Cubs Agree to Terms with Mark Zagunis and Other Draft News and Notes

The Cubs have agreed to terms with third round pick, catcher Mark Zagunis, according to reports from Chris Cotillo and Jim Callis. Zagunis will reportedly receive $615,000, slightly under-slot for the Cubs third round pick value of $714,900. The Cubs have not announced the signing.

The Cubs view Mark Zagunis as catcher, and while he may see time at other positions once he is officially signed and reports to a minor league affiliate, Jason McLeod said Sunday during an interview on the Jordan Bernfield Show, “Mark Zagunis is a guy who we obviously feel really good about. Really athletic, strong, his primary position will be catcher. But he is also an athletic guy that Virginia Tech used in the outfield. He actually played some centerfield for them, but primarily, Mark will be a catcher.”

Kyle Schwarber

An announcement on the Cubs signing first round pick Kyle Schwarber could be made this week, at least according to a report from Schwarber is in Chicago, based on comments on his personal Twitter account. As reported, the Cubs are expected to sign Schwarber for less than the slot allotment for the team’s number one pick of $4,621,200. Carrie Muskat reported Schwarber could sign for around $3 million.

Kyle Schwarber said after he was drafted that he would like to stay behind the plate but he was willing to play whatever position the Cubs would like for him to play.

Jason McLeod addressed what position Schwarber would play and why the Cubs selected him with the fourth overall pick in the draft last Sunday on the Jordan Bernfield Show.

“We are not ruling out the catching on Kyle just yet,” McLeod said. “I know Kyle really loves being back there. Speaking of his leadership skills, it fits in behind the plate. We took him because of his bat. He will go out and he will catch still this summer. You will probably see in the box score that he will move around and play some in the outfield as well.”

“Like I said the other day, he [Kyle Schwarber] epitomizes everything that we like about an offensive player in terms of how he controls the strike zone,” McLeod explained. “His patience, his ability to drive the ball with authority to both gaps. And like I said we felt like he was the best bat in this draft. When you combine that with the leader that he is and the makeup that he brings, he was a guy fairly early on that we targeted as, if we were going to go with a position player, then Kyle Schwarber was going to be at the top of the list. As we got to know him better and got to watch him a lot more he ended up being ranked number two on our board and we are really excited to get him.”

Draft News, Notes and Rumors

The Cubs did not select the three prep pitchers in rounds four, five and six without knowing what it would take for them to sign the pitchers away from their college commitments. Jason McLeod told ESPN Chicago, “We feel like we got three talented young players that we think we’ll be able to sign.” McLeod acknowledged that RHP Dylan Cease would likely need Tommy John surgery according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.

Multiple reports have indicated lefties Carson Sands and Justin Steele will sign with the Cubs.

Seventh round pick, RHP James Norwood, is ready to turn pro and it appears he will forgo his senior year at St. Louis University.

Kevonte Mitchell sounds like he is going to sign with the Cubs. Mitchell, the Cubs 13th round pick, told KFVS, the local CBS affiliate in Kennett, MO, that Saturday was the best day of his life and he would be turning pro and signing with the Cubs. Mitchell was committed to play for Southeast Missouri State.

Jacob Niggemeyer was selected by the Cubs in the 28th round of the draft. Niggemeyer has committed to play at Ohio State but said Monday he would wait and see what the Cubs offer him, talk to his parents and then make a decision on turning pro or going to college at Ohio State.

Pick Values and Signing Rules

Cubs Assigned Pick Values for first 10 Rounds of 2014 Draft

  • Round One (Pick #4) – $4,621,200
  • Round Two (Pick #45) – $1,250,400
  • Round Three (Pick #78) – $714,900
  • Round Four (Pick #109) – $480,600
  • Round Five (Pick #139) – $359,900
  • Round Six (Pick #169) – $269,500
  • Round Seven (Pick #199) – $201,900
  • Round Eight (Pick #229) – $161,800
  • Round Nine (Pick #259) – $151,000
  • Round Ten (Pick #289) – $141,000

The Cubs signing bonus pool for the first 10 rounds of this year’s draft is $8,352,200 million. If the Cubs sign a player in rounds 11-40 for more than $100,000, the excess is counted against the team’s bonus pool. If the Cubs draft a player in the first 10 rounds they are unable sign, the assigned slot value is removed from their bonus pool allotment.

If a team exceeds its draft pool by 0-5 percent it receives a 75 percent tax on the overage. If a team exceeds its bonus pool allotment by more than five percent and up to 10 percent, the penalty is the loss of a first round pick and a 75 percent tax on the overage. If a team exceeds its bonus pool by 10-15 percent, the penalty is the loss of a first and second round pick, plus 100 percent tax on the overage. If a team exceeds its bonus pool by more than 15 percent, the penalty is two first round draft picks and 100 percent tax on the overage.

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  • The Dude Abides

    Anyone know where to find the breakdown of total high school, DI, DII, DIII, NAIA & Junior College players taken this year for the entire 1200+ players drafted? Curious of the actual breakdown, not who signs but where the players came from who were drafted. Thanks

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  • Theboardrider

    How doe you get a player to accept below slot? A guy like a 1st-3rd rounder. Would the Cubs really not fork over the slot money if it was demanded? Especially Schwarber. Why would he not just say “I expect slot.”

    • Tony_H

      Because if the team has no savings from the slot, they don’t have any reason to say yes either until the last day. Plus, they have already discussed what they are looking for before the draft. Just like with the 3 HS arms, they know what it will take sign them, just like they know what Schwarber was looking to get in a bonus.

    • John_CC

      Seems odd, I agree. I guess it depends on the kid and his “adviser.” Obviously Boras does the opposite and demands above slot. From the way it is generally described it goes like this: Schwarber was considered by “the experts” to be in the #10-15 pick range, and the slot for that range is X. Cubs take him higher than anyone else and use that at leverage. The system is screwing on many fronts, the slots and penalties and then that the accepted value of a player is based on a bunch of non-baseball guys.

  • John_CC

    Watch the Scwharber link Neil put up…it’s his 38th career HR the announcer says, breaking the record of Micky Morandini! Ha! Love it.

  • Eugene Debs

    One thing I admire. These guys do stick to their plans. I don’t always agree with Jed and company, but they are confident and prepared.

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