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A bit more about the draft budget

What will it take for Andrew McCutchen to put his autograph on a multi-year contract?

What will it take for Andrew McCutchen to put his autograph on a multi-year contract?

BRADENTON, Fla. — The values MLB assigns to the various draft positions as part of the new bonus pool process are sure to be leaked each year. Certainly, agents will get hold of the data to use when negotiating signing bonuses. But GM Neal Huntington believes there still will be many players who are willing to sign for less than the set amount.

“Sure, there will be,” Huntington said. “It’s more about just trying to make sure that a $5-million player is drafted where he should be. It’s an effort to stop the high-dollar signs, not just the multi-million-dollar signs. The sixth-round pick who gets $500,000 and the 18th-rounder who gets $400,000 — that’s more who’s going to be impacted. There’s still going to be a large number of players who get a million dollars and $500,000 and above. That really hasn’t changed. It’s just how the money is allocated. One club can’t cluster six or seven of those guys, unless you’re really creative elsewhere in the draft.”

High school players likely will be affected the most. “The high school player who asks for $1 million who knows he’ll sign for $500,000, if he stays firm at $1 million, he’s going to be priced out of the draft,” Huntington said. “No longer can he be taken in the 42nd round and negotiate. He’s got to be taken in the first x-number of picks. If he’s not selected there, he’s priced himself out of the draft. It will be interesting from both perspectives. How realistic are guys with their figures. I think there’s going to be a lot of guys who end up in college this year who thought they were going to be drafted.”

That does not mean the Pirates will shift their draft strategy toward college players. “We certainly still like the high school player and believe our development environment is the best place for ,” Huntington said. “But college is also good at what they do. For some players, college is the right path. We’ll have to go through a couple cycles before the true implications are worked through. It’s going to be an interesting process.”

»»» I spotted RHP Brad Lincoln wearing a small brace on his right knee this morning in the clubhouse. “Just a little tendinitis,” Lincoln assured me. “I’m trying to keep it under control.”

»»» Here are the final results in last week’s Trib fan poll, in which we asked your reaction to the A.J. Burnett trade: I’m thrilled! He’ll make the team better got 571 votes (70 percent); I’m OK with it, but it won’t do much got 228 votes (28 percent); Yech! Bad trade actually got 21 votes (3 percent). This week’s query is whether you think the Pirates should do whatever it takes to sign Andrew McCutchen to a multi-year contract extension.



  1. dave says:

    I cast my vote in this weeks poll: maybe, but don’t overpay

    I think it is very important for the Pirates to keep a key player to show the players and the fans that they actually do want to build/keep a contending team. HOWEVER, if McCutcheon overprices himself, then the Pirates have to let him go. Judging by Cutch’s comments regarding management’s off-season moves, I think he’s much more inclined to sign with Pirates now than he was at the end of last season. The Pirates are taking steps in the right direction. They have taken baby steps so far, but they are steps in the right direction. Signing Cutch would be a giant leap for Pirate-kind.

  2. The Gonsk says:

    Another championship, baby!

  3. TAG says:

    As long as Nutting is running this very disfunctional operation players like McCutchen will never stay in the Burgh past the final year of their contract. Lets not fool ourselves, come July we will trade him for the all to common FUTURE PROSPECTS.

  4. Hey Rob, do the pirates have beer in the clubhouse? thanks

  5. The Gonsk says:

    Ken: No, but there’s a keg in Coonelly’s office.

  6. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Its a lot easier for us on the outside to say “get this deal done.” Your article suggest that AMac wants Upton/Bruce money at approx. $50 million and the Pirates want around $40 million. Its easy to say just meet in the middle at $45 Million.

    I personally do not believe that AMac is worth the money that Upton or Bruce generated, its not at their level……….yet.

    My vote is to YES, sign AMac, but let’s not get rediculous.

    Many are critical of owner Bob Nutting and the rest of the BMTIB and rightfully so, but I disagree with calling them a “very disfunctional operation” is off the mark. They are very functional and are operating the way the PBC needs to operate.

    The product on the field has been terrible. A lot of the issues were from the leftovers from the DL era. I understand NH was the one that made the heavy impacted trades, however those players traded were at high value for the PBC, but fairly low value to the rest of the MLB. The drafts have gone well and obviously paid extremely high. The players now need to produce and the future does look bright, especially in the pitching department. The Josh Bell signing was HUGE to the organization, he’s just not able to contribute presently.

    All-in-all, its going to be another long summer, but progress is on the horizan.

  7. Lady Di says:

    Ryan — The drafts have gone well? Who ya crappin’?! Do Alvarez and Sanchez ring a bell?

  8. Dejan Shortpants says:

    Gonsk: LMMFAO!

  9. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Ladi Di- I do agree that neither Alvarez or Sanchez have lived up to their draft billing, however it is too early to shoot either one of these guys down. Pedro is on a short list though and needs to prove himself. Its not sink or swim for him yet, but its getting close. Yes, he has disappointed thus far in his career, but it is still early for him.

    Taking a 90MPH fastball to the jaw, would probably affect anybody’s year at the plate. I think TS will make a excellant defensive catcher and hope that his offensive production catches back up. I see him as a Kurt Suzuki type of catcher, which I think anybody would accept.

    The biggest draft issue was the handling of Tanner Scheppers. With hindsight always 20/20, the Pirates should have signed him, but at the time he was asking a very high price for being an injured pitcher (I don’t remember his injury) and I agreed with NH’s handling of the issue and not signing him at that price tag.

  10. Cajun Thunder says:

    Evidently, some here haven’t looked up the numbers that Justin Upton and Jay Bruce put up before they signed their contracts. Cutch’s numbers are significantly better than those Bruce put up at the same point in their careers, and equal or slightly better than the ones Upton put up. To say that Cutch isn’t playing at their level is ignoring the facts.

    Just another example of the Pirates front office being thrifty. Thrifty to the point that they will cost themselves a significant hunk of change if Cutch has a good season this year. And once they go to arbitration, they definitely risk alienating the player significantly. That’s one of the reasons teams don’t like to go to arbitration.

    BTW…in the Upton and Bruce contracts they got just over base pay ~ $500K, the season that would be Cutch’s 2012.

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