Cleveland Indians News: Indians Sign Top Pick Brady Aiken

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Sep 22, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians manager

Terry Francona

(right) and general manager Chris Antonetti watch as starting pitcher

Justin Masterson

(not pictured) throws a simulated game at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

So Why Have the Indians Saved Money?

There’s no rule that says a team must spend the full amount they are allotted. If a team feels spending half a million less still gets the job done, that’s their decision.  The Indians did go well over their allotment last year incurred tax penalties because of it, and while I highly doubt that plays into things here one couldn’t really fault them if it was.

The more likely scenario is the Cleveland Indians are saving money with the idea to make a run at one of their tougher signs in rounds 11 thru 40.  Each pick in those rounds can sign for up to $100K and typically that’s all those players will get, and in most cases far less actually.  The Indians have already inked several players from those rounds, including 12th round pick Ryan Perez, the switch-pitcher that has had manager Tito Francona excited.  Exact figures of what these players have signed for hasn’t been made readily available but it’s assumed all got $100K, or in most (if not all) cases, less.

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Teams are, however, allowed to give players in rounds 11-40 more than that, but anything over $100K counts towards the team’s top ten round draft allotment.  So for example, if the Indians sign all their top ten round guys listed above and are $500K under slot once they have, they could in theory sign a guy in rounds 11-40 for as much as $600K without any penalties.  Is this what the Indians are holding out for?

It’s hard to say for certain, but one name that does jump out is Nick Madrigal, a high school shortstop who the Indians drafted in the 17th round.  He has a strong commitment to Oregon State and most likely will go unless the Indians pony up some cash. He was ranked as a top 200 draft prospect by both Baseball America and Perfect Game, and at one time was projected to go in rounds 3-10.  Here’s what one AL scout had to say about him:

"“I think he’s going to end up an excellent defender. He’s an undersized guy, but he plays a lot bigger than his stature. I think he’s going to be able to stay at shortstop with enough arm strength to stay over there. He can hit pretty well. He doesn’t have a ton of power, but he’s going to step right in at Oregon State and hit at the top of the lineup.”"

Sounds like the only real knocks on the kid is his lack of power and size (he’s only 5’8”).  The Indians have been big on developing up the middle talent and getting a guy like Madrigal into the system would be a major victory in this draft.

Next: How are the Tribe looking?