2019 Cubs MLB First-Year Player Draft (Rule 4 Draft) Negotiation List


Players selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) are placed on a club's Negotiation List.

In most cases, a player selected by a club in the Rule 4 Draft will remain on the club's Negotiation List until either the player signs or until the signing deadline (whichever comes first), and if a club does not sign a Rule 4 Draft pick by the deadline (5 PM Eastern on the Friday that falls during the week July 6-12), the player is removed from the club's Negotiation List and becomes eligible for selection again in the next Rule 4 Draft in which the player would be eligible for selection.
EXCEPTION: A college senior with no baseball eligibility left remains on the club's Negotiation List until the player signs or until one week prior to the next Rule 4 Draft (whichever comes first).
NOTE: The Cubs signed all of their 2019 draft picks who were college seniors with no eligibility left. 

A player selected in the Rule 4 Draft will be declared a free-agent if he is not offered a contract by the signing deadline.

A player eligible for selection in the Rule 4 Draft who is not drafted ("Non-Drafted Free-Agent" or "NDFA") can sign with any club after the conclusion of the draft any time up until one week prior to the next Rule 4 Draft, unless and until the NDFA enrolls in a junior college or four-year college, in which case MLB Rule 4 Draft eligibility rules apply.

A player selected in the MLB Rule 4 Draft or a Rule 4 eligible NDFA cannot be signed to a Major League contract.

A player selected in the MLB Rule 4 Draft or a Rule 4 eligible NDFA can be "Signed for Future Service" (contract is for the following season) if the player signs a contract during the period of time extending from July 2nd through December 31st.

Prior to the Rule 4 Draft, each MLB club is assigned a “Signing Bonus Pool” (SBP) equal to the aggregate pre-assigned bonus value of all of the club’s draft slots in the first ten rounds (including supplemental & compensatory draft picks). The higher the slot, the higher the bonus value. (The collective MLB SBP is determined in advance by calculating industry revenues). 

The Cubs 2019 Rule 4 Draft SBP is $5,826,900 (or $6,118,245 before penalties would be assessed).

If a club fails to sign a player selected in the first ten rounds (including supplemental draft picks), the value of that slot is deducted from the club’s SBP. There is no bonus value assigned to draft slots after the 10th round, but if a club pays a signing bonus in excess of $125,000 to a player selected in the 11th round or later or to a player eligible for selection who was not drafted, the amount of that bonus in excess of $125,000 is deducted from the club’s SBP.

If a club exceeds its SBP in a given Rule 4 Draft, a tax will be assessed and future Rule 4 Draft picks could be forfeited, depending on how much the club exceeded its SBP. (The club’s 1st Round draft pick in the next Rule 4 Draft is forfeited if the club exceeds its SBP by 5-10%, its 1st & 2nd round draft picks in the next Rule 4 Draft are forfeited if the club exceeds its SBP by 10-15%, and the club’s 1st Round picks in the next two Rule 4 Drafts are forfeited if the club exceeds its SBP by more than 15%).

The Cubs signed 30 of their 40 2019 draft picks prior to the deadline on July 12 at 5 PM (Eastern). They also signed two NDFA prior to the deadline. 

