SAN FRANCISCO -- Though 16 days remain to sign players taken in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, the Cardinals have already wrapped up most of their spending. And for the third straight season, the organization has exceeded its allotted pool of bonus money, but not so much so that it will cost the club future picks.
The first figure is the bonus received, and the numbers in parenthesis are how much over or under slot the bonus was.
As of Wednesday, the Cardinals had announced the signings of 28 of their 42 picks; that includes 11 of their 12 selections from the Draft's first 10 rounds. The bonuses of those 11 players all count against the Cardinals' bonus pool, which becomes $6,582,800 with the Cardinals' inability to sign third-round pick Trevor Megill.
Four of the Cardinals' first 12 picks signed at slot value, including top pick Luke Weaver and second-rounder Ronnie Williams. The Cardinals were able to then save money by coming to below-slot agreements with six players. Among those was supplementary second-round pick Andrew Morales, who signed for $250,000 less than the recommended slot for the 71st overall pick.
With those savings, the Cardinals were able to hand out above-slot bonuses to first-round pick Jack Flaherty ($2 million) and 29th-round selectee Bryan Dobzanski ($700,000). Both players had commitments to play in premier college programs. Though Dobzanski was taken after the 10th round, the portion of his bonus in excess of $100,000, by rule, counts against the Cardinals' pool.
As a result, the Cardinals spent $318,900 more than their allotment. Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams with an overage of 0-5 percent incur a tax. Surpassing that five-percent threshold costs a team a future pick. The Cardinals come in under that five-percent figure by just a little more than $10,000.
Since the CBA implemented new spending rules before the 2012 season, it has been the organization's strategy to maximize their pool by approaching a five-percent overage without hitting it. The Cardinals, while they will not be handing out any more significantly over-slot bonuses, have until July 18 to come to agreements with any other unsigned picks.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.