Kris Bryant Signs with the Cubs

Bryant_KrisOur long regional month of boredom is over. Jim Callis is reporting that second overall pick Kris Bryant has agreed to terms with the Cubs for exactly what was prescribed by slot value, $6,708,400. Jon Heyman appears to have gotten the story first, but Scott Boras neglected to fill him in on the details, instead emphasizing the "record-setting" nature of the contract, which means very little since the current slotting system was put into place last year. Paul Sullivan gets honorable mention as he was perhaps the first to officially report, but he was imprecise, and will get no link from me.

Cubs Lose?

The Cubs had first overall pick Mark Appel first on their draft board, as well, and he signed with the Astros for $6.34 million weeks ago, and has already made two minor league starts. For the second year in a row, the 'Stros have performed admirably in acquiring talent and getting it signed cheaply. (Though if I were an Astros fan, I would not be happy watching what Byron Buxton is up to these days). No one doubted that an agreement would be reached, but Bryant appears to have gotten the better end of the negotiations. The Cubs were offering only in the neighborhood of $6 million about two weeks ago, and have apparently gone up considerably since then.

Implications

That Bryant signed for the full slot value means that the Cubs will not be able to do as much with later round picks. They did manage to get Tyler Alamo in the fold (24th-rounder), and my guess is that 12th-rounder Trevor Clifton will sign soon. Clifton won't get the $570k he was hoping for, however, as the Cubs can now only offer ~$441k (less whatever Alamo and every other post-10th rounder signed for over $100k). Based on the limited funds left to the Cubs, I doubt we see any other high-schoolers sign, unless they are really having second thoughts about this whole college thing. 25th-rounder Marcus Doi, for one, has turned down the Cubs' offer. The signing deadline is Friday, so we will  know one way or the other on everyone else in the next two days.

All potential missed opportunities later in the draft are extremely minor compared to getting Bryant to sign, however, as first-rounders dominate major league baseball, especially the first pick or two. It will be good to see him start getting into game action.

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