CUBS 2019 RULE 4 DRAFT NEGOTIATION LIST: (updated 7-13-2019):
Ryan Jensen, RHP (Fresno State) - SIGNED ($2M bonus) - SLOT VALUE: $2,570,100
Chase Strumpf, 2B (UCLA) - SIGNED ($1,050,300 bonus)SLOT VALUE$1,050,300
Michael McAvene, RHP (U. of Louisville) - SIGNED ($500K bonus) - SLOT VALUE: $565,600
Chris Clarke, RHP (USC) - SIGNED ($426,600 bonus) - SLOT VALUE: $426,600
Josh Burgmann, RHP (U. of Washington) - SIGNED ($225,000 bonus)  - SLOT VALUE: $318,200
Ethan Hearn, C (Mobile Christian School - Mobile, AL) - SIGNED ($950K bonus) - SLOT VALUE: $247,000
Brad Deppermann, RHP (U. of North Florida) - SIGNED ($50,000 bonus) - SLOT VALUE: $194,400
D. J. Herz, LHP (Terry Sanford HS - Fayetteville, NC) - SIGNED ($500K bonus) - SLOT VALUE: $162,700
Tyler Schlaffer, RHP (Homewood-Flossmoor HS - Flossmoor, IL) - SIGNED ($250K bonus) - SLOT VALUE: $149,800
Wyatt Hendrie, C (Antelope Valley College) - JC FRESHMAN - SLOT VALUE: $142,200  
Mack Chambers III, SS (Seminole State) - JC FRESHMAN 
Hunter Bigge, RHP (Harvard) - SIGNED ($125K bonus)
Porter Hodge, RHP (Cottonwood Senior HS - Murray, UT) - SIGNED ($125K bonus)
Ryan Reynolds, 3B (U. of Texas) - SIGNED ($125K bonus)  
Zach Bryant, RHP (Jacksonville) - SIGNED ($125K bonus)
Johzan Oquendo, RHP (Leadership Christian Academy - Guaynabo, PR) - SIGNED ($125K bonus)
Tanner Dalton, RHP (Sacramento State) - SIGNED ($5,000 bonus) 
Alex Moore, RHP (Lander University) - SIGNED ($1,000 bonus)
Adam Laskey, LHP (Duke) - SIGNED ($125K bonus)  
Darius Hill, LF (U. of West Virginia) - SIGNED ($5,000 bonus)
Nelson Maldonado, LF (U. of Florida) - SIGNED ($5,000 bonus)
Elian Almanzar, RHP (Florence-Darlington Tech) - SIGNED ($75,000 bonus)
Manny Collier, CF (Westwood HS - Mesa, AZ) - SIGNED ($125K bonus) 
Grayson Byrd, INF (Clemson) - SIGNED ($5,000 bonus) 
Zac Taylor, CF (U. of Illinois) - SIGNED ($1,000 bonus)
Jacob Olson, INF (U. of South Carolina) - SIGNED ($1,000 bonus) 
Cayne Ueckert, RHP (McNeese State) - SIGNED ($5,000 bonus) 
Chris Kachmar, RHP (Lipscomb) - SIGNED ($1,000 bonus)  
Jake Washer, C (East Carolina) - SIGNED ($5,000 bonus)
Bryan King, LHP (McNeese State) - SIGNED ($1,000 bonus) 
Shane Combs, RHP (Notre Dame) - SIGNED ($50,000 bonus)
Bryce Windham, INF-OF (Old Dominion) - SIGNED ($1,000 bonus)  
Ryan Ritter, SS (Lincoln Way East HS - Frankfort, IL) - HIGH SCHOOL (Austin Peay State recruit) 
Nolan Letzgus, RHP (Heritage HS - Ringgold, GA) - HIGH SCHOOL (Walters State CC recruit)
Hunter Patteson, LHP (Vero Beach HS - Vero Beach, FL) - HIGH SCHOOL (UCF recruit)
Jason Hoopes, RHP (St. Augustine Prep - Buena Vista Township, NJ) - HIGH SCHOOL (U. of Virginia recruit)
Jaylon McLaughlin, CF (U. of Nevada) - COLLEGE JR 
Marc Davis, 3B/RHP (Florida Southwestern State College) - JC FRESHMAN 
Mason Auer, CF/RHP (Kickapoo HS - Springfield, MO) - HIGH SCHOOL (Missouri State recruit) 
Mac Bingham, CF (Torrey Pines HS - San Diego, CA) - HIGH SCHOOL (USC recruit) 

Matteo Bocchi, RHP (U. of Texas)  - SIGNED (bonus not reported)
Joe Nahas, RHP (Georgia Southern) - SIGNED ($135K bonus)


Four Cubs draft picks -- 2B Chase Strumpf (UCLA), RHRP Michael McAvene (Louisville), C Jake Washer (East Carolina), and LHP Adam Laskey (Duke) -- are on teams playing in NCAA Super-Regionals this weekend (East Carolina is at Louisville). 

However, McAvene (Louisville's closer) was suspended for four games last weekend after he was ejected by the home plate umpire for arguing a ball-strike call, and Laskey has missed most of the 2019 season with an injury, so only Strumpf and Washer are likely to play. 

