clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

MLB Draft: St. Louis Cardinals sign Josh Evans, Jesse Jenner, & Ian Oxnevad; Kep Brown may yet sign

New, 56 comments

Three of the Cardinals' draftees from the first ten rounds remain unsigned.

The St. Louis Cardinals finalized more signings of the organization's 2015 MLB Draft picks over the weekend. On the Monday following the Draft, the Cardinals announced their first wave of draftee signings, which consisted of 22 draft-eligible players. Since then the Cardinals have agreed to more contracts with members of their 2015 MLB Draft class. Earlier this week, Derrick Goold reported on the most recent set of agreements pending physicals had been reached between prospect and team. Those contracts have been signed, turning the draftees into pro ballplayers.

Most Recent Signings

Since our last Cardinals MLB Draft signing tracker post, St. Louis has inked the following draftees:

  • Sixth-rounder Jacob Evans, a junior lefty from Oklahoma, signed for a $150,000 bonus that is $127,000 below MLB's assigned slot value for the 191st pick.
  • Jesse Jenner, a catcher from LSU who the Cards took in the seventh round with the 221st pick, inked a pro contract with a $10,000 bonus that is $169,100 beneath slotted bonus value.
  • Ian Oxnevad, the prep southpaw with a commitment to Oregon State, decided to join the Cardinals organization instead of toiling in NCAA indentured servitude and risking injury that might derail his hopes of becoming a big-leaguer. Goold initially reported the agreement in principle, pending a physical. Since then, the contract has been finalized and bonus value announced. St. Louis signed the eighth-round selection to a $500,000 bonus that exceeds the MLB slot value for the 251st overall pick by $332,600. Interestingly, Oxnevad had previously set the fifth round as the ballpark cutoff point for potentially going pro. His $500,000 represents approximately a mid-fourth-round bonus value in this year's Draft.

10th-Rounder Kep Brown May Yet Sign

If you haven't yet read the Goold article, you should. On top of the reported signings, he relays that tenth-round selection Kep Brown has not foreclosed foregoing college ball at Miami and turning pro. If you're not already familiar with Brown's circumstances, he is a high-schooler with first-round talent who tore his Achilles this spring. Concerns about the ability to sign him, intertwined with his injury, resulted in the naturally powerful outfielder falling to the Cards in the tenth round.

Since the Cardinals' selected Brown he has gone back and forth publicly with whether he would even negotiate. Initially, he told the Palm Beach Post that he would honor his commitment to play for the Hurricanes, but then recanted and indicated he was willing to talk to St. Louis. Shortly thereafter, Brown reportedly announced that he would not turn pro and attend Miami, according to WCIV in Charleston and the Post and Courier. Now Goold reports that the Cardinals and Brown are still involved in negotiations.

Bonus Pool Rules

Remember that the MLB assigns slot values to each of the picks in the Draft's first ten rounds. The slot values for each club's picks are then added together to get an overall bonus pool amount. Teams may sign players above or below the assigned slot value, but may not go over the overall bonus pool amount. After the tenth round, there's a $100,000 value for each pick. If a team goes over $100,000 to sign a player taken in the 11th round or later, the amount in excess of $100,000 counts against the organization's bonus pool.

If a club goes over its overall bonus pool amount with its draftee signings, it is subject to the following penalties, which are triggered based on the amount of overspending:

  • 0-5% Over: 75% tax on the overage amount
  • 5-10% Over: 75% tax on the overage amount and loss of the next year's first-round pick
  • 10-15% Over: 100% tax on the overage amount and loss of the next year's first- and second-round picks
  • 15%+ Over: 100% tax on the overage amount and the loss of two first-round picks

If a club fails to sign one of its picks from the first ten rounds, the organization has its overall bonus pool reduced by the slotted bonus value for that pick. Taking Brown as an example. The Cardinals took the pre outfielder in the tenth round, which means that the assigned bonus value for that pick is subject to the bonus pool restrictions and penalties. If the Cardinals are unable to sign Brown to a pro contract their overall bonus pool will be reduced by the $149,700 MLB assigned to the 311th pick prior to the Draft.

