected (and teams that remain at or under their slotted value), picks will be given to six more teams.
As schmaltzy as that sounds, the lotteries will take place this summer after the Amateur Draft. Those will be tradable for players. So will be 'excess' money for International spending. (Get ready for some new cool trivia.) As Team Theo will have gotten used to watching on our system's players on our spanking new video technology "Spy Cams", there will probably be some serious discussions between Theo, Jed, and Jason about our talent. These have probably started, but will heat up after the draft. With Marwin Gonzalez and Ryan Flaherty being Rule 5'd and a bunch more borderline MLB talents approaching their 40 Man deadlines, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see players moved for International Cap Space. Or for a Competitive Balance Pick.
While we have some guys on the 40 Man that will be gone, any of you that have played 40 Man Jenga with Theo knows he plays for serious. Don't believe me? Ask Blake Dewitt.
21. Chris Stratton RHP Mississippi Shooting up boards on a strong Junior season.
22. Steven Piscotti 3B/OF Stanford Someone will call him their next third baseman.
23. David Dahl OF HS (GA) Lefty-hitting outfielder. He's a high schooler, so anything else is guesswork.
24. DJ Davis OF HS (MS) Speedy outfielder with some definite helium.
25. Chris Beck RHP GA Southern If you look at a similar list from January, flip Beck and Zimmer.
26. Victor Roache OF/1B GA Southern A wrist injury has kept him out most of the season. Not a good thing for power hitters.
27. Stryker Trahan C HS (LA) He has slipped this year. Still has a great name.
28. Zach Elfin RHP HS (FL) Came back from minor tendonitis throwing 95 MPH gas.
29. Travis Jankowski OF Stony Brook Lenny Dykstra-style lead-off guy.
30. Nolan Fontana SS Everybody but us is looking for middle infielders. He is a solid college version.
31. Adam Brett Walker 1B-OF Jacksonville His glove won't win you any games. It's all his bat.
32. Tyler Naquin OF Texas A&M Should hit for average. May hit for some power. Good, though not spectacular, glove/arm.
33 Lucas Sims RHP HS (GA) Mid 90's heat. Will be gone by the Ramirez pick.
34 Alex Wood LHP Georgia I haven't scouted him yet, but he's a legit Friday night starter in the SEC.
35. Matt Smoral LHP HS (OH) Injuries shortened his season, but tall hard-throwing prospect lefties get taken quickly.
These guys should all be gone by the Ramirez pick.