Cubs 2016 First-Year Player Draft – Preview, Day One
Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft, the Rule 4 Draft, begins Thursday (6:00pm CDT) and runs through Saturday, June 11. And this year’s draft will be a lot different for the Cubs than it has under Theo Epstein’s front office.
The draft, adding and developing talent remains a focus for the Cubs. With the off-season additions that have paid off on the field, the Cubs first pick in this year’s draft is not until the third round (pick No. 104). This is the lowest Jason McLeod has ever selected his first player in the Major League Draft.
The Cubs do not have a pick on the first day of the draft. The Cubs surrendered its first round pick when the front office signed RHP John Lackey to a two-year, $32 million contract. And the Cubs forfeited its second round pick by signing Jason Heyward to the eight-year, $184 million contract. Most thought the Cubs would recover an early pick when Dexter Fowler reportedly agreed to terms with the Orioles. When Fowler re-signed with the Cubs on the one-year guaranteed deal, Jason McLeod and his staff went to work to maximize this year’s draft.
The lack of a first and second round pick keeps the Cubs from adding two impact players to the system. The biggest hit will be felt with the available bonus pool. It will be extremely difficult for the front office to manipulate the bonus pool this time like they have in previous years. The Cubs have $2,245,100 million, the smallest draft bonus pool of all the 30 teams.
The Cubs are expected to focus on adding pitching to the organization throughout the draft. An area the front office knows it must address and develop better than it has over the last five years.
The Cubs have set up the draft room this year in the team’s new clubhouse at Wrigley Field.
“This year we might be sitting there in shorts and flip-flops pulling names off the board,” Jason McLeod told ESPN Chicago. “It’s going to give us an opportunity to spend the whole evening preparing for the next day.”
“There is going to be a No. 1 or No. 2 starter coming out of from where we pick to the 10th round,” McLeod said. “Those guys are there.”
The Cubs signing bonus pool for the first 10 rounds of this year’s draft is $2,245,100 million down from the $7,236,100 million the front office was allowed to spend last year and more than $6 million less than the team’s $8,352,200 million bonus pool in 2014. 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.
Assigned Pick Values for the Cubs first 10 rounds:
- Round One – Not Available – Signed, free agent John Lackey
- Round Two – Not Available – Signed, free agent Jason Heyward
- Round Three (Pick #104) – $573,900
- Round Four (Pick #134) – $429,700
- Round Five (Pick #164) – $321,800
- Round Six (Pick #194) – $241,000
- Round Seven (Pick #224) – $186,000
- Round Eight (Pick #254) – $173,800
- Round Nine (Pick #284) – $162,300
- Round Ten (Pick #314) – $156,600
2016 MLB Draft Schedule
- Day One – Thursday, June 9 – Round One, Comp A, Round Two, Comp B
- Day Two – Friday, June 10 (11:30am CDT) – Rounds 3-10
- Day Three – Saturday, June 11 (11:00am CDT) – Rounds 11-40
Cubs Draft Notes and Reports
Here are various reports on the Cubs plans for the draft:
- Comcast SportsNet – Cubs gearing up for the draft with a sharp focus on pitching
- Comcast SportsNet – Cubs trying to find next generation of pitchers in MLB draft
- The Sun-Times – Cubs work to twist arms out of draft without first-day pick
- The Tribune – Cubs aim for impact pitching deep in the draft
- Cubs.com – Cubs first Draft pick to come in third round
- ESPN Chicago – Jason McLeod on Cubs’ need for impact pitching from draft: ‘It keeps us up at night’
Jason McLeod’s last four third round picks have been RHP Ryan McNeil (2012), OF Jacob Hannemann (2013), OF Mark Zagunis (2014) and LHP Bryan Hudson (2015).
The first pitcher selected by the Cubs in the past four drafts: RHP Pierce Johnson (2012), LHP Rob Zastryzny (2013), RHP Jake Stinnett (2014), LHP Bryan Hudson (2015)
Chicago Cubs Online will update reports throughout Friday and Saturday as the picks are announced. Those on Twitter can follow @TheCCO for up to the minute draft information. Reports will be posted on the Cubs’ draft picks, same as in previous years. While the focus for the fan base might not be on the draft, the coverage will be the same as it’s been for the last 10 years.