Thursday, June 23, 2016

Reporting Draft Bonuses

Announcing draft signings is quite the art.   Leaking SELECTED draft bonuses is part of that art.  

That is why I am not surprised we have so much information so early on the bonuses of MOST of the guys we have signed in the first 10 rounds.

It is also why I am not surprised that we know NOTHING about Connor Capel's bonus and, for that matter, Michael Tinsley's bonus. 

My guess is that the Indians are in hot and heavy negotiations with Nolan Jones.   If his 'advisor' knew how much the Indians had spent on their picks it would give Jones a good idea of what they had to sign him.  

So, let's run a couple of scenarios.

(1) The Indians signed Capel for significantly over his slot.   Well, Jones could use that as leverage to get, say, a very high percentage over his slot.   It might also make him aware how much pool is left to sign him with the end result being that he would likely ask for all of it, leaving the Indians with nothing for flyers.  

(2) The Indians signed Capel to close to slot..   In this case Jones would realize that he could ask the Indians for a lot more money as they would have much more to spend.

But what if the Indians had some guys to sign way over slot from rounds 11-40?  In that case they would want to be coy about their draft pool excess so they would have to hold back a couple of signing bonuses until Jones signed at which point he would realize that the Indians had more excess than what they gave him.

This is all conjecture but, in some ways, this is how the game is played.  What kid would want to give up ANY money so his future team could sign another prospect.  I can see the conversation:  "Hey, Nolan, we have an extra million that we can add to your bonus but, instead, we only want to give you $600,000 over slot so we can give the other $400,000 to Ben Baird.   Don't mind that he is a HS shortstop like you.   We still love you best.".   So they work Jones with a number that is based on what was leaked to the media about the other bonuses and letting him know that Tinsley and Capel signed for over slot, but not how much over slot.   Jones doesn't even have to do the math.  It is being done for them by maybe every Tribe chatgroup in the US. 

This only works if they know Jones really wants to sign and just have to manage his bonus or if they don't give a crap if he signs because they have contingency signings in place from the later rounds to offset the loss of Jones.  In this case they offer Jones what they can afford to give him over slot and, if he doesn't sign, give that money to one or two extra guys besides the ones they already have targeted in rounds 11-40.

So, I think the Indians have played this perfectly so far.   The key will be getting Jones at the INDIANS' number, not at Jones' number.

I imagine that if I had told each of you before the draft we could have gotten the following guys at the slots below and NOT gone over our bonus pool plus 5% you all would have been ecstatic. [ Note that I am using the player's rank, not the slot they were actually drafted at].

14th selection: 19th best player (Jones)
55th selection: 30th best player (Benson)
72nd selection: 62nd best player (Capel)
92nd selection: 65the best player (Ice)
122nd selection: 141st best player (Baird)
152nd selection: 148th best player (Crowe(
182nd pick: 184th best player (Beiber)
212th pick: 204th best player (Civale)
242nd pick: 235th best player (Calica)
272nd pick: 236th best player (Clemmer)
302nd pick: 254th best player (Cantu)
332nd pick: 294th best player (Tinsley)

Obviously this is only one publication's (Baseball America) ranking.   But using these rankings they would have gone AT LEAST 12 rounds into the draft and gotten a more highly ranked player for each of their draft slots (except Jones, who was just a couple of places below his slot).   Maybe not drafted in that order, but, nonetheless, more value than what they should have gotten for the slot AND didn't have to go over their bonus pool to do it.

If they got all of the above done it would be a very good draft.   Any more than that (read: other flyers left in rounds 11-40) and it would be their best overall draft in my memory.

Let the dreaming begin.

1 comment:

  1. Art here, we used to post on Scout and some other Indians boards.

    Nice analysis, appreciate the writeups and the perspective