Cubs Sign Baez, Vogelbach, Maples … and Nine of Top Ten Draft Picks

The Chicago Cubs were extremely busy Monday leading up to the signing deadline. The Cubs inked nine of their top ten draft picks and 18 of the top 20 … and in the process they paid over slot for a majority of those picks.

The Cubs signed first round pick Javier Baez to a $2.625 million bonus. Dan Vogelbach, the left-handed slugger from Florida, signed for $1.6 million and the Cubs inked Dillon Maples, their 14th round pick to a $2.5 million bonus … the largest bonus ever handed out to a pick below the second round. Maples, a right-handed pitcher, was named the North Carolina Baseball Player of the Year

The Cubs also announced the signing of Shawon Dunston, Jr., who had committed to play ball at Vanderbilt. Dunston, Jr. received a $1.275 million bonus.

Of the top 10 picks, the only player the Cubs were not able to sign was the eighth round pick, OF Taylor Dugas.

2011 Draft Picks Signed
(note: will update as more signings in the later rounds are made official)

Rd 1 – Javier Baez – SS
Rd 2 – Dan Vogelbach – 1B
Rd 3 – Zeke DeVoss – OF
Rd 4 – Tony Zych
Rd 5 – Tayler Scott – RHP
Rd 6 – Neftali Rosario – C
Rd 7 – Trevor Gretzky – 1B
Rd 9 – Garrett Schlecht – OF
Rd 10 – Daniel Lockhart – SS
Rd 11 – Shawon Dunston, Jr – OF
Rd 13 – Darien Martin – OF
Rd 14 – Dillon Maples – RHP
Rd 15 – Justin Marra – C
Rd 16 – Rafael Lopez – C
Rd 17 – John Andreoli – OF
Rd 18 – James Pugilese – RHP
Rd 19 – Paul Hoilman – 1B
Rd 20 – Ben Klafczynski – OF
Rd 21 – Andrew McKirahan – LHP
Rd 22 – Ethan Elias – RHP
Rd 25 – Rock Shoulders – 1B
Rd 26 – Michael Jensen – RHP
Rd 27 – Taiwan Easterling – OF
Rd 30 – Arturo Maltos-Garcia – RHP
Rd 32 – Pete Levitt – RHP
Rd 33 – Sheldon McDonald – LHP
Rd 36 – Travis Garcia – 3B
Rd 38 – Casey Lucchese – RHP
Rd 40 – P.J. Francescon – RHP
Rd 41 – Austin Urban – RHP
Rd 42 – Brad Zapenas – SS
Rd 44 – Kenny Socorro – SS
Rd 46 – Scott Weismann – RHP

Quote of the Day

"Pitching is the cornerstone of most championship teams." – Roger Craig

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  • Tedtop16

    This is great. You can get some confidence in Ricketts when he says we are going to build through the draft and the development of players. And then they sign 18 out of 20 choices. Very encouraging.

  • cubs1967

    Signing players………….great.

    Over paying many per the uncle Bud slot position……..for unproven players……seems very similiar how the cluless one, JH, over pays FA to come to Wrigley…….and those are proven MLB players.

    glad they are signed…….but those are millions over slot that could go to MLB players who could win a WS……… to hold judgement.

    any other team go this far over slot??

    how many got no-trade clauses??

    why over slot??……..wrong player drafted by Wilken, Cubs are such a laughing stock this it what it takes??………kids know Quade is a joke and hates them already??

    103 yrs and counting, there is NO grace period.

    • Ryan-waldschmidt

      Ricketts has made it clear payroll will hover around 130mil. As far as paying overslot do some research kids like dunston and maples were potential 1st-2nd rd talent picked in later rounds. Stop polluting with your negativity.

      • Aorcappy01

        I completely agree with you Ryan. It seems Cubs brass can’t win with some people around here. They over spend on veterans and they get criticized. They deal players for prospects and the prospects aren’t good enough. Now they spend money on draft picks and yet they are wrong again. This regime has plenty to be held accountable for but I am extremely happy with how this draft turned out.

        • Rbmercer

          + 1

      • Roland

        Ryan, we may be related.  I am related to the Waldschmidts from Dowagiac MI, who are originally from Illinois and Iowa.