The Cubs have signed RHP Brad Deppermann (7th round draft pick - U. of North Florida) and he has been assigned to the AZL Cubs #1. 

From Cubs scout Keith Lockhart himself on Greyson Byrd:


The Cubs have signed RHP Ryan Jensen (1st round draft pick - Fresno State - $2M signing bonus) and he has been assigned to AZL Cubs #1 

in "well, that's about time" news...

baseball-reference is finally showcasing college stats for players.


baseball cube is nice and all, but it's nice to see BR play catchup.

UCLA is done. Chase Strumpf figures to be in Mesa soon.

The Cubs have signed Texas Longhorns reliver Matteo Bocchi as an undrafted free agent.

WHIP below 1 as a senior.

TIM - thanks for that. Longhorns have quite a tradition in baseball. After all, Zonk still does baseball announcing on the Longhorn network.

cubs getting quite a weird streak signing players who played for italian teams.

The Cubs have officially signed twelve more 2019 draft picks: 

Chris Clarke, RHP (4th round - USC) 
Josh Burgmann, RHP (5th round - U. of Washington) 
Tanner Dalton, RHP (17th round - Sacramento State) 
Alex Moore, RHP (18th round - Lander U.) 
Nelson Maldonado, LF (21st round - U. of Florida) 
Grayson Byrd, INF (24th round - Clemson) 
Zac Taylor, CF (25th round - U. of Illinois) 
Jacob Olson, INF (26th round - U. of South Carolina) 
Cayne Ueckert, RHP (27th round - McNesse State) 
Chris Kachmar, RHP (28th round - Lipscomb U.) 
Bryan King, LHP (30th round - McNeese State) 
Bryce Windham, IF-OF (32nd round - Old Dominion)

All twelve were assigned to the AZL.  

Ten of the twelve were college seniors (the easiset draft picks to sign because they have no college eligibility left and thus not much leverage. (Only Clarke and Burgmann were college juniors). 

The Cubs have officially signed two more 2019 draft picks and one Non-Drafted Free-Agent (NDFA): 

D. J. Herz, LHP (8th round - Terry Sanford HS - Fayetteville, NC) 
Darius Hill, LF (20th round - West Virginia U.)  

Matteo Bocchi, RHP (NDFA - U. of Texas) 

Hill and Bocchi are college seniors. 

With the signing bonuses reported so far, the Cubs saved $570K from the underslot Jensen bonus, $144,400 from the underslot Deppermann bonus, and they have an additional $291,300 (5% above their assigned Signing Bonus Pool) available to spend, for a total of $1,050,700 available for overslot bonuses. 

This $1,050,700 has already been offset somewhat by the $500K Herz signing bonus ($337,300 overslot), leaving $713,400 in the draft bonus bank (SBP) to use to pay over-slot bonuses presumably needed to sign Ethan Hearn (probably will require about $750K over-slot) and Tyler Schlaffer (probably will require about $100K over-slot).

So the Cubs will probably need to gain about an additional aggregate $140K (or so) in under-slot bonuses from bonuses paid to Burgmann, Strempf, McAvene, and/or Hendrie (of the four only Burgmann has been officially signed, but his bonus has not yet been reported) to stay within the SBP limit ($6,118,245), and that's presuming there are no overslot bonuses paid to players selected after the top ten rounds. 

So with Josh Burgmann signing for $225K ($93,200 underslot), the Cubs will need only about another $50,000 (or so) in underslot bonuses (combined) from Strumpf, McAvene, and/or Hendrie to come in under the SBP limit (again, that's presuming none of the picks below round #10 get more than $125K).  

In fact, if Strumpf signs for exactly $1M ($50,000 underslot), that would probably do the trick.   

With the Darius Hill signing, there are now only two college seniors drafted by the Cubs in 2019 who remain unsigned (C Jake Washer and RHP Shane Combs). College seniors are usually the easiest draft picks to sign because they have very little leverage. 

C HunterTaylor (Cubs 2018 23rd round pick - U. of South Carolina) was the only college senior drafted by the Cubs who did not sign from last year's draft. 

