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Cardinals sign No. 19 pick Michael Wacha for $1.9 million

Jun 15, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

mlb draft

Add another name to the list of first-rounders signing early, as the Cardinals and No. 19 pick Michael Wacha have agreed to a deal.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the starting pitcher from Texas A&M will get $1.9 million, which is the exact slot bonus for the pick.

Baseball America ranked Wacha as the eighth-best player in the class and ESPN.com rated him 15th, so the Cardinals did well to snag the 6-foot-6 right-hander who many considered the best college pitcher in the draft behind top-10 selections Mark Appel, Kyle Zimmer, and Kevin Gausman.

  1. paperlions - Jun 15, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    The Cardinals also signed Carson Kelly (who fell to the 2nd round because of his strong commitment to Oregon) for $1.6M, which is over a $1M over slot (which was something like $560K….the biggest over slot signing so far this year. They also signed their 12th round pick (also regarded as a tough sign) for $400K ($300K over the allotted amount for picks after the 10th round). If they can find space to sign Trey Williams (their 11 round pick and another guy who fell because of signability), this will look like a great draft class under the new rules.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 15, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      Yeah…they obviously dug a little deeper to sway Kelly from signing with the Ducks.

      • paperlions - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:13 PM

        I think this was the plan all along. The Cards (as all teams did) knew how much $$ they had to work with, they knew who they wanted, got an idea of how much different players would need to sign, and they had some idea about who would fall to which spot in the draft….so they tried to optimize return by waiting on some quality players they knew would fall and taking lower ceiling players they didn’t think would fall earlier….saving money on the low ceiling guys they took early and applying that to higher ceiling guys they knew would fall because of the slotting system.

      • paperlions - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        In other words, if they take Kelly (or a similar player) with the 23rd pick and pay him slot, the likelihood that a guy as good as Ramsey that would sign for slot would have still been around for that pick would have been very low….this way, they spend the same amount of money, but have a better combination of players/talent in return.

  2. okwhitefalcon - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Great article here fellas on the Cards draft and $$$, give it a look:

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/birdland/goold-cardinals-and-the-draft-pick-cash-game/article_c57217ae-b70d-11e1-9ff1-0019bb30f31a.html

    • paperlions - Jun 16, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      Pretty good summary. The thing they left out is that if you don’t sign one of the picks from the first 10 rounds (i.e. picks that contribute to your slotted draft budget), you lose that amount from your budget….so if take a hard-to-sign guy before round 11, you risk losing some of your “allowed” draft budget.

      I think you can also go over a certain amount (5%, I think) and only pay “tax” on that, so going over a couple hundred K may not be that big a deal from a penalty perspective.

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