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June 11, 2015 at 8:00 AM

2015 Draft Signing Period & Speculative Early Signing Predictions

Now that the 2015 First Year Player Draft is in the books, the signing period is upon us. As we have seen over the last few years, under the new CBA draft rules the signing period is much different than it was under the previous rules. As many 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 will be 5:00 pm ET on July 17, 2015. 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 $6,223,800 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 $6,534,990.  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: $3,590,400 
3rd round $742,400 
4th round $512,700 
5th round $384,000 
6th round $287,500
7th round $215,500
8th round $175,100
9th round $163,500
10th round $152,700

Super Wicked Early Speculative Gut-Check Predictions

Here are my "super wicked early speculative gut-check predictions" for the 2015 signing season. I don't have any inside info behind this yet, these predictions are just based on gut feel and years of history. (Although there have been some reports on Logan Allen's potential bonus).  These have usually been fairly solid projections in years past, but they're just that - projections with a significant amount of possible variability.

Top Ten Rounds (entire amount counts towards bonus cap)
Round, Overall Pick, Player, Projected Bonus
1 (7) Andrew Benintendi $3,000,000 
3 (81) Austin Rei $700,000 
4 (111) Tate Matheny $500,000 
5 (141) Jagger Rusconi $384,000 
6 (171) Travis Lakins $287,500 
7 (201) Ben Taylor $10,000 
8 (231) Logan Allen $725,000 
9 (261) Tucker Tubbs $10,000 
10 (291) Mitchell Gunsolus $25,000

After 10th round, above $100K (first $100,000 does not count towards bonus cap)
11 (321) Nick Hamilton $250,000
14 (411) Bobby Poyner $150,000
16 (471) Mark Brakeman $150,000
18 (531) James Nelson $200,000
20 (591) Yomar Valentin $250,000
23 (681) Kyri Washington $400,000
25 (741) Andrew Noviello $150,000

After 10th round, possible $100,000 or less signs (count $0 towards cap) 
12 (351) Kevin Kelleher
13 (381) Matt Kent
15 (441) Jerry Downs
17 (501) Chad De La Guerra
19 (561) Logan Boyd
21 (621) Danny Zandona
22 (651) Max Watt
24 (711) Brad Stone
27 (801) Saige Jenco
29 (861) Will Stillman
32 (951) Clate Schmidt
34 (1011) Nick Lovullo
35 (1041) Tyler Spoon
36 (1071) Trevor Kelley
37 (1101) Adam Lau

Total spent towards cap using these projections: $6,491,500 
Red Sox Cap: $6,223,800
Red Sox Cap +5%: (no draft pick penalty): $6,534,990

Super wicked early projected not to sign
26 (771) Kevin Ginkel
28 (831Steve Mangrum
30 (891Jack Conley
31 (921Nick Duron
33 (981Cal Smith
38 (1131CJ Ballard
39 (1161Daniel Reyes
40 (1191DJ Artis

We'll be sure to keep you updated as signings occur throughout the signing period.  There will also be updated projections and discussion in the 2015 MLB Post-Draft Discussion Thread.

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