Atlanta Braves Interest Level in Luis Robert Could be a Math Lesson
About that penalty. Whoever signs Robert – except the White Sox – will be subject to a 100% overage tax/penalty for further abusing their International spending limit for the 2016-17 signing period.
The White Sox will be close to that 100% penalty. They signed 20 players and had a $2.97 million pool allotment. $1.1 million of that went to a single player.
Thus, whatever the value is that teams assign to Robert has to be tempered by the fact that they will end up spending double of whatever he receives.
Teams will thus have to dig deep since they’ve already spent whatever they had intended to spend for 2016-17.
This definitely works against Robert.
Since Robert is 19, this is a look at the future: he will not be an immediate help to an organization. That said, teams have to keep the pipe moving, and if their club has been having trouble in the draft recently, then signing a stud prospect is one way to recover from such failures.
That said, we do not have full insight into everything that is going on in each franchise, but there are a couple of things we can guess:
- The Cardinals are still stung by the loss of Oscar Taveras and now by the loss of their first two draft picks.
- The Padres are looking for talent anywhere they can find it and have been highly aggressive since GM A.J. Preller took over.
- The Braves are still looking at their future outfield situation as a place of need. They also might approach Robert to suggest he might be able to grow into a system that has huge upside. Consider a future outfield with Inciarte, Acuna, Robert, and Didder; with Swanson, Albies, and Maitan in the infield… with Freeman still around through at least 2021. Never mind the pitching.
This is something teams must decide for themselves, but whenever ‘intangibles’ drive a team to action, they will always serve to increase an otherwise rationally-made bid.
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Adding it All Up
- History/Risk: suggests lower contract
- Competition: suggests higher contract
- Budgets: PUSH
- Market Comp: suggests higher contract
- Calendar deadlines: suggests lower contract
- Penalties: suggests lower contract
- Intangibles: suggests higher contract
Figures… 3 higher, 3 lower, and a tie. Honestly didn’t orchestrate it this way.
I am on record guessing something between $6 and $12 million for Robert. I also seem to be on the low end of many other guesses. I do believe that both the calendar and the penalty considerations will be very large factors and will tamp down the bidding enthusiasm.
Best guess: the Cardinals get him for a $10.5 million bonus and assign him to their low-A club to get started this Summer.
We will all know in about a month.