2015 Cardinals MLB Draft Signing Tracker

Player

Level

Pos

Rnd

Pick

Slot Value

Bonus

+/- Slot

Nick Plummer

HS

OF

1

23

$2,124,400

$2,124,400

+/- $0

Jake Woodford

HS

RHP

CBA

39

$1,585,400

$1,800,000

+ $214,600

Bryce Denton

HS

3B

2

66

$935,400



Harrison Bader

College

OF

3

100

$570,300



Jordan Hicks

HS

RHP

Comp

105

$543,300

$600,000

+ $56,700

Paul DeJong

College

3B

4

131

$422,900

$200,000

- $222,900

Ryan Helsley

College

RHP

5

161

$316,500

$225,000

- $91,500

Jacob Evans

College

LHP

6

191

$237,000

$150,000

- $87,000

Jesse Jenner

College

C

7

221

$179,100

$10,000

- $169,100

Ian Oxnevad

HS

LHP

8

251

$167,400

$500,000

+ $332,600

Andrew Brodbek

College

2B

9

281

$156,200

$5,000

- $151,200

Kep Brown

HS

RF

10

311

$149,700



Paul Salazar

HS

RHP

11

341

-



Jacob Schlesener

HS

LHP

12

371

-



Craig Aikin

College

CF

13

401

-

Signed


Carson Cross

College

RHP

14

431

-



Ryan Merrill

College

SS

15

461

-



Max Almonte

College

RHP

16

491

-



Chris Chinea

College

C

17

521

-



Joshua Rolette

HS

C

18

551

-



Ryan McCarvel

College

C

19

581

-

Signed


Luke Doyle

College

2B

20

611

-

Signed


Cadyn Grenier

HS

SS

21

641

-



Hunter Newman

College

1B

22

671

-

Signed


Gio Brusa

College

RF

23

701

-



Daniel Martin

College

2B

24

731

-



Kyle Molnar

HS

RHP

25

761

-



Brennan Leitao

College

RHP

26

791

-



Greg Tomchick

College

RHP

27

821

-



Mitchell Traver

College

RHP

28

851

-



Ben Yokley

College

RHP

29

881

-

Signed


Matt Vierling

HS

OF

30

911

-



Aaron Coates

HS

LHP

31

941

-



Tom Spitz

College

CF

32

971

-



Chandler Hawkins

College

LHP

33

1001

-

Signed


Parker Kelly

HS

RHP

34

1031

-



Luke Harrison

College

RHP

35

1061

-



Dylan Tice

College

2B

36

1091

-

Signed


Stephen Zavala

College

C

37

1121

-

Signed


Orlando Olivera

College

OF

38

1151

-

Signed


R.J. Dennard

College

1B

39

1181

-



Joseph Hawkins

College

SS

40

1211

-

Signed


Bonus Pool Breakdown

The Cardinals thus have three players left to sign from their 12 selections in the first ten rounds. Two of them—high-schoolers Bryce Denton, a Vanderbilt commit, and Brown—will almost assuredly require over-slot bonuses to turn pro. Harrison Bader, the University of Florida outfielder whose team was competing in the College World Series until this weekend, will likely sign and probably for a bit under slot, if I had to guess. The following chart shows where the Cardinals stand with respect to what they have left to spend from their overall bonus pool as well as going 5% over, which, as noted above, is the most a club can spend over its bonus pool amount without losing a first-round pick and would mean a 75% tax on the overage amount.

With three draftees from the first ten rounds left to sign, the Cardinals have flexibility. It's important to keep in mind that St. Louis might have less to spend on Denton, Bader, and Brown than one might think since the organization could elect to go over $100,000 for a player signed after the tenth round. If they do so, the overage counts against their bonus pool. With that caveat in mind, let's consider the bonus values for each of remaining draftees' slots, which are given in the tracker above:

  • Denton: $935,400
  • Bader: $570,300
  • Brown: $149,700
Those three slot values added together equal $1,655,400. So the Cardinals have $117,800 in excess of the combined slot values for the three drafts they have left to sign and $487,180 worth of wiggle room if they wish to pay a 75% tax and go up to 5% in excess of their overall bonus pool amount.

The deadline to sign 2015 draftees is July 17.