Cardinals Draft Pick Bonus Analysis: Part One

Though their spending policies have been questioned in the past, the St. Louis Cardinals are showing they are willing to spend on their 2008 draft picks. This is the first of a multi-part series.

The St. Louis Cardinals received a lot of criticism for passing on high school pitching phenom Rick Porcello in the 2007 MLB draft.  Some critics even called the organization cheap.  But after the 2008 draft, the Cardinals are showing they are serious about signing their picks as well as paying above slot to get the deal done. 


With the value of some of the early signing bonuses becoming public, here is a look at what St. Louis is paying its' selections compared to players it drafted in the same rounds in 2007, 2006, and 2005.  We also look at how the equivalent pick was compensated in the same drafts. 



Lance Lynn: $935,000

First Round Supplemental, 39th pick


The Cardinals supplemental selection in last year's draft, Clayton Mortensen, received $650,000 to join the organization as the 36th pick.  The big difference between Mortensen and Lynn is that Mortensen was a senior and Lynn still had eligibility left at Ole Miss. 


In 2006, the Cardinals had the 42nd selection in the supplemental first round.  The organization went with a college closer it could fast track to the majors, Chris Perez.  The former Miami Hurricane was given an $800,000 bonus to sign with the team.  In 2005, the Cardinals had two supplemental picks.  With the 43rd selection, Mark McCormick was drafted and received an $800,000 bonus.  The Cardinals chose Tyler Herron with the 46th pick and gave him $675,000 to turn pro. 


The 39th selection in 2007, James Adkins to the Dodgers, received a signing bonus of $787,500.  During 2006, Cleveland selected David Huff with the 39th pick.  The UCLA left-hander was given $900,000 to play with the Indians. The previous season, Henry Sanchez was given $900,000 to forgo college by the Twins.  


It has been reported the 38th selection, Jordan Lyles to the Astros, received a bonus of $930,000. 



Shane Peterson: $683,000

Second Round, 59th Pick


In 2007, the Cardinals had two second round picks.  With the 71st pick, David Kopp of Clemson was the selection.  To get him to sign, the organization gave the right-handed hurler $459,000.  Next, the Cardinals had the 82nd pick and chose Jess Todd.  To come into the organization, the team gave the former Arkansas Razorback a $400,000 bonus.  In 2005, the Cardinals selected Nick Webber out of Central Missouri State and paid him $425,000 to join the organization. 


Compare Peterson's deal to the same choice in 2007, Corey Brown, who received a $544,500 signing bonus from Oakland.


In 2006, the 59th pick was Sean Black, selected by the Washington Nationals. Black did not sign but we can compare the picks selected before and after.  The 58th pick was given $675,000 (Ryan AdamsBaltimore) and the 60th pick; Brent Brewer, selected by the Brewers, received $600,000.  In 2005, the Pirates gave Brad Corley $605,000 to join the Pirates organization. 



Eric Fornataro: $150,000 

Sixth Round, 185th Pick


In 2007, the Cardinals chose College of Charleston shortstop Oliver Marmol and gave him a $115,000 bonus. This is a dramatic increase from 2006 when the Cardinals gave sixth round pick Tyler Norrick $45,000 to keep him from returning to SIU.  In 2005, St. Louis made a draft blunder, giving Albert's cousin Wilfredo Pujols $120,000 to sign out of high school as their sixth round selection. 


During the 2007 draft, the 185th pick, Emeel Salem, was given a $40,000 bonus by Tampa Bay.  That is misleading though because most signing bonuses fell between the $115,000 and $125,000 range. 


Justin Jacobs received a $150,000 bonus to sign with the Marlins as the 185th pick in 2006.  The Chicago White Sox gave outfielder Aaron Cunningham a $140,000 to sign with the team in 2005. 



Adam Ferrara: $150,000 

Seventh Round, 215th Pick


The Cardinals went above slot to sign Deryk Hooker in the seventh round in 2007 for $100,000.  Luke Gorsett only garnered a $40,000 signing bonus as a seventh round pick in 2006.  Gorsett still looks like he got big money as Nick Stavinoha received only $15,000 in 2005. 


Reid Fronk received a $120,000 signing bonus as the 215th pick in 2007.  The Florida Marlins gave Don Czyz a $30,000 contract to sign at the same spot in 2006.  This too is misleading as the number 214 pick, Daniel Stegall, was given $145,000 to sign and the number 216 selection, Jon Waltenbury, received a bonus of $128,500. 


In 2005, the White Sox awarded Daniel Cortes a $115,000 to forgo college and turn professional. 



Now this is a very early look as we are comparing only four bonuses compared to the over 40 players that will be signed.  Also, a big measuring stick will be the money paid out to first round selection Brett Wallace.  But in this limited sample size, the Cardinals are showing they are willing to spend to get their draft picks signed.


Look for additional reports in this series as other signing bonuses are made public. 



Dustin Mattison can be reached via email at


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