This is sort of a "long time listener first time caller" sort of deal. My name is Colin and I'm from Des Moines, IA and live in Ames going to ISU.
Anyway with the (MLB) draft approaching I've been running a few numbers in my head and became extremely curious on how the new spending caps for the Draft and the international free agent market will effect other aspects of the game. Focusing on the Cubs since that's the point of this blog seems most appropriated.
If this topic is beat to death then I apologize in advance.
In my understanding every team has a cap set in place for the first 10 rounds of picks. These numbers are http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2012/02/2012-aggregate-bonus-pools/ here followed by a static 100K to be spent per round thereafter.
As for the international market there is a http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/page/MLB-rule-change/major-league-baseball-rule-change-free-agent-pay-causes-concern-dominican-republic-venezuela 2.9 million cap and that will scale based on win/loss record in following years.
I do want to focus on the amount of allocated funds that may change. For example The Nationals and Pirates spent 10 million more on their first 10 rounds last year then what their cap is for this upcoming draft. Since how much is spent over the 100k limit per pick after the first 10 rounds is added back to the "pool" allowed we wont see any more Dillon Maples like 2.5 million in the 14th either. What will happen to the excess money?
Using the Rays for example just to start kicking this dead horse. They spent 11.3 million on their first 10 rounds last year and 11.5 total. They have a pool of 3.9 million for their 10 upcoming picks. Big assumption but assuming they spend 500K on the rest of this years draft after the first 10 picks that gives them a surplus of about 7 million that they aren't spending and would have spent last year.
As for the IFA market which I believe is where the Cubs will feel a sting especially if they don't official ink Soler soon. There will be a 2.9 million dollar cap. The cubs signed Gerardo Concepcion for 6 mill along with Yasiel Balaguert and Carlos Martinez and others probably. Theres a difference of 3+ mil with Concepcion alone. Other signers in the past years have gotten 2.9+ plus also.
Now from here its possible to talk about all sort of ramifications like international players coming over to the states at early ages (14-16) just to play baseball and get drafted in our more lucrative system. What's stopping some of the Asian teams from offering them more money since they don't have capped figures and we lose out on talent. (Until of course we pay that team 50 million for a posted player that we could have payed 5 million for years back)
To bring this home, what area in baseball still has no cap? That of course is the free agent market and the arbitration process in a way.
If the Rays save maybe 8 million in the combined draft and IFA new rules will this money just be allocated to keeping the players they have? Along with various other costs and improving the organization as a whole most likely. My point is that I don't see this helping the Rays very much. I don't see this helping the more efficient teams that develop their players. Red Sox, Twins, Rays, Royals are all organizations that when/if they have succeed they have developed their core players through the draft.
Developing core players through the IFA and the draft was a major reason why Epstein was hired along with his boys. Our draft last year had plenty of over slot signees and not that we have much to worry about though our pool for this year and next will be larger than most teams. It still brings a damper to the excitement that we have the money to get young talent for paying over slot and cant.
Now any noticeable difference will only happen with a few teams, the majority of teams probably wont change theway they think about acquiring players at all. Braves and White Sox come to mind for the draft and I dont follow IFAs enough to even guess at who doesn't spend money in the market.
As we embark to these uncharted waters I do predict slightly more spending in free agency, prospects will now be valued even more in trades and the international players might be popping up more in the foreign leagues.
What kills me is the average baseball scholarship is only about http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/10/sports/10scholarships.html?pagewanted=all 2000-3000 Dollars so I don't see this leading to more kids going to school either.