        Sorry to side track, but I don’t come across many Waldschmidts.

        I agree with everything you posted.

    • Tedtop16

      cubs1967:You are way off base. If you look at the signings of other teams, they signed many players over the so called slotting by uncle Bud. In some cases, the slotting numbers are a joke.

      • cubs1967

        it’s called leverage…….the art of negoiation.  if the high school players don’t like the offer; let’s say 1/2 of what was given to a 14th rd pick like the cubs did; say NO and go to school; earn zero income, and if you blow out your arm you are done.  no problem. OR take the offer and make tons more if you make the majors; prove it first.

        everyone on here assumes these are all good; like vitters or pawlek…..please.

        • cc002600

          so would you have been happier if they didn’t sign guys like Maples  and Baez and used the money to buy bad medicore free agents ??

          You don’t make any sense
          ……and you sound cranky……You just criticize no matter what they do.

          Of course there is no guarantee that any of them will be any good, but the more good prospects you have, the better your chances are of striking gold. (see Starlin Castro)   Hello ?

    • Richard Hood

      Too put it in the right light Cubs, Bubba Starlin got 7.5 million by himself. The Pirates spent 5 million on there 2nd round pick. We spent 11 million on the draft wich is close to the record but other teams destroyed the old water mark. So you can gripe all you want about the money the Cubs spent but we need to get players into our system. This and international signings are the way to do that.

    • T_Leise

      Cubs1967 what player would you get for 11 million that would make this team a winner?

    • Tony_Hall

      Why pay over slot?  When 1st and 2nd round talent drops because most teams think they are going to college or staying in college 1 more year, then these players drop.  They won’t sign unless they get the money of the spot they “should” have been drafted.

      Think about it for just a minute.  Your son just graduated high school, as a full ride scholarship, to his dream school.  Everyone knows this, so his 1st round talent, drops to the 9th Round. Are you going to let your son sign for 9th round money?  No, you will expect 1st round money and will get it offered, then the game begins, of how much do you want to go to school, and how do you turn down that much money.  

      Money talks.  

    • mdn82

      The funny thing is cubs1967 complains about paying for free agents, then says in the next sentence the overslot money could go toward MLB players who could win a WS.  Wow, that is an oxymoron if I have ever seen one.  Do you realize that all of those free agents we overpay for are MLB players that hopefully win us a WS.  Look at past drafts.  We paid for players that were “risks” at their slot.  That is why we are where we are.

      • cubs1967

        huh??………find the post where i complained about overpaying for FA.
        there isn’t one.
        the payroll should be 150-160M……… win a WS and end this drought and pressure every team feels of a century of losing.

        i suggest you get your facts straight……..i want monies spent; i don’t want to hear about a bunch of high schoolers that won’t pan out like josh vitters or mark pawlek.

        i like the garza trade……….proven MLB pitcher for suspects/prospects.

        your response is inaccurate……..don’t put words in my mouth.

    • Brp921

      reposted from last nights recap:

      After this draft and Rickets new, and impressive, philosophy on building the team by spending money to develope a strong farm system, I am willing to wait and judge Rickets later on. I still believe JH and Mike Quade should be replaced, Though a very knowledgable baseball fan (not a Cubfan) I know believes if Quade is let to grow as a manager that he will end up being a good one (I don’t see that). Also there is an interesting article in the Cubs Den, that I have included a link to, about JH being kept on.

  • Tony_Hall

    Quite impressive, signing so many of the top picks.  Cash talks!

    I know Samardzija “only” received a $2M signing bonus, but was guaranteed $10M if he played baseball, and could end up reaching $16.5M if he keeps getting the options picked up. And Mark Prior was given $10M guaranteed, so the Cubs have always been willing to go over slot, just this year, they did it for alot of players.

    Now let’s hope they actually drafted future major leaguer talent and then can develop that talent, to get them to Clark and Addison.

    Is there any info on the most a team has ever spent on all of their picks in one year?  This seems like it should be near the top, if not the top.

    • Brp921

      Mark Prior was one who really was worth the bonus. Had his shoulder held up the sky would have been the limit.

