The Indians have signed their 9th round pick, Devon Stewart, and their 10th round pick, William Strode. Both players signed for just $5,000, well below the slow value for their respective draft picks. Both players were college seniors, which means they have little leverage in negotiations. Most likely neither of them would have been taken during the first ten rounds unless they'd agreed ahead of time that they'd be content to sign for little money.
Stewart is a right-handed pitcher, Strode is a lefty. You can read a bit more about each of them here.
The slot value for Stewart was $158,700. The slot value for Strode was $149,700. By signing each of them for just $5,000, the Indians are now $298,400 below slot. That's a big deal, because there are financial penalties for going even $1 over slot on the combined cost of all signees. (The slot budgets applies to all players chosen through the end of round 10) Teams that exceed their slot budget by more than 5% forfeit picks in the following year's draft.
The Indians now have almost $300,000 with which they can go "over slot" to sign some of their higher profile picks, players who would likely go to (or back to) college instead of signing unless they get more than the slow value of their draft pick.
Most likely there will be a couple other draft picks who sign for well under slot, which is something teams aim for with some of their picks in rounds 5-10.
Here is the slot value for each Tribe pick:
- 1) Brady Aiken: $2,393,600
- CB) Triston McKenzie: $1,468,400
- 2) Juan Hillman: $1,041,900
- 3) Mark Mathias: $617,100
- 4) Tyler Krieger: $452,400
- 5) Ka'Ai Tom: $338,700
- 6) Jonas Wyatt: $251,100
- 7) Nathan Lukes: $190,100
- 8) Justin Garza: $169,900
- 9) Devon Stewart: $158,700 (signed for $5,000)
- 10) William Strode: $149,700 (signed for $5,000)