Cubs 3rd round draft pick RHRP Michael McAvene threw two innings (7th & 8th innings) for Louisville in today's elimination game vs Auburn, protecting a three-run lead. (Louisville won the game and will advance to play the loser of Vanderbilt-Mississippi State tomorrow).

MICHAEL McAVENE: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 2/0 GO/AO, 41 pitches (25 strikes) 

McAvene looked rusty, probably because he hadn't pitched for more than two weeks after being suspended for four games after arguing a ball-strike call with the home plate umpire in a Regional game vs UIC. 

His FB sat 96-97 in his first inning of work before going down to 94-95 (T-96) at the end of his second inning when he got the third out by strike out (swinging) with the bases loaded on a 3-2 96 MPH FB. He also displayed a knee-buckling 80-82 MPH SL/CV (slurve), and he threw a couple of mediocre "show me" CH that he can junk when he turns pro.  

Phil, how are we going to get Hearn signed?

HAGSAG: I suspect the Cubs have already verbally agreed to a $1M bonus for Hearn (about $750K over-slot) and $250K for Schleffler (about $100K over-slot), but they won't sign them until they sign Wyatt Hendrie, and Hendrie won't sign until the Cubs find-out if Michael McAvene will sign for under-slot, because Hendrie probably will get whatever is left-over after the Cubs sign McAvene, Hearn, and Schleffler. 

In other words, Hendrie gets whatever is left even if it means signing for under-slot, but he'll get over-slot if the SBP space is available, and that is unclear right now. I don't think the Cubs would have selected Hendrie in the 10th round if he wasn't willing to be flexible with his signing bonus and gamble that he might actually get over-slot if things fall just right. Otherwise, the Cubs would have used the 10th round pick on a sure-thing college senior (like Deppermann) willing to sign for an under-slot bonus.    

Also, if the Cubs don't sign McAvene, it shouldn't really affect the Cubs ability to sign Hearn and Schleffler as long as Hendrie is willing to sign for under-slot. If McAvene does not sign there is no over-slot or under-slot from the 3rd round pick (the slot just disappears), but the Cubs would get a compensation pick in the 2020 draft (after the conclusion of the 3rd round) if they don't sign McAvene.  

The Cubs have officially signed five more 2019 draft picks: 2B Chase Strumpf (2nd round pick out of UCLA - received the entire $1,050,300 bonus slot), 12th round pick RHSP Hunter Bigge (Harvard), 14th round pick 3B Ryan Reynolds (U. of Texas), 19th round pick LHSP Adam Laskey (Duke), and 23rd round pick CF Manny Collier (Westwood HS - Mesa, AZ).   

So the Cubs have now signed 21 of their 40 2019 draft picks (plus one 2019 NDFA). 

Signing bonuses for 2019 Cubs draft picks selected below 10th round (through 6/20): 

$125K (max allowed without SBP penalty):   
Hunter Bigge 
Ryan Reynolds 
Adam Laskey  
Manny Collier 

Grayson Byrd
Tanner Dalton 
Darius Hill 
Cayne Ueckert  
Nelson Maldonado 

Chris Kachmar 
Bryan King 
Alex Moore 
Jacob Olson
Zac Taylor  
Bryce Windham 

So it cost $500,000 to sign Bigge, Reynolds, Laskey, and Collier (obviously the Cubs considered these four to have the most leverage/value, with Bigge, Reynolds, and Laskey college juniors and Collier a three-sport high school player), and only $31,000 to sign the other nine (all nine were college seniors, the draft picks with the least leverage). 

Z. Bryant and Oquendo both get $125K signing bonus and Combs gets $50,000 ($125K is max bonus allowed without SBP hit for players selected below round #10), and so Combs and Deppermann were the only two Cubs college senior draft picks (so far) to get more than $5,000 (both got $50,000). 

So catcher Jake Washer (31st round pick out of East Carolina) is the only Cubs 2019 college senior draft pick who is still unsigned. My guess is that the Cubs see Washer as just another $5,000 senior draft pick (like Byrd, Dalton, Hill, Ueckert, and Maldonado), while he sees himself as a $50,000 guy (like Combs and Deppermann). If so, maybe the Cubs and Team Washer can find a middle-ground number satisfactory to both sides...   

