A couple of updates about our unsigned draft picks.
If you are not aware, Michael Rivera, our 6th round pick from CWS champion Florida, has a lot on his mind. His mother has been battling cancer for two years. This may help explain his .236 average in college this year, a number that was worse in Florida's playoff run this year. Although he is a good defensive catcher and leader, these results could negatively impact the bonus offer the Indians make to him. This, plus his family situation plus U. of Florida's long run in the CWS plus the holiday weekend may be pushing his decision back. I still think he signs but I think it may go down to the last day or two.
This is important because of our 12th round pick, Dante Mendoza. I found an article today that is very interesting.
In the article it looks like Mendoza doesn't have a D-I scholarship offer and colleges are waiting to see if he signs with the Indians. It appears the ball is in the Indians court to get him a bonus that will make him sign as it appears he really wants to sign.
What I think it will come down to is how much money does Cleveland have to offer Mendoza above the $125,000 they are allowed to offer him without anything being counted against their 2017 draft budget and that will come down to how much Rivera signs for and whether the Indians are targeting their excess pool + 5% money for just Rivera, Rivera and Mendoza or Rivera, Mendoza and Serratos.
If you look at the numbers the Indians have about $200,000 ($68,000 below Rivera's slot value) of their allotted draft budget to sign Rivera and keep to their budget.
The Indians have an additional $191,000 (5% of their total draft bonus pool) they can spend OVER their budget and not lose their first round pick next year but have already eaten into it by giving their 11th round pick, Matt Turner, $200,000 ($75,000 over slot).
With all that in mind, here are the possible scenarios I see:
1. Rivera signs for slot. If this happens, the Indians will only have about $250,000 to offer Mendoza ($125,000 bonus plus a little less than $125,000, what is left of their $191,000 overage allowance as $68,000 of that overage has already been spent on other draftees).
2. Rivera signs for about $200,000. If this happens the Indians will have closer to $310,000 to sign Mendoza and I think that should get it done.
3. Rivera does not sign at all. The Indians would STILL have about $300,000 to offer Mendoza ($125,000 plus about $175,000 overage allotment (less than $191,000) as, if they don't sign Rivera they lose his $268,000 from their draft pool and, of course, the 5% overage calculation gets smaller (by 5% of $268,000)).
Let's hope we can find a way to sign Rivera and Mendoza and maybe squeeze in Oscar Serratos, as well if Serratos really wants to start his pro career instead of going to Georgia Tech. The Indians have until July 15th to sign players from the 2017 draft or lose the rights to those players so there are less than two weeks left to sign players.