The draft is set for just about half an hour from now and I'm all set. I have a definitive board for the top 80 players that will cover the first two picks that I'll be making (#5, and #79) with an additional 200 names that are somewhat in flux to cover the 4th round selection. The 4th round pick will be influenced by how the first two picks go in terms of signability.
This will be the thread that I use to comment on during the draft. Please post any comments, requests, or anything else pertaining to the Indians selections in the Community Mock here. I'll start a new thread for a recap after the draft is complete.
Under the new CBA rules the Indians used a strategy that allowed them to spread their bonus pool more evenly across rounds 1-4. Tyler Naquin was signed to a deal approximately $500k under the slot value allowing them to nab Mitch Brown, Kieran Lovegrove, and DeVone McClure at above slot deals in the proceeding three picks. Altogether they used 81% of their total bonus pool in rounds 1-4 and took mostly signability guys to round out the rest of the top 10 rounds. Given that they are picking much higher this year I doubt they'll follow that exact path but a similar strategy could be put in place, and I'll use the percentage allotment as a guide to my picks today, meaning I have about $5MM in bonus money to play with.
A pick of Gray, Appel, Bryant, or Stewart would probably require Cleveland to use their full slot at #5 if not more. If any of those guys were to fall to that position I will have to certainly consider taking them and adjust the strategy for later picks. The other collegiate players sitting at the top of my draft board could offer some savings to be applied later. Colin Moran, the name most prominently linked to The Tribe could offer a slight savings with Cleveland negotiating something between their slot value and the Red Sox's at #7, as that is the next team I hear interested in him. I would estimate a deal around $3.5MM, giving the Indians $250K to play with later. The other name associated with that pick is Braden Shipley, but it seems the Marlins will take him at #6 should he make it there. This would lessen Cleveland's negotiating power but still a deal for around $3.65MM would give a little bit of room to
Austin Meadows could provide an interesting scenario though. If he were getting indications he were to fall down to the Mariners at #12, and the Indians offered to take him at #5 the difference in slot values is over $1MM and they could offer him a deal worth $3.2MM which is much more than he'd get from Seattle at that slot. They'd still get a player they're rumored to covet (and I do too) but have money to be aggressive later as well. With it looking more and more like Meadows will go to Boston at #7 I don't see this happening but its worth thinking about, especially as in our universe the Red Sox SD, DominicanDandy has stated he prefers Frazier to Meadows, link to MOD. The Blue Jays SD seems hot on him though so the savings may not be quite as high as I outlined out above.