How on earth did Combs pull that off? He didn’t strike me as anything special even as far as college senior middle relievers go.

he's a high end personality and attitude guy...really positive.

also, he's been banged up for years.  he was a rather decent highschool pitcher.

maybe he sold the team on his life goals if baseball doesn't work out and they "bought" into it...maybe he told them he's gonna go play indie ball and see if he can get more than 5K out of it next go around...maybe he's a conduit to funnel most of the money to a mercenary tribe operating in the jungles of South America in exchange for getting a nice roommate assignment in AZ...

You may be onto something 

The Cubs have officially signed three more 2019 draft picks: RHP Zach Bryant (15th round - Jacksonville), RHP Johzan Oquendo (16th round - Leadership Christian Academy - Guaynabo, PR), and RHP Shane Combs (31st round - Notre Dame). 

So the Cubs have now signed 24 of their 40 draft picks. 

The Cubs have officially signed RHP Porter Hodge (13th round draft pick - Cottonwood Senior HS - Murray, UT). So that makes 25 2019 draft picks signed so far (25 of the first 32). 

The Cubs have offiically signed RHP Elian Almanzar (22nd round draft pick - Florence-Darlington Tech). So now 26 out of 40 2019 draft picks have been signed by the Cubs.  

Elian Almanzar (who officially signed yesterday) got a $75,000 signing bonus. 

What is the extent of Nelson Velazquez injury? Is he back in Mesa rehabbing?

The Cubs have officially signed C Jake Washer (29th round draft pick - East Carolina). So the Cubs have now signed 27 of their 40 draft picks (including all of their college senior draft picks), with two weeks left until the signing deadline (5 PM Eastern on 7/12).   

Jim Callis tweeting McAvene signs for $500,000. The $65,000 under slot should allow Cubs to give Hearn his $1,000,000. Don't know where that leaves Schlaffer and Hearn.

Thought Schlaffer was reported at $250K.

The International signing period begins tomorrow. Anyone heard of rumors of Cub signings?

Fangraphs has the Cubs linked to their number 6 and 8 ranked international prospects. 


Thanks Beard.

Ronnier Quintero, C (#6/mlb - #6/fangraphs) 3m

Kevin Made, SS (#11/mlb - #8/fangraphs) 1.7m

Brayan Altuve, C (#30/mlb - unranked/fangraphs) 1m

Three rich young lads. Hope they can play.

Cubs original international bonus pool is $5,398,300.  Might need to swing a trade or two.

vogelbomb made the AL all-star team...la stella, too.

bryant joining contreras/baez on the NL team.

a.rendon (WAS) finally made the all-star team even though he finished 5th in voting.  he was long overdue.

Vogelbach also a Wilken-Hendry pick.

But I have to remind myself that McLeod picked Rizzo in the sixth round, and that Schwarber is an emerging slugger. That's two lefty power bats, versus Tyler Colvin. We also remember that pure bust, Vitters, a #3 pick by Wilken.

Let’s not forget Brett Jackson

AZ Phil, have you had a chance to see Brandon Hughes (recently converted from OF to LHRP) pitch? Has struck out 10 over his first 6.0 IP with just 3 BBs and 1 ER, appears to be finishing games and got the save Saturday (Looks like all but one of his AZL appearances have been on the road). 

BRADSBEARD: When I saw Hughes in EXST he had an upper 80's cutter and a slow CV (both solid pitches) with OK command. Galazin (the other 2019 OF-to-pitcher conversion) throws a 90-92 T-93-94 FB but he's raw (secondaries need work and he doesn't throw strikes consistently). BTW, both Hughes and Galazin pitched a bit in college (Hughes at Michigan State and Galazin at St. John's), so pitching is not totally new to either of them. Galazin would seem to have the highest ceiling of the two but Hughes has the highest floor. I wouldn't be surprised if Hughes moves quickly up the pipeline, but Galazin may struggle to get to full-season ball.  

Thanks for the report! Always appreciated. 

The Cubs have officially signed 3rd round pick RHP Michael McAvene ($500K signing bonus - $65,600 under-slot)


My rough math shows about a $827,345 surplus before they go over the $6.1M SBP.....how do you think that gets divided?


