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June 8, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Welcome to the Signing Period!

Now that the 2014 First Year Player Draft is in the books, the signing period is upon us. As we saw over the last two years, under the new CBA draft rules the signing period is much different that it was in previous years. As most of you know, the new CBA established a signing bonus cap for each team and pushed up the signing deadline from mid-August to mid-July. This year's signing deadline is 5:00 pm ET on July 18, 2014. The bonus cap is determined by the number and placement of each team's selections. 

The bonus cap sets an aggregate limit for a team to spend on its selections in the first ten rounds, and also limits teams from spending over $100,000 on players taken after the 10th round (the excess on any late round bonuses will count against the bonus pool). Boston's cap is $6,373,300 this year. If the club exceeds its pool: (1) by 0-5%, it will be charged a 75% tax on the excess; (2) by 5-10%, it will pay the same tax and will also lose its first round pick next season; (3) by 10-15%, it will be charged a 100% tax on the excess and lose its 1st and 2nd round picks next season; and (4) by more than 15%, 100% tax on the excess and lose its next two first round picks.

These are obviously harsh penalties, making it highly unlikely that the Red Sox will go more than 5% over the pool limit this year. However, the team is likely willing to pay the requisite tax and go up to 5% over the cap, which would place the team's spending limit at about $6,691,965.  The first $100,000 spent on any single bonus after round 10 would not count against that limit. One other wrinkle to remember is that if Boston fails to sign any of its picks from the top ten rounds, the team's pool will be reduced by the amount of the slot amount for the unsigned player's draft position. Here are the bonus slots for each of Boston's top picks: 

1st round (No. 26): $1,870,500
1st round (No. 33): $1,678,000
2nd round $846,800
3rd round $509,400
4th round $377,600
5th round $282,800
6th round $211,800
7th round $163,500
8th round $152,700
9th round $142,600
10th round $137,600

It is initially expected that Boston's first four picks, Michael Chavis, Michael Kopech, Sam Travis, and Jake Cosart will sign for at or around the suggested slot values. There is certainly a chance that Chavis and Kopech could sign for above slot.  My guess is that Chavis will get $1.9 million, Kopech will get $1.7 million, Travis will sign for $850,000, and Cosart will get the slot bonus of $509,400. Meanwhile, there is a possibility that all of the draftees from rounds 4-10 could sign for under slot.  The one exception may be 7th rounder Reed Reilly, who might require a slightly-above slot figure. 

After the 10th round, the Red Sox selected several players who would likely require well over a $100,000 slot bonus. Karsten Whitson, Jalen Beeks, Chandler Sheperd, Trenton Kemp, Devon Fisher, Ian Rice, JJ Matijevic, and Josh Pennington all seem like possible signs in the $150,000 to $400,000.  The unlikely-but-possible tougher signs include Ryan Harris, David Peterson, Jeren Kendall, Case Roser, and Luis Alvarado, Kendall is the best of the bunch, ranked 88th by Baseball America and 92 by Perfect Game in this draft class. He will most likely honor his commitment to Vanderbilt. 

We'll be sure to keep you updated as signings occur throughout the signing period.  There will also be projections and discussion in the 2014 MLB Post-Draft Discussion Thread.

Mike Andrews is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of SoxProspects.com.  Follow him on Twitter at @MikeAndrewsSP.