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Cardinals nearing draft-bonus cap

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MIAMI • With only two players yet unsigned from their picks in the top 10 rounds of this month's First-Year Player Draft, the St. Louis Cardinals are inching toward their bonus cap, a new wrinkle for baseball teams this season.

As reported in this morning's Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals have reached an agreement with 12th-round pick Max Foody, a lefthanded high school pitcher from IMG Academy in Florida. Foody received a bonus of $385,000, a source confirmed.

With Foody’s signing and a $1.6-million deal reached with first-round pick James Ramsey, the Cardinals have committed $9.03 million of their $9.1-million cap. If the Cardinals go over the bonus cap they must pay a penalty. If they go too far over it — more than 5 percent — that penalty can involve losing a draft pick in 2013.

Several officials said that is the penalty they want to avoid.

The Cardinals had one of the larger bonus purses to use because of the number of picks they had in the first 10 rounds. The bonuses awarded players in those first 10 rounds count against the cap, and any bonuses that exceed $100,000 after the 10th round also count against the cap. Only $285,000 of Foody’s bonus counts against the cap.

Ramsey’s $1.6 million is the fifth-highest in draft history given to a college senior, according to Baseball America.

Last week, we took a look here at how the Cardinals are playing this cash game with the bonus cap. That's a good place to start for details on the new rules and the strategy that is in play.

Here is an updated look at the chart included in that entry:

1. Michael Wacha, RHP ... signed $1.9 million, suggested: $1.9 million


1s. James Ramsey, OF ... signed $1.6 million, suggested bonus: $1.775 million

save $175,000

1s. Stephen Piscotty, OF ... signed $1.430 million, suggested: $1.430 million


1s. Pat Wisdom, 3B ... signed $678,790, suggested: $969,700

save $290,910

1s. Steve Bean, C ... signed: $700,000, suggested: $870,600

save $170,600

2. Carson Kelly, 3B ... signed: $1.6 million, suggested: $574,300

over $1,025,700

3. Tim Cooney, LHP ... signed: $404,400, suggested: $404,400


4. Alex Mejia, SS ... unsigned*, suggested: $294,200

5. Cory Jones, RHP ... signed: $220,300, suggested: $220,300


6. Kurt Heyer, RHP ... unsigned*, suggested: $165,100

7. Kyle Barraclough, RHP ... signed: $65,000, suggested: $143,300

save $78,300

8. Yoenny Gonzalez, OF ... signed: $50,000, suggested: $133,800

save $83,800

9. Rowan Wick, C ... signed: $75,000, suggested: $125,000

save $50,000

10. Jacob Wilson, 2B ... signed $20,000, suggested: $125,000

save $105,000

11. Trey Williams, 3B ... unsigned, max suggested: $100,000

12. Max Foody, LHP ... signed $385,000, max suggested: $100,000

over $285,000

* Two unsigned players, Mejia and Heyer, just won the College World Series with Arizona and are now eligible to begin negotiations.

The Cardinals went into the past week believing they would sign either Foody or Williams, but not both. The Cardinals will not be able to pay their two remaining top 10-round picks the bonus slot and remain under the cap, but it is possible to stay within the range without losing a pick for next season.


Programming Note: Next week Bird Land won't be coming to you from Busch Stadium. Instead, I'll be out with more than 50 other St. Louis-area weekend warriors trying to set a World Record for the longest baseball game played. St. Louis has held the record two previous times, and longtime readers here will remember back in 2007 when I blogged from the event between my innings at second base. More information about the baseball marathon, which will benefit charity, is available at the official site.


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