GEORGE A: That's correct. So if the signing bonuses rumored for Schlaffer (about $100K over-slot) and Hearn (about $750K over-slot) are true, then Hendrie has to sign (so that the Cubs can use his slot) - AND - he has to sign for about $25,000 under-slot. 

Thanks, Phil.  Rough call for a JUCO Freshman Catcher.  Has to bet he can get a better slot than $125,000 in the next 2 drafts.

GEORGE A: I doubt that the Cubs would have taken Wyatt Hendrie with their 10th round pick (where he might need to take an under-slot bonus to help the Cubs sign another player taken in the first ten rounds) if they didn't know he was willing to sign for an under-slot bonus. Otherwise the Cubs could have just selected a college senior (like Zac Taylor, Grayson Byrd, Jacob Olson, et al) with their 10th pick, paid him a $5,000 bonus, and use the rest of the $142,200 SBP slot for other Top 10 round picks. I think what probably will happen is Hendrie will sign for whatever is available for him to get, whether it be slot, over-slot, or under-slot. 

Phil, makes sense because, again, I had 2 guys in JUCO who later played D1 but the money now is usually a better bet.  Thanks

The Cubs have officialy signed C Ethan Heard (6th round pick - Mobile Christian School - Mobile, AL) and RHP Tyler Schlaffer (9th round pick - Homewood-Flossmoor HS - Flossmoor, IL). The bonuses have not yet been reported, but Hearn was rumored to be getting $1M (about $750K over-slot) and Schlaffer was rumored to be getting $250K (about $100K over-slot).  

Jon Heyman reporting $950K for Hearn.

This coming Friday (7/12) at 5 PM Eastern is the deadline to sign players selected in last month's First-Year Player Draft. 

College seniors with no eligibility left are not affected by the deadline (they remain on the drafting club's Negotiation List until they sign or until one week prior to next year's draft, whichever comes first), but the Cubs signed all of their 2019 college senior draft picks. 

In addition, any player eligible to be selected in the First-Year Player Draft who was not selected (Non-Drafted Free-Agent - NDFA) and who is not a college senior with no eligibility left can be signed anytime up until one week prior to next year's draft or until the player enrolls in college (whichever comes first).

As is the case for college seniors with no eligibility left who were selected in the draft, a college senior NDFA can be signed any time up until one week prior to next year's draft. 

Approximate equivalency of short-season levels: 

DSL CUBS = U. S. HS baseball 
AZL CUBS = JC or D-3 college baseball 
EUGENE = D-1 or D-2 college baseball  

It's sometimes difficult for Latin American players to play at Eugene (at least the first season the player is there) because the NWL has a lot of polished college seniors (which is what it's designed for), so sometimes it's easier for a Latin American player to go directly from AZL to South Bend (via EXST) than AZL to Eugene to South Bend. 

The Houston Astros have the fewest number of scouts (less than 20) in MLB and they eliminated two of their minor league affilates (DSL Astros #2 and SS-R Greeneville) after the 2017 season just as the Cubs were hiring more scouts (the Cubs now have 67) and were adding two affiliates (DSL Cubs #2 and AZL Cubs #2).

Here's why... 


Outstanding artlcle! Well worth the time!

AZ PHIL:  From your perspective, what does that difference between the Cubs & HOU mean? If anything... is CHC missing the boat? Does HOU have resource limitations that prompted the reallocation? (I wouldn't imagine so) Are you aware of public or of-the-record statements about CHC philosphy in expanding low level affiliates?


FirstPitch.120. The Cubs have the same advanced 21st century cutting-edge baseball technologies the Astros have. The difference is the Cubs still value in-person scouting. There is stuff you can learn about a player only by being there and observing pre-game BP, infield practice, etc, and interactions between players and interactions between players and the coaching and training staff.  

The  Astros weren't the only team to eliminate one of their DSL teams. The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays also cut back from two DSL teams to one in the last couple of years. And the Astros eliminating their Greeneville (Appalachian League) affiliate would be like the Cubs eliminating their second AZL team. I guess it comes down to whether having extra teams in the DSL and rookie ball translate to developing more MLB-ready players. It's possible that the Cubs might decide at some point that having two DSL teams is just not productive. 