  • JimBo_C

    Interesting approach …
    When drafting high school players, pay less credence to signability & college letters of intent. Lure talent in with money. More money than “slot”. More money than these players thought they would ever see. More money than almost any other team in the league is spending on drafted players.Yeah, we know all of these guys wont turn out to be major leaguers … BUT … let’s put it into perspective …. this is less money than they waste on the desperate signings of the likes of Z, Soriano, Milton Bradley.I for one would much rather see the team spend this extra money on the draft every year and fill the pipeline with young talent. Improve the likelihood that you will have a couple of hungry talented young players standing in line … when your major league players get too costly.This year’s draft approach is clearly a shift in philosophy. I am hoping that this a good sign of things to come.

    Now we just need a GM that knows when to cut bait on his own players and a field manager that fosters an environment that grooms young talent.

  • Demitri

    We don’t know if any of these guys will go pro, but i have to say its a good day to be a cubs fan. (And yes, only today)

    • paulcatanese

      They are “pro’s” the instant they sign their contract.

      • Demitri

        When I said that I ment for them to go to the majors.

        • paulcatanese

          Didnt mean to jump on that, but I can see a bunch of ex-minor leaguers that would. Too many times people think they are not pros. I did not mean that as
          a putdown in any way.

  • Richard Hood

    Great job getting these kids signed. Aaron is eating crow and man does he like the taste. You got admit when your wrong about something like this it leaves a great taste in your mouth.

     Now lets get these kids to playing and see what we got. I can’t believe how cheap Baez was after seeing all the money some of the guys picked around him got. WAY TO GO!

    • Aaron

      already addressed this yesterday…and yes, salt with crow tastes good

      • Richard Hood

        Sorry didn’t see it till I looked back after my post. It is all good just wanted to poke the tiger I guess.

        • Tno13

          After a half dozen or more posts beginning immediately after the draft declaring that Ricketts would not sign half of the picks, it seems that Arrogant Aaron  owes us a few more bites of crow.

  • Jdarby

    I haven’t seen this posted anywhere … will be interesting to see what comes out of it. Hopefully Ricketts has done his homework on Hendry & Quade and doesn’t have blinders on with the team’s “hot streak.”

    • John_CC

      I hope so too, I think we all do.  But that doesn’t sound good.  If indeed he has a press conference in the next couple weeks, before the season is over, I can’t imagine it is to announce that he is terminating Hendry. 

      I could handle letting Hendry finish his contract – IF – they insist on firing Quade AND hiring a “Baseball Guy” as team President to over see the baseball guy that over sees the baseball guy.  After all, it IS BASEBALL!

      And while I agree that continuity is important and that a manager needs time to get things working the way they want, I do not believe in Quadie, he just hasn’t proven anything.

      Anyway, sorry for the slightly negative rant.

      The Ricketts have put their money where they said they would…great first step!

      • Richard Hood

        I totally agree but considering his relationship with Ricketts it might be better for him to move up as a consultant to the CEO or something. I do think it is time for Hendry to do something else. I think JH’s brain is an important asset to the organization just not in the GM’s seat anymore. He has earned at least staying on in some capacity. I know a lot of guys think he has never done a smart thing but 3 division titles in 5 years in the same division as Pujols and Company is impressive none the less. But just like every other GM seat in every other organization change is not always a bad thing  or negative.

  • Richard Hood

    Ok now the question that money and slot are out of the way is what is the top 10 prospects now. I know that Aaron has talked a little bit about Baez being right in there but with the athleticism and just pure talent that the Cubs have acquired did it totally redo our prospect list?  

    • studio179

      The prospect list should look different. One example is McNutt. He should drop a little on the next list. I think the bigger question is does this give Hendry more talent to trade in a year or two. If the Cubs were closer at the deadline, you can bet Hendry would be trading. I still question if the owner and GM and manager are all on the same page.

  • cubtex

    With this being such a tough season to be a Cubs fan……This is a breath of fresh air! EVERYONE should be happy that Ricketts is doing exactly what he said he would do and build up the farm system. There should be absolutely zero negative talk on this thread. Enjoy the day! It is a good morning!

    • Aaron

      33 picks by my count has to be one of the best hauls in a long time for the Cubs.

      Has anyone heard anything about the late round picks signing? Some of those don’t get much publicity because they’re not usually high dollar…but McNutt was a late round gem.

