Cubs Sign First Round Draft Pick Kyle Schwarber

The Cubs will make it official Wednesday the team has signed first round draft pick Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber and the Cubs have reportedly agreed to a signing bonus of $3.125 million, which is $1,496,200 under-slot. With Kyle Schwarber ($3.125 million) and Mark Zagunis ($615,000) signing under-slot deals, the Cubs can use the $1,596,100 on other draft picks such as LHP Carson Sands, LHP Justin Steele and RHP Dylan Cease.

The Cubs have not said which minor league affiliate Schwarber will report to after a short stay at the Cubs facility in Mesa. Jed Hoyer said Wednesday morning the Cubs were eager to sign Schwarber so he could start playing in the system. The Boise Hawks begin its season on Friday, which seems like a logical first step for Schwarber, the same path Kris Bryant took a year ago. The Sun-Times mentioned the possibility of Kyle Schwarber reporting to Boise in time for Friday’s opener.

Updated 1:33pm CDTCubs announce signing of first round pick Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber is reporting to Boise and is expected to be ready for the Hawks Opening Day this Friday.

Kyle Schwarber will see some time behind the plate. From the comments made by Jason McLeod and Jed Hoyer, the Cubs view Schwarber as an outfielder and not a catcher. Jason McLeod addressed the Schwarber position question last Sunday.

“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.”

Pick Values and Signing Rules

Cubs Assigned Pick Values for first 10 Rounds of 2014 Draft

  • Round One (Pick #4) – $4,621,200 – Kyle Schwarber signed $3.125 million
  • Round Two (Pick #45) – $1,250,400
  • Round Three (Pick #78) – $714,900 – Mark Zagunis signed $615,000
  • 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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  • EqDoc

    That’s a nice chunk of change to throw at some of those high school pitchers…

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  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Great news! Let’s get him to Boise and get the clock counting down to his arrival at Wrigley.

  • John_CC

    This is great news, I really hope he can follow Bryant’s path. I don’t thin anyone expects him dwarf the competition in the same way, but if he dominates the rookie league it would great if he could get half a season at Kane.

  • John_CC

    What’s the scuttlebutt on Stinnet, is he also expected to go a little under slot?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Yes, he will sign for under-slot. I have not heard/read any numbers. His college season just ended and he will have to take a physical first

  • gary3411

    Can’t believe he accepted that low, but what a guy! Probably because he went to greatest University in the midwest.

  • gary3411

    This is really big for the success of this draft. While my initial reaction to first three picks was confusion due to the lack of upside, with this signing everyone has become clear. This draft deepened our system greatly.

    • triple

      I made a post in an earlier thread today that if the Cubs save money like it seems they can on their draft picks from the first 10 rounds not numbered 4, 5, and 6, then they should have about an extra $2.6 mil available to sign those 3 highschool pitchers. That money I mention already includes that up to 5% overage of slot money. If you consider the slot money available to their draft positions, the Cubs can easily afford to give the 2 healthy pitchers over a million each in bonus money, and throw some extra at the kid who probably will need surgery, and get him to sign instead of go to college. I think this is all very doable!

      • Vivid_Reality

        I think this allows us to get Sands, Steele, and Cease as well as two hard signs outside the first ten rounds. It would be a huge get to sign a couple of Cantu, Gilliam, Peters, Adams, and Mitchell.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        If I’m Steele and I need surgery. I would sign in a heartbeat. Cubs doctors and profession rehab done by a MLB club. Can’t beat it.

        • triple

          Exactly… I couldn’t remember which one had some injury issues, but I don’t think they will have to give very much extra money to sign him. If he’s offered close to $1 million, plus access to the best doctors and professional coaching that only cares about his future instead of wins in the college ranks, it seems like a no-brainer.

  • daverj

    I read somewhere (can’t remember where) that teams can include future college tuition payments of up to $250,000 in a signing of a high school player and that such committed future payments do not count against the draft cap. Does anyone know if that is true?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Tuition can be included in any deal and not count against the bonus pool or slot allotment, that is correct.

      • daverj

        Thanks Neil.

  • Jeffrey Rogers

    Are they going to let him catch or just move him straight to the OF?

    • Denver Mike

      See paragraphs #3 & #4 above.

      • Jeffrey Rogers

        Thanks…sorry I rushed through the highlights of the article on the way out the door.

  • Tony_H

    I would keep him catching for as long as possible. Even if he is never your starting catcher or back-up, having a 3rd catcher with a bat like his on your team just adds so much flexibility to your team. Especially with a guy who wants to do it.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      3rd catcher might be a fit defensively but his bat is likely starting material. I don’t think they spent the 4th pick in the draft to be a 3rd catcher.

      • DWalker

        With the troubles our top outfield prospects have had healthwise as well as our catcher issues, this isn’t a bad move. Starting outfielder/alternate back up catcher? thats not bad to have on the bench for when your starting catcher goes down instead of the emergancy Baker/Whiteside/Hill types.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          He could certainly be a backup option at Cather while playing an outfield position full time. I like that idea. He projects as a middle of the order bat though so he needs to have a starting position.

      • Tony_H

        Um, not saying he would sit the bench as a 3rd catcher, but play LF and be the 3rd catcher.

  • Tony_H

    We have talked about how it would be nice if teams could trade draft picks. Honestly, that would put us a step closer to the best player available being taken a lot more in the draft. But without the ability to do this, the Cubs did the next best thing, they drafted the player they wanted, at the price of where he was predicted to be picked and used that money saved to get 3 HS arms in Rounds 4-6 (all need over slot deals) that would have been taken earlier if it was just about picking the next best player. Teams can’t afford to not sign their first 10 picks (that is why all the college seniors, especially in Rounds 7-10) so it is a big risk to take these HS arms, yet the Cubs will be signing all 3.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      The ability to sign guys for under slot makes sense. It allowed us to get the guy we wanted for much less. If they had to pay full slot they probably would have had to go with a young arm. I don’t think they looked at any of the available college arms as worth this pick.

      I wouldn’t have minded Touki Toussaint, but I think they wanted someone that would have impact earlier. Schwarber is projected as the first bat to hit the MLB from this draft, giving us a player that can immediately be ready to impact the lineup around the same time as Baez, Bryant, etc. To me this signing and the intentions were extremely savvy. But then again, that’s what I’ve come to expect from this FO.

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