Gretzky, thought to be pretty set on attending San Diego State in the fall (to play baseball for Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn), decided to sign with the Cubs earlier this week, according to the Toronto Sun.
The signing has not been confirmed by the Cubs, but a generic announcement of the signing, and a corresponding placement of Gretzky in the minor league system should be forthcoming. The amount of the signing may not be announced for a while, though – the amount of overslot deals is often kept under wraps until the August 15 signing deadline (MLB doesn’t want dramatically overslot bonuses to disrupt the market). Of course, money is probably not a primary concern for Gretzky, but it would be interesting to learn the level of the Cubs’ commitment to getting him signed.
Gretzky is a 6’4″, 180 first baseman who was coming back from a shoulder injury in his senior season. He was believed to be a first three round talent, but slipped due to signability/injury concerns.
The Cubs’ draft was weighted heavily on these kind of kids – ones who were top talents, but for whom a significant signing bonus was going to be necessary to sign them. If the Cubs can ink a few more of them – kids like Dan Vogelbach, Shawon Dunston, Jr., Dillon Maples, for example – the team’s draft is going to be lauded as one of the best in baseball.