      I know Jacquez was a no-go, and Zimmer as well, but the rest like Kichler, etc., I haven’t heard anything about, and can’t find info anywhere. Does anyone else know?

      • cubtex

        Not sure but I saw on the Longhorn site that Jaquez was going to UT.. Can’t blame him.

      • Neil

        Aaron still waiting on those lower rounds. As you mentioned not much out there right now.

      • Neil

        Aaron, 34 total picks signed. Will update the report ASAP

    • paulcatanese

      Well, Ricketts could improve on the beer.( happy that Ricketts did what he said he was going to do). Regardless of the money the kids are going to get, its a long hard road for them, just hope they can hang in there and enjoy what they are about to do, nice life ahead.

  • studio179

    This years draft went very well. I am glad that ownership did what they said they would do for the draft and minor league system. They plan on doing even more in those areas, too. That is very encouraging. I can see the Cubs drafting well on a yearly basis. Some years will be better than others, but ownership is doing it’s part in this area. Keep it up!  

  • Richard Hood

    Just a side note on Thome making it to 600 home runs.

     I keep thinking today of the summer between my freshman and sophmore year of High School when I was manning the Hot corner for The Prairie State Warriors in AAU ball here in central IL. We were pretty good. About half our team ended up playing Division 1 baseball so we had talent. We played all over the state but never once got to play against our next door neighbors until we got to the Midwest AAU Classic in STL in August of 88. I saw a 3rd baseman there that was a Senior in high school that played for Peoria that really just stuck with me about his power. He hit 4 homer runs at old Bush Stadium and walked in 5 PA’s. He literally wore us out and beat us all by himself. Man what a day and if I would have known where he would end up I probably would have been more in awe of him than I was as a snot nosed kid. So from an old rival and a fan at the same time I have to thank Jim Thome for all the memories. The ones that are famous and not so famous.

    • Brp921

      I really like Jim Thome, so I don’t mean this sarcasticly. I just have to ask, how was his defense?

      • Richard Hood

        For the level we played at his defense was amazing. He played shortstop a lot of time and pitched a little too. I think he played just about every where that week. I remember him being listed as a 3rd baseman and not even seeing him there till they played us. I was like this ain’t fair at all.

    • John_CC

      Richard, to have played on the same diamond as Jim Thome, man, that is super cool! 

      Kalamazoo Central was a rival of my hometown high school in St. Joe, MI.  Derek Jeter played baseball and basketball for Central and against the St. Joe Bears many times during my H.S. career, he graduated the year after me.  I did not attend that H.S. but watched their teams as they were an athletic powerhouse in those years.  But darnit, I just do not remember ever watching Jeter play. 

      • Roland

        John CC, Benton Harbor is my hometown!

  • Gary J

    Give some credit where it’s due people.  Ricketts signs the checks.  He gives the OK for this money to be spent in order to get the high-school kids to forego their full rides to college.  And I think it’s money well spent.  Especially on the players that would have first rounders if not for the expectation they would go to college.  

    But Hendry is the one doing the negotiations and essentially talking them out of college.

    In this ONE instance, you can’t praise Ricketts (which is deserved) while at the same time bashing Hendry.   If you’re praising one, you’re praising the other.  Ricketts gave the OK and Hendry got them signed.

    Bash him when it’s appropriate at least :-)

    • Richard Hood

      I know that Hendry did Gretzky’s at Dads request. I am not sure how hands on he was on the others. I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere.

      • Gary J

        Granted that there’s a whole slew of people involved – scouts, admins, etc. But the GM’s office is part of what everyone means by “Hendry”.  He may not have physically sat there as pen was put to paper, but he was involved in the decision and negotiation process I’m sure.  

  • Chuck

    Paying a prospect out of high school over  a million dollars  is ridicioulous.    And we complain how much Soriano is paid?  Being from Fort Myers, this kid is good but a million dollars? Let’s get real.

    • Tony_Hall

      Have you looked at what players get to sign a pro contract?  Football, Basketball, etc?  Just out of high school or a couple of years older, not much difference.  Baseball teams have it made compared to these other sports, signing these young guys.  Total the Cubs have $12-$14M paid out, look at football and basketball, way more cash paid out, especially if you figure it per player.

