The Cincinnati Reds announced a bunch of draft pick signings on Tuesday afternoon. The team officially announced the signing of 17 draft picks. In the 2018 Cincinnati Reds Draft Tracker there are more players listed than that, but as noted on that page, those are agreements and not official signings. Guys need to pass physicals and have their contracts approved by Major League Baseball before they become official. Here are the players that were officially signed today:

  • 2nd Round RHP Lyon Richardson
  • 2nd Round CB Pick RHP Josiah Gray
  • 5th Round RHP Ryan Campbell
  • 6th Round RHP Yomil Maysonet
  • 7th Round C Jay Schuyler
  • 8th Round RHP Matthew Pidich
  • 9th Round RHP Andrew McDonald
  • 13th Round OF Brian Rey
  • 16th Round OF Drew Mount
  • 21st Round C Oliver Hunter
  • 24th Round LHP Connor Curlis
  • 25th Round RHP Ricky Salinas
  • 28th Round OF Brandt Stallings
  • 30th Round LHP Jacob Wyrick
  • 31st Round RHP Justin McGregor
  • 32nd Round C Edwards Guzman
  • 37th Round C Robert Boselli

Notable missing there are 3rd round selection Bren Spillane, and 4th round selection Mike Siani. Both players have agreed to deals, but as this is being typed aren’t quite official for one reason or another.

Thanks to the great work from MLB Pipeline writers Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis, we’ve also got signing bonus details on these guys. With the new draft rules that have been in place for the last few years, teams must stay within their draft pool amount. Each pick has an assigned value in the Top 10 rounds, which counts towards your overall draft pool. You can spend that however you like, but you can’t spend more than the total value of those picks. Each pick after round 10 can be signed for up to $125,000. Anything over that counts towards the draft pool.

Currently the Cincinnati Reds are well beyond their spending limit for the players they have signed/agreed to terms with. Let’s take a look at how things add up.

Round  Name  Pos  Slot Signed for
1 Jonathan India 3B $5,946,400
2 Lyon Richardson RHP $1,520,300 $2,000,000
2CB Josiah Gray RHP $837,700 $775,000
3 Brenden Spillane OF $716,000 $600,000
4 Mike Siani OF $512,800 $2,000,000
5 Ryan Campbell RHP $382,900 $10,000
6 Yomil Maysonet RHP $287,700 $250,000
7 Jay Schuyler C $224,200 $210,000
8 Matt Pidich RHP $177,700 $10,000
9 Andrew McDonald RHP $152,600 $10,000
10 A.J. Moore RHP $142,100 $5,000

The Reds got discounts on most of these guys. But the two players that they didn’t got much larger than slot bonuses. Lyon Richardson got $479,700 more than slot. Mike Siani got a deal, if accurately reported, worth $1,487,200 more than slot value.

The Mike Siani deal is not yet official. It was reported that it was for $2,000,000. But, if there’s any wiggle room there, even if it’s just something like $100,000, that could be significant. If we assume it’s a deal at the full report, that means that the Cincinnati Reds currently are at a deficit of $916,000 that they will need to make up.

The draft rules do allow teams to go over their pool amount. But there are penalties. If you go over the budget, but stay under a 5% overage, then you just pay MLB a fine on that overage money. However, if you go over that 5% mark, you forfeit your 1st round pick the next season. No team has ever gone down that particular road.

Where can the Reds save, and how much do they need to save?

Jonathan India is the only player remaining where the Cincinnati Reds can “save” money. His slot value is $5,946,400. In order to avoid all penalties he would need to sign for $5,030,400. That’s a big discount, but not unheard of, either. Alec Bohm, who went 3rd overall, took a discount from his slot value that was nearly $1,000,000.

If the Reds need to use their “up-to-5%” overage, and just pay a cash penalty, then they could sign Jonathan India for up to $5,575,420. That would still be a solid discount for India to take, but again, not outside of what we’ve seen many times in the past.

With Jonathan India playing in the College World Series with the Florida Gators, he’s going to go unsigned until they are eliminated. Because of that, I would be surprised if we saw Mike Siani sign before that. If the Reds were to sign Siani for his reported bonus, and for some reason couldn’t get India to agree to a bonus between $5,030,400-$5,575,420, it would cost the Reds their 2019 1st round pick. While it’s incredibly likely that Cincinnati and India have agreed to a general number already, strange things can happen every so often. Due to that, expect Siani to probably not officially be in the fold for another few weeks.


31 Responses

  1. Steve

    I can’t see the Reds botching up signing this year’s draft class. I think the up to 5% overage will be used. If Siani is signed for $2M, that would be 3 players getting signing bonuses pre round 2 money.

  2. Krozley

    There should be a plan to get them all signed and avoid losing a draft pick (i.e. what India agrees to affects the ultimate amount to Siani), but I’m guessing there won’t be much left to sign any post-round 10 guys who want more than $125,000. I’ve heard Byrne wants to start next year at Florida and it might take more than that to get him signed this year. He pitched 4 great innings yesterday. Davis may want to up his stake as well.

    • CP

      If Byrne stays for his senior year he has no leverage left after being drafting his senior year. He will be in the same position as all the guys getting only 10k. If he has any desire to get anything more than that he has to sign this year I would think

      • Steve Stockman

        I am not so sure about that. If his stock moves him up to the 3rd round I would think he would make 500,000. A team can not afford to let him go a different direction and 10k would have him do just that.

      • Doug Gray

        There’s zero chance, short of making himself a 1st rounder next year, that he’s getting 6-figures if he goes back to school.

    • Gaffer

      They would be better off not signing India than signing him for over 5.5 million. We would get the 6th pick in addition to our next years pock next year if he holds out. Also, India had a dream season and was picked 5th in a weak draft after being a second round guy coming into the season. I doubt he would get picked as high next year and then would have zero leverage as a college senior. If he turns down 5 million he will never see that again.