I can remember a Cubs front-office person telling me more than ten years ago that the main reason they wanted a second Latin rookie team was in case they had two Latin hot-shot prospects who played the same position (like SS, C, CF) and they wanted both of them to get regular playing time at their "natural" position but neither was ready for the AZL. Another reason that came into play in the last few years was the Cubs being in the "penalty box" as far as signing J-2 international free-agents, and so casting a very wide-net and giving try-outs and signing dozens of free-agents for $10,000 and then letting them develop at the Cubs Dominican Academy and in the DSL might justify having two DSL teams, even though it has produced a fairly low return on the investment.   

I do know that one of the reasons (in fact the main reason) the Cubs established a second team in the AZL is because they wanted two teams available instead of just one for rehabbing players, A player on a minor league injured list cannot go on a roster-exempt rehab assignment with another full-season club. Prior to mid-June players on minor league injured lists can only rehab (and play in games) at Extended Spring Training, and then after the short-season leagues begin play in mid-June, players on the injured lists of the four full-season affiliates can only rehab (play in games as roster-exempt players) with short-season affiliates excluding DSL teams (which for the Cubs would be Eugene, AZL Cubs #1, and AZL Cubs #2), with a maximum of three minor leaguers rehabbing with each short-season affiliate at any one time.

By adding the second AZL team the Cubs can have as many as nine players who are on minor league injured lists on roster-exempt rehab assignments (playing in games) at the same time, including six (combined) between the two AZL teams. Also having two AZL teams makes it easier for the Cubs to initially start all of their draft picks in Mesa before moving some of them up to Eugene while others remain in Mesa based in part on how they perform in AZL games (which is part of the Cubs Way).  

One thing the Cubs probably do better than any other MLB organization is rehab & conditioning. The Cubs have a state-of-the-art rehab & conditioning facility in Mesa, and that's why they can attract free-agents (mainly pitchers, like Smyly, Graveman, and Hultzen) who are rehabbing from serious injuries. And having two AZL teams available for the rehabbers is part of that process. 

Cubs = Astros on technology, agreed.  The problem is off-field management.  The main qualification of the Cubs' director of talent acquisition and development is that he's a crony of Theo's.  The main qualification of their minor league pitching coordinator is that he's been around.  Looking at the Boston Red Sox today, you can see that the reason for their success this century is the dedication of their ownership and willingness to spend a lot of money.  They won with Theo.  They have won just as much without him.  The Cubs have an unbalanced farm system which is the result of many years of pitcher-heavy drafting and extra low-level teams funneling too many bodies into the standard number of full-season teams.  This is not working, as player development results and third-party ratings farm system attest.  It's a problem of human mismanagement, not technology.

The deadline for the Cubs to sign their ten remaining unsigned draft picks from last month's MLB First-Year Player Draft is tomorrow (Friday) at 5 PM Eastern.

The eight players selected after pick #32 probably won't sign (and that was the case the day they were drafted), but 10th round pick C Wyatt Hendrie and 11th round pick SS Mack Chambers III (both JC freshmen) are still very much in play.

The Cubs have about $25,000 left-over in their SBP that can be used to pay over-slot bonuses to Hendrie and/or Chambers. 

1 hour ago More

The may not have signed their 10th-rder but did land a nice arm in Georgia Southern RHP Joe Nahas. He came on late & looked VG in the , running his fastball up to 95 mph & backing it up with a solid slider. His $135k bonus is the most for a NDFA this year.

Joe Nahas has indeed been one of the top strikeout pitchers in the Cape Cod League this summer (5th in K and 13.5 K/9). Obviously he required a substantial (for a NDFA) signing bonus to forgo his senior season at Georgia Southern.

He didn't show much at GSU in 2019 and so it's not too surprising that he didn't get drafted last month, but he has made up for it with his strong showing in the CCBL.

This is kind of like the old "Draft & Follow" process clubs used to do with JC guys back when there was no signing deadline until just before the next draft. But despite the new July deadline, scouting doesn't stop with the draft. 

