Saturday, June 16, 2018

A thought for the next collective bargaining agreement

As the Indians signed at least two marginal prospects for over slot after the first 10 rounds this year I had a thought.

What if, in the next collective bargaining agreement they created two separate pools with the same rules.

In rounds 1-10 you have a slot value assigned to every player.   That adds to your draft budget.   If you fail to sign a player you lose that slot value from your budget.  Just like it is now.

In rounds 11-40 you have a slot value of $100,000 assigned to every pick.   Since every team gets 30 picks that means you have $3,000,000 to play with.   However, just like in the first 10 rounds, if you fail to sign that pick you lose that slot value of $100,000.  The only difference here is if you go over your budget by 5% you lose your 10th round pick next year.   If you go over by 10% you lose your first round pick

Also, you can't use any of your first 10 round budget in the last 30 rounds and vice versa.

What this does is two things:

1. Gives teams at least as big if not a bigger budget for their first 10 round picks as they don't have to dip into that budget if they sign a player for over slot in the last 30 rounds.

2. Adds some spice to that last 30 rounds as you have a reasonable chance to believe that your team might actually be able to sign one of those late round flyers they draft as all they have to do is sign 11 college seniors for $1,000 each to get an additional million to use to sign one flyer ($1.1 cap) or a couple of flyers (some combination of $1.2 million split between those two guys).

What do you think about this change?

Friday, June 15, 2018

Hey, does this guy have his calculator on backwards?

The latest draft pick signing is 9th rounder Brian Eichhorn who signed for a meager $6200 over bonus slot value.   Doesn't seem like much but the guy was the 417th ranked player in the draft by BA and we drafted him at #283.   Teams like who they like.   I get that.  But when you draft a guy higher than where his talent slots you anticipate he will sign below slot.   It is common in the draft for teams to do that at the end of the first 10 rounds.   It gives them extra money to sign their top picks or to throw at late round flyers.

Look, while Eichhorn's bonus was only a laughable amount over slot it was still over slot.  So far we have signed 4 guys that we know of to over slot bonuses and only 1 guy to an under slot bonus.  By my calculation we have only $67,900 total left to go over slot.  And this is not from our draft pool but from our draft pool PLUS the 5% overage that we can use (with penalty) before we lose our first round pick next year.

Our draft director is setting us up to maybe sign only one of our top 3 draft picks, 2 at the best.   Unless all these guys sign for slot or Palacios and Sandlin signed for a lot under slot, we are looking at being screwed in this draft by not signing all the players in the first 10 rounds.

Hey, if you like a guy you should be willing to pay to sign him.   However, the guys that they are signing to over slot bonuses mostly don't deserve those over slot dollars.

Hankins is the only guy who deserved an over slot bonus.   If they want to give Delgado some over slot money that is up to them.  But they should have saved money with Eichhorn, Broom and Royalty and NOT given over slot bonuses to questionable prospects in rounds after 10.

I am telling you that this is serious.   I hope this guy knows what he is doing but from everything we have seen, it doesn't appear that he does.   I hope I am wrong.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Interesting draft developments

Here are some things I didn't expect:

1. How much they went over slot for Delgado. You have to ask yourself is this guy, who lasted until the 6th round, really worth that much money.  His BA talent slot of 84 says that he was, as he got about slot 70 money.  But still, that much over budget?

2. That they gave Jenkins and Lavastida over slot bonuses.  While it looks like chump change ($75,000 total over budget) given the Delgado thing, every penny counts.

3. Broom got slot money in the 10th round

Here is what I did expect:

1. That they gave Adam Scott $50,000

So, where do we stand?  Right now we are $383,100 over budget.   Even considering the 5% overage from our budget before we lose our first round pick next year, we can only go over budget $74,160 TOTAL with our remaining picks.  

Let's hope our new draft guru knows what he is doing.   His predecessors certainly did, at least in the last 3 years.   All  we need to do is sign all these  guys and we have a fighting chance of having a good draft.   However, if we don't sign all of our first 10 round picks, especially if we fail to sign any of our top 3 picks, this draft is looking a little weak to me, given how low in each round we selected.

