The 2013 MLB Rule 4 Amateur Draft starts on Thursday night and we’ve laid some groundwork for the proceedings here. The Cubs have exactly $10,556,500 to spend, the second largest pool in the draft, above which they will be penalized increasingly severely depending on how much they intend to spend. Here are the Cliffs notes:
There are penalties for clubs that exceed their bonus pools: a 75 percent tax on a 0-5 percent overage; the loss of a first-round pick and a 75 percent tax for more than 5 and up to 10 percent; the loss of first- and second-rounders and a 100 percent tax for more than 10 and up to 15 percent; and the loss of two-first-rounders and a 100 percent tax for more than 15 percent.
You may notice that the Cubs pick second overall in each round, though with compensatory picks and competitive balance picks, some teams (like the Cardinals and Diamondbacks) will pick twice between the Cubs’ #2 and #41 picks. Cubs scouting director Jason McLeod has been working with his team to maximize their pick at #41 and #75. It sounds like most of the pool money will go towards the first pick (probably Mark Appel at this point based on the billions of mock drafts out there) and the second- and third-rounders. The fourth-round guy might also get a fair shake before the Cubs switch gears and sign players with little to no leverage in negotiations in an effort to funnel as much money as possible to their top picks. Since there’s no Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg on the horizon this year (or in the near future…yet) it’s probable that the Cubs will not go above 5% of their draft pool allotment to sign the first ten picks, so we’re looking at a maximum of $11,084,325 that can be spent in 2013 before they get into rounds 11-40. If they were to throw a shot in a dark at a tough sign in rounds 11-40, some of that $11,084,325 would also have to go towards them. Stupid CBA.
The draft may be slightly complicated by the recent report that Jonathan Gray, a right-handed pitcher from Oklahoma and one of the top pitchers in this year’s draft along with Appel, tested positive for Adderall. Adderall is an amphetamine cocktail and while Gray won’t be suspended, this may allow the Astros to lowball him a bit more than they otherwise could have, and this may have a trickle-down effect in later rounds since the Astros pick before the Cubs in every round. The Cubs may have to reshuffle their draft board accordingly.
For Gray, the Adderall positive test is an iffy proposition:
major leaguers can receive exemptions for stimulants. 1 GM said he didnt see Gray’s failure as a big issue.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) June 3, 2013
Jonathan Gray did *not* have a TUE for Adderall. Tells us more about NCAA’s testing program than it does about Gray.
— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) June 3, 2013
It may not even affect how much he can command from the Astros (or Cubs, if the Astros take Appel). But it certainly doesn’t sound good, though we’d all be naive if we didn’t think that everyone in baseball has used amphetamines at some point in their careers to stay sharp.
We won’t actually know who is picked until later this week, and the signing deadline is in July so we’ll also find out who commits to being a future Cub at that point. For now, waiting is the hardest part. But we do know that with either Appel or Gray (or possibly third baseman Kris Bryant), the Cubs have a shot at getting a top 100 prospect, and those tend to work out pretty well.