Does anything over $125,000 count towards the bonus pool or are the Cubs free and clear?

CUBSCENTRAL08: Any part of a signing bonus over $125K paid to a player selected after the 10th round or to any NDFA (player was eligible for selection in the draft but didn't get drafted) counts against the club's SBP limit.

So Nahas got $10,000 over $125K, but the Cubs had about $25,000 available in the their "over-slot bank."

Therefore, the Cubs could conceivably sign an additional NDFA or two for a bit more than $125K if the opportunity presents itself, except the only players the Cubs can sign after yesterday's deadline are college seniors with no eligibility left or high school seniors who have not yet enrolled in college. (Nahas was a college junior). 

An example of this was back in 2012, when the Cubs signed Team Canada 3B Jesse Hodges in September after he was named MVP in the 18U World Cup in South Korea but before he officially enrolled in Grayson College (with whom he had signed a National Letter of Intent).  

Thanks, Phil!

Mills might carry the mail okay. Cut his ERA almost in half in last 8 starts. 


i was hoping t.clifton would be knocking on the door by now, but he's not shining bright (yet).  he only turned 24 a few months ago.  he's got time.

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  • bradsbeard 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    International Scouting Director Louie Eljaua was just on The Score and he mentioned that COVID is causing issues with completing physicals and officially signing guys, but he said they have 24 guys unufficially signed right now.


  • KingKongvsGodzilla 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    These guys are a year apart in age and Miller's easily had the stronger career to date. While I'm not big on Miller, much prefer his more standard injury (TJ) than whatever it is that sapped Foltynewicz's velocity. Folty without velocity just isn't interesting and is likely a much bigger injury risk


  • Cubster 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    from an mlb.com article by Jordan Bastian...excerpt on Cubs free agent starting pitching options:

    "Still, the Cubs need some more experienced Major League innings.

    Given the way the offseason has played out for the North Siders, free-agent possibilities could include Chris Archer. Archer missed all of 2020 due to thoracic outlet syndrome, but he hopes to be ready to go by Spring Training. Free agents Mike Foltynewicz, Carlos Rodón, Rick Porcello and Trevor Williams are coming off forgettable '20 seasons but might benefit from the Cubs' analytics team.


  • Charlie 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    At this rate, they will need 11 starters in 2021 but like 6 of them will be more or less Alec Mills. The defense will get plenty of practice, at least.


  • crunch 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    i wouldn't be surprised to see jake arrieta come on board since no one else seems to want him and he'll probably have to take a 1yr deal...


  • crunch 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    cubs get their backup catcher...hopefully not their main catcher...

    austin romine 1yr/1.5m


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 6 min ago (view)

    Look no further than Shelby Miller!


  • crunch 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    hank aaron has died.  passed away in his sleep.

    we've lost a lot of HOF'rs and other notables in the past many months.


  • Hagsag 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs are now the "Little Sisters of the Poor".


  • crunch 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    given what little we're supposed to expect out of this offseason that would have been a nice gamble.

    at this point i wonder if they're going to snag someone to put in between the 2 current staff aces that throw 88mph on a good day, or if they're just gonna toss one of the kids in there to break up the slow-tossers.

    i mean, there's gotta be something more than hendricks/davies/mills/alzolay/???...i hope.


  • springs 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    That sucks...I wanted to sign Q to a one year deal and see if he could right the ship.  At a minimum I hoped we'd get a draft pick when he left as a free agent and thought we could roll the dice to try and get that.  That trade....man.


  • crunch 2 days 17 hours ago (view)

    bjays gave chatwood 3m.

    do they not have scouts...or televisions you can watch games where he pitches?


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Lame. He was intriguing 


  • crunch 3 days 16 hours ago (view)

    cubs release matt dermody...he's heading to japan.


  • Cubster 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    The Jared Porter story gets worse and does involve the Cubs...

    "The Jared Porter situation is equally a Cubs and a Mets problem. The Mets need a new GM. The Cubs need to reevaluate themselves as an organization.


  • Cubster 4 days 1 hour ago (view)

    and they are including amusement tax, healthcare costs (Doc Adams doesn't come cheap!), social security and political donations to the City and the Governor of Nebraska.