So far, to me, his draft strategy is looking really shaky.  I think we need to save $600,000 more in the first 10 rounds to sign Hankins and I don't him being able to save any more than $400,000 total on his remaining picks not counting Hankins, who I don't think will want to sign for anywhere near slot.  I hope I am wrong.

Time will tell.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Odds and Ends

After Plutko tonight I really worry that guys like him, Bieber and Civale, while looking good in the minors, just don't have that margin of error that is needed in the majors.   They may have to be so perfect to succeed that it may be unrealistic to expect them to ever be even as good as Clevinger is.

Time will tell.

To change the subject to basketball, it is time for LeBron to leave and for the rebuild to start.  If the Cavaliers make the playoffs next year they lose their #1 pick for the 2019 draft.

They are an aging team and they need to start to rebuild.   Pretty much trade anyone who is tradeable and then either live with or release the rest.

Cleveland has monopolized LeBron enough during his career.   He needs to go somewhere else.

And the Cavaliers need to start the rebuild right now, trading veterans to get either 2018 or 2019 first round picks.

Just one blogger's opinion.  Take it with a grain of salt.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Draft Results: How we doing and how we doing vs our bonus pool

So far we have signed two guys who are of note relative to their bonuses vs their bonus slot:

Raynel Delgado apparently signed for $900,000 which is about $664,400 over slot.
Brian Lavatista apparently singed for $175,000 which is $50,000 over slot.

Now, I don't know if this is REAL bonus money or if some amount of college tuition is also included in these numbers.   Obviously the latter would not count against the bonus cap.

However, if you believe that these numbers are accurate they are very disconcerting as I was expecting us to use our excess money to sign Hankins.  Why Delgado would require that large of bonus is puzzling to me.   His pre-draft rating would have suggested a bonus of about $400,000 to $450,000 as a more reasonable over slot bonus.

Stay tuned for more details.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

MLB Draft - 3rd day results and analysis

OK, let's talk about what the Indians did in the 3rd day of the ML draft.  But before we do, let's put this in context.  From 2011-2014 h3re are the significant guys the Indians drafted AND signed after the 10th round.

2011: Cody Anderson, Ryan Merritt, Shawn Armstrong, Shawn Morimando
2012: Nellie Rodriguez, Louis Head
2013: Adam Plutko, Ben Heller, Jordan Milbrath

So you can see that while the Indians have found some gems in the later rounds they are usually pitchers and, except for maybe Plutko (and Anderson if he gets healthy) are not difference makers over the long haul.

So, back to today's selections.   I had said last night that you can expect college pitchers, up the middle college players and 2-3 HS flyers.   That appears to be what happened.

HS Flyers (1) - Korey Holland HS OFer (MLB #141 draft prospect picked at 433),  6 of the last 7 picks were HS players including Kaleb Hill (#205 BA),

Six of the last 7 players the Indians selected were high schoolers.  It is possible that if Hankins doesn't sign they will spread the money around to all their late-round HS draftees and to Duplantis.


I don't see many surprises in the final 30 rounds.   The Indians historically draft a lot of college pitchers in this part of the draft and drafted a lot this year.  I truly believe that this is an all-your-eggs-in-one-basket draft with that 'basket' being Hankins.  Yeah, there are other guys who are quality prospects but I think they want Hankins really badly and constructed their draft to sign him AND to bring in college pitching depth into their system towards the development of relief pitchers including their closer of the future.  As I said after the first day, I think this draft and the 2017 draft signal that the Indians are, in the next year or two, going to start a massive rebuild.  Nothing I saw the second and third days changes that.   All the college pitchers drafted on those days are ticketed, eventually, for the bullpen.   If you believe that it means the development path of some of these guys might get a little long, meaning that they will likely start being effective about the time the rest of our prospects hit the majors in 2022-24.

To file something away for next year, if the Indians are truly contemplating a rebuild, look for them to select mostly college players near the top of the draft next year as their development path would put them in line with what our 2017 HS draftees are on.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Draft recap, rounds 3-10

OK, let's dive in.