      • The Duke

        He’ll sign, and we won’t be over 5%. 100% guaranteed.

      • Rich H

        As I understand it, if they don’t sign India, they lose that money in the pool completely. All money spent on your 1-10 picks applies to your total 1-10 pool space, as does anything over $125,000 after pick 10. If the Reds don’t sign India, they lose that nearly 6 mil in pool space and are guaranteed at Doug’s current numbers to go over 15% with their 2-10 signings and remaining available pool money. That would mean they would lose 2 first rounders, but receive a compensatory first rounder next year… So… no first rounder in 2020? unless they also don’t sign Siani as Doug pointed out. I think that’s right, I’m sure Doug knows (at least a lot better than I do).

      • AllTheHype

        Lose India and they lose Siani as well. They need an underslot for India to sign both. I’m 99% sure the deal with India has already been agreed to, or they wouldn’t have made the offer to Siani.

  3. Nasalalarm

    I thought everyone was expecting Lyon to be an underslot sign? Shocked that he went that far over.

    • The Duke

      I’m not, Florida is one of the premiere baseball schools in the country, and we had to sign an arm that has already hit 98 away from his college commitment. People need to not get caught up so much on the online rankings. Outside of the top of the draft, the variance is massive. They make those lists for clicks, and it works.

      • MK

        An interesting thing about those college commitments. Schools are limited to I think 11.5 scholarships per baseball team so they split up partials to the players. Practically all 1st year baseball contracts includes a clause to provide a full scholarship when their baseball contract is terminated.So the pro contract scholarship is better than a college baseball scholarship. 100% compared to a percentage.

      • Kong

        And the Reds are always making the wrong decision.

    • Wes

      When do the reds not overpay to sign a guy? Imo it’s what it takes to get a kid to come to cincy.

      • Randy in Chatt

        Nick Senzel was well below slot. So far, so good on that one.
        It’s a no-win situation. When the Reds underpay, they are too cheap and can’t sign good players. When they overpay, they are stupid with their finances. Some fans will never be satisfied.

      • Gilbert Keith Chesterton

        Seriously? You are asking when the Reds don’t overpay?

        I’ll kindly point out the list of signed draftees in that above article where the Reds signed 2nd rounder Josiah Gray and 3rd rounder Brenden Spillane to under-slot deals.

  4. AirborneJayJay

    I too had to do a double take on Richardson. That far over was something unexpected.
    The rumor with Bryne and UF was that he would be in the Gators rotation if he comes back. That could bump him up to 2nd or 1st round depending on how he would pitch. He has looked solid most of the season. I hope they can find some cushion money for him.

    • The Duke

      He’ll be a senior next year, and unless he’s just dominant in a role he hasn’t done since high school three years ago, he likely won’t be a top 50 guy and will have no leverage. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t sign for $125k

    • Doug Gray

      With his stuff, he’s going to have to find a whole lot more velocity out of nowhere to climb up in the draft, starting pitcher or not.

  5. The Duke

    Mr prediction is India signs for $5.5 million, a number I think they agreed to when they took him.

    • Colorado Red

      That is what I am thinking.
      Keeps then under the magic 5%

  6. Dbfromnva

    Interesting that rumors had the Reds approaching Liberatore about an under slot deal and getting shot down and now he signs for 3.5 million. I wonder if there was anything to it.

    • The Duke

      Probably not. My theory is the majority of “rumors” on draft day are made up by agents.

  7. Ochoa30

    Looking at the numbers my guess is India signs for 5 million. As someone said above they already have a deal in place otherwise they would have waited on the other guys.

  8. Jim

    I say sign India at all costs, lose 2-1st round picks. Saves two kids the embarrassment of playing for us.
    Sign more international prospects that will be happy to come to the USA and never make the majors.
    Castallina: ever talk to your employees in produce. I actually looked to apply for a job there, but did my homework. Let’s just say he pays below average.
    Jocketty and Williams have never impressed me. Quick rebuild LOL.
    From Allen to Castellini, you make me miss Marge.
    Not in 50 yrs of following the Reds have I ever been so disappointed.
    Please sell the team and fire everyone but the vendors! Fans need free beer to tolerate driving 200 miles and be behind 4-0 after 2 innings.

    • Billy

      This always gets me about baseball. In other professions, you pay employees a premium to attract top talent. Paying low wages doesn’t make you a savvy businessman. It simply means that you aren’t willing to pay more to acquire better people. If you want a better class of employee, you pay more. Companies seek to offer a competitive wage in order to attract the best talent.

      In baseball, if you pay someone above the going rate, you’re not “taking care of your employees.” You are wasting resources. I know that’s what data analytics has done to the perception of baseball. It makes it seem like these teams are only out to get the best deals when acquiring players. They’re people though. Sometimes they like to express their appreciation to the people who have been there for them. We shouldn’t fault them for that.

  9. Wes

    Reds have the leverage when it comes to India. To much at risk to walk away from 5 million. They do a good job at getting their players signed too.

  10. rhayex

    From fangraphs chat…

    12:22 Reds have some bonus pool gymnastics to do. How far under slot do you think India would sign for? Does he really have much leverage considering there’s not much room to improve if he sat out until next year’s draft?
    Kiley McDaniel
    12:22 I’m told India had a deal before the draft for a cut rate”

    We don’t know how below slot “cut rate” means, but if it’s a million dollars or more, I think the Reds are fine with their pool. They may even be able to sign a later round pick.

  11. Kinsm

    The Reds have “officially” signed 21 players now. In addition to the 17 above, the Reds have signed; 3rd Brenden Spillane, 10th A.J. Moore, 18th Alberto Gonzalez, and 29th John Schneider.