Overall, the club signed 34 of their 44 selections, including their top 14 picks, and 24 of their first 25 taken.
In the first year of bonus pools, the Cardinals worked within the system. The club was allocated $9.1311 million to spend of players selected in rounds 1-10 and any taken afterward with a bonus above $100,000.
Though the Cardinals did spend slightly more than the allotted amount, the overage was less than five percent. As a result, the organization only pays a financial tax and does not lose future draft picks in penalty.
The table that follows includes the slot allocation for rounds 1-10 along with the reported amount of the respective signing bonuses. There was a huge gap between the four players receiving more than $1.4 million and all others, receiving half that and less.
Dollar amounts listed came from Baseball America and Perfect Game. Between the two sites, there are small dollar differences in the bonuses paid. Both sources' totals are listed, but Perfect Game's player-by-player information is cited as it is publicly available.
In terms of signing timing, much of the action was early. On June 9, the Cardinals announced the signing of 27 players. The earliest selected players in that group were supplemental first rounders Patrick Wisdom and Steve Bean along with third-round pick Tim Cooney.
Two of those first 27 players actually did not become professionals, after all. 28th rounder Dodson McPherson, an outfielder, and 34th round selection, pitcher Mark Trentacosta, decided not to join the organization.
By the end of the second post-draft week, June 15, four more top picks came to terms. That group included three of the four big-money players - Michael Wacha of Texas A&M, the 19th overall selection, Stanford's Stephen Piscotty at 36 and high-schooler Carson Kelly at 86.
The three final top ten-round players not signed by then were all still playing college ball. At the end of June, James Ramsey of Florida State was first to sign, followed by Alex Mejia and Kurt Heyer, both of NCAA champion Arizona.
The last two high schoolers
The only real intrigue was with the organization's 11th and 12th-round picks. Both were high school players with built-in leverage and therefore, likely higher contract demands – third baseman Trey Williams and left-handed pitcher Max Foody. The two being selected outside the 10th round made it less painful for the club to potentially overpay.
As others were signed, it became apparent that the Cardinals could afford only one of the two without losing a future draft pick. A Perfect Game representative announced Foody's signing early – on June 14 – but it was denied by the club. On June 26, the Florida left-hander's deal was announced.
Again, in selections after the 10th round, amounts paid over $100,000 count against the pool. $300,000 of Foody's $400,000 deal was added to the total.
Where they were placed
With several drafted pitchers having thrown many innings during long collegiate seasons, the Cardinals placed them at an artificially-low level and/or set plans for minimal workloads. Specifically, Wacha and Heyer were assigned to the Gulf Coast League, while Cooney and Kyle Barraclough were inserted into a six-man rotation as part of a piggyback arrangement at Batavia. Same with Cory Jones at Johnson City.
Outfielder Ramsey (Palm Beach) and third baseman Piscotty (Quad Cities) are the only members of the 2012 draft class to open their professional careers in full-season ball. The others were almost symmetrically spread across Batavia (12), Johnson City (10) and the GCL (10) in their initial assignments. On Tuesday, Barraclough and Anthony Melchionda were promoted to Quad Cities.
The Competitive Balance Lottery
Under the rules defined in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Competitive Balance Lottery is now upon us. With the results announced on Wednesday afternoon, the process awards extra draft picks to clubs perceived to be more needy.
The 10 smallest-market teams and 10 lowest-revenue teams participated in a drawing for one of six extra selections at the end of the first round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. Because of overlap, 13 teams were included this year, including St. Louis, the latter due to market size. The odds of winning a pick were adjusted by each team's winning percentage during the prior season.
There is a second-chance lottery as well. A second group of six picks to be positioned at the second round of next year's draft are also awarded. The eligible clubs are the losers from the first group plus any other Major League team that receives revenue sharing. This year, only the Detroit Tigers was added to the second lottery.
There is an interesting twist with these 12 extra selections. For the first time, draft picks can be traded, though with restrictions. A lottery pick can only be dealt once and only until the end of this regular season.
How did the Cardinals fare?
Unfortunately, they were one of the two 14 eligible teams to not receive an extra 2013 draft pick through the Competitive Balance Lottery.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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