Round 3 - Richard Palacios - college SS - The Indians love of drafting college middle infielders in the middle of the first 10 rounds is really interesting.   Tyler Krieger, Mark Mathias, Ernie Clement, Jesse Berardi...these guys all fit this mold.  I don't get it but my hope is that Palacios will sign for about $300,000 under slot.

Round 4 - Adam Scott, RHP - college senior - The first true sellout of this draft for the Indians.  By this I mean drafting a guy with no leverage and paying him so little that most, if not almost all of his slot bonus can go to another player.   No doubt he will get about $50,000 which is much better than the $1,000 he would have gotten had he been taken after round 10.

Round 5 - Steven Kwan, college CFer (like Ka'i Tom a couple of years ago) - Another player who I am sure they hope they can sign for about $100,000 under slot.  He was ranked 262 by Baseball America which would fit with him signing for that much under his draft slot value.

Round 6 - Raynel Delgado - HS 3B - Also in character for previous drafts, the Indians draft a HS guy who seems to be a steal (draft slot vs national ranking) who you think would be a tough signing.   But then they sign for slot or a tiny bit over.  Think Connor Capel of the 2016 draft and, if you want a position comparison, think Ulysses Cantu from the same draft.

Round 7 - Cody Morris - RH college pitcher - Think Kirk McCarthy, James Karinchak, Eli Morgan. He should sign for slot or below with the goal to save us maybe $50,000 in bonus pool money.  Considering his BA rank is 292 and he was drafted 223, that makes sense.  Plus, he has some upside.  Maybe, like Sandlin, they plan to make Morris a reliever.  That would make sense as they have had some luck turning college pitchers into pro relievers.

Round 8 - Alex Royalty - RH college pitcher - Another signability pick, the Indians again looking to stockpile bonus money as Royalty was not even ranked in BA's top 500.

Round 9 - Brian Eichhorn - RH college pitcher - Following a trend, Eichhorn was ranked only 419th by BA.

Round 10 - Robert Broom - RH college pitcher - Completes the trend.  BA ranks him 453.

Summary - This is one of the most boring, yet intriguing 2nd days of the draft I have ever seen with the Indians.  It does seem like the Indians are trying to save bonus pool money by who they drafted on day 2.  In so doing they went to mostly college pitchers (6 of the first 12 picks and the last 4 on Day 2) and up the middle college position players (CF, SS, one each) and sprinkled in one intriguing HS hitter who might require a slightly over slot bonus but fits the mold of building a farm system based on dumping a bunch of prospects into the majors in 2022-2024.  Basically it looks like day 2 was about saving money, more than I can ever remember with the Indians.   To me this means that Hankins will be expensive and they will be going for him.

As far as bonus predictions for these 12 guys here is what I see:

Noah Naylor $2.3 million (slot)
Ethan Hankins $3.1 million ($1.1 million over slot) - equal to the slot for the 20th overall selection
Lenny Torres $1.6 million ($100,000 under slot)
Nick Sandlin $750 thousand ($190,000 under slot)
Richard Palacios $475 thousand ($69,000 under slot)
Adam Scott $50,000 ($356,000 under slot)
Raynel Delgado $235,000 (slot)
Cody Morris $150,000 ($35,000 under slot)
Alex Royalty $135,000 ($15,000 under slot)
Brian Eichhorn $120,000 ($23,000 under slot)
Robert Broom $110,000 ($26,000 under slot)
Total  for first 10 rounds vs slot: $286,000 over slot
Amount left before reach 5% over pool total amount: $171,260

Predictions for Day 3 - The Indians have had lots of luck drafting good college pitchers near the  beginning of day 3 (Adam Plutko and Zach Plesac come to mind), and going a little over slot to sign those guys.   Look for some of that.   Look also for the Indians to draft 2-3 HS prospects as "flyers", guys who, if Hankins doesn't sign, they can use their extra bonus pool on. They likely will also take some HS guys who end up signing (normally HS guys picked after the 10th round DON'T sign) as well as a bunch of up-the-middle (C, 2B/SS, CF) college hitters and, of course, some college pitchers (some juco, some college seniors, a couple of college juniors who likely won't sign).  I predict we will not spend any of the remaining $171,260 that we have left before we get to 5% over our pool.