According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the Cardinals and Jack Flaherty, their supplemental round pick in the first-year player draft, have come to terms on a signing bonus of $2 million. Of course, any contract would be pending a physical, and the team certainly isn't going to announce anything until all Ts are crossed and Is are dotted.
I have to say, if the amount being reported is accurate and the Cards really did pull Flaherty for just two million, then I'm even more pleased with the pick than I was before. Most of the pre-draft scuttlebutt had Flaherty as a very difficult sign, looking for something in the range of top 10-15 pick money. Slot for the fifteenth pick was $2.475; most estimates for what it would take to sign him were right around the $2.5 million mark or even higher. We know the Cardinals took Andrew Morales largely because his bonus number will likely be on the low end as a college senior, and the reports are that Austin Gomber, the club's fifth-rounder, came in under slot as well. Getting Flaherty at half a million less than many expected (myself included), they might -- might, I said -- be able to come up with enough extra to buy Justin Bellinger out of his Duke commitment. (I still keep wanting to type Vanderbilt, even though someone in the comments yesterday reminded me he switched to the Blue Devils.) That's one of the big measures of what I ultimately think of this draft class for me, honestly; I think Bellinger has the potential to make a real impact on how this draft class ends up looking.
There's certainly some history there to fall back on, as well; just last year the Cards popped Steven Farinaro in the eleventh round and gave him $750,000 to forego college. I don't know what it would take to get Bellinger into the system rather than heading off to college, but bringing in Flaherty at a fairly modest amount overslot (slot for the 34th pick was $1.65 million), could go a long way toward ensuring the club has something near what they gave Farinaro to possibly spend on Bellinger.
I will say this for the Cardinals under Dan Kantrovitz (and even before under Luhnow, but we've really seen it with the new rules in place): there are plenty of times I disagree with the player taken, but when it comes to working the system, they appear to be masters of massaging those numbers.