  • ghostofelvis

    Best newsw of the entire year. For once, Wilken seems to have made the right picks(no Hayden Simpsons with an extra-bad case of mono this year). Seems this is the first time Ive seen Ricketts get it right. Hope this is the start of something good. I,LL say this-Peoria is going to look like a very interesting team next year.

  • ghostofelvis

    Just askin’-are the Cubs considering Maples as a relief pitcher or a starter?

  • GrantJones7

    Was right about it all, glad my sources helped me out! Only one my guy missed on was that Jaquez didnt sign, oh well.

    This will imensly help the Farm System, should be interesting putting some of these names in my Top 20 (maybe top 30 list)

  • Nathan

    Anybody think any of the draft picks can help us soon? Most of our good ones our coming straight out of high school so probably atleast a couple years down the road I would assume

    • Zach

      Tony Zych might be able to help the team soon since he is a relief pitcher and went to college.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Vogelbach, Gretzsky, Shoulders all – 1b
    One can play LF one at 3b and Big Vogelbach at 1b. Wishful thinking lol.

    Hoilman has a ton of power but also has a hole in his swing.

    • ghostofelvis

      Hoilman also has like 13-14 hr in the Rookie NW league. I beleive hes closing in on the rookie record for HR. There has to be a possability he will be at least at Peoria, maybe even Daytona next year.

  • Tom U

    Now, here comes the big question: Where are you going to put all of these players?

    The current roster of the AZL Cubs stands at 34, Boise has 29, Peoria is at 26, Daytona – 25, Tennessee – 25, Iowa – 23. That doesn’t include the 15 players on the DL, one suspended, and one on the restricted list.

    On top of that, the DSL ends their season on Saturday. After playoffs, there should be at least a half dozen or so players that should get a look.

    Expect a lot of action on the minor league wire.

    • Richard Hood

      That is a legit question Tom. I do not know what the roster limit is at each spot though.

      • Tom U

        I know the limit at Triple-A and Double-A is 25. I don’t know the exact limit, but the rookie league can carry more then 25 players.

      • Neil

        Richard, here are the active roster limits for each level:

        Triple-A – 24
        Double-A – 24
        High and Low A ball – 25
        Short Season A-ball – 30
        Rookie level – 35

        Minor League Reserve List Limits:

        Triple-A – 38
        Double-A – 37
        A – 35

        • Richard Hood

          So there are some changes coming soon to get these players into the system soon. Unless they send them to instructional league then to EXST next year but they may not be able to do that until after short season.

  • Neil

    More on the draft from the Sun-Times and Tribune:

    Scouting director Wilken calls this best draft in 6 yrs for Cubs — w/ 4 1st-rd level guys signed.

    Cubs’ Wilkens says Ricketts’ financial commitment to draftees was something he hadn’t experienced since Toronto 20 years ago.

    Ricketts upped budget to allow for ‘tough-sign’ guys to be taken.

    Wilken: “we were taking quality w/ almost every pick — the most quality u could get out of that pick.”

    • cc002600


      Who would you speculate as to which 4 he was talking about ?

      Baez, Volgelbach, Maples, and Dunston ?

      • Neil

        Yes, those were the ones I was thinking.

  • Ryan7

    II have been saying this for a long time now. People have be jumping on the Rickettes for doing nothing. I have said their hands have been tied because of the tribunes crap that they left for them and that the Rickettes haven’t been able to do anything until closer to the time the large crappy contracts start to fall off. Now its time for the Rickettes to start with everything the have been waiting to do. I see nothing but good things coming all but for the rest of this season that is. Lady and gentlemen we are in the being stages of the NEW AGE CUBBIES. I’M SAYING IT NOW ” THE CHANGES HAVE BEGUN “

    • cc002600

      I agree with you.
      I think a lot of the criticism has been unfair.


  • Neil

    From Comcast SportsNet: Cubs spent $12 million on draft bonuses, doubling last year’s amount.

  • Hagsag

    Congrats to Hendry, Bush , Wilkin, and Fleita for a great draft and for the great Latin signings. And thanks to the Ricketts for spending the money.

  • ghostofelvis

    Im also wondering-are the Cubs possablty thinking of moving Candelario, and Penlaver out of the DSL next year? Ive read some comps of Candelario to Castro.