There are just a few days left before baseball’s equivalent of “Signing Day,” and the rumors and news are flying hard and fast.

First, the news.

The Cubs have reportedly all but finished a deal with fourth round pick, reliever Tony Zych out of Louisville. Some have called him a second-round talent, with a fastball that approaches triple digits. No terms have been disclosed, but it was likely overslot. Zych was expected to sign all along.

The Cubs have also agreed to terms with fifth round pick, high school pitcher Tayler Scott. Only been playing baseball for a few years, Scott is considered one of those “raw, athletic” types. He can chuck it, though, and folks who follow this stuff are pretty excited about him. Scott was not a lock to sign, so this is a win. He received $280k, which is almost double the slot recommendation.

And, another: the Cubs have signed 17th round outfielder, John Andreoli out of UConn. Andreoli, 21, is an athletic outfielder, who just finished his junior year.

Now for the rumor side of things.

Two high school picks, at previous times thought to be near locks to sign, now appear to be wavering. Or, they really are treating this like the lead up to “Signing Day,” and are having some fun with the process.

Yesterday, 11th round outfielder Shawon Dunston, Jr., and 37th round pitcher Ricky Jacquez took to Twitter to say things like “as of now, heading to school” (Dunston) and “Texas bound!” (Jacquez). More unnervingly in Dunston’s case, Baseball America’s Jim Callis, who’d previously said Dunston was going to sign, recanted, and put Dunston in the “maybe” category.

I asked Callis the reason for the change, and both he and Dunston responded. Callis said he simply “misread the certainty.” Based on Dunston’s comment to me, though, it sounds like Dunston reached out to Callis to ask why Callis was listing him as a guy who was going to sign. Dunston said he “just thought he should know the reason” for Callis’s guess, and Dunston suggested that he’s still on the fence about his decision.

As has been noted here previously, both Dunston and Jacquez are pretty active Twitter users. And, what do you know? So am I. Given how excited we all are about the prospect of them signing on to become Cubs’ farmhands (and how frequently and openly they’ve discussed the decision process on Twitter), I thought it would be nice to tell them on behalf of Cubs fans (Bleacher Nation does have 8,000+ followers, so I figured it was fair to speak on your behalf – apologies if I was wrong) that we would love to see them join the Cubs, but we wanted to wish them the best luck whatever they choose to do.

So, I did that. Dunston didn’t respond to me further beyond the comments above, but Jacquez said, “I would love more than anything to start my career and become a Cub, but it’s a tough decision.” Truly, I can only imagine.

For better or worse, I didn’t feel right about asking either one what their decision was going to be or which way they were leaning. It’s one thing to read the tea leaves and report rumors (and wish them well), but these kids aren’t looking to tip their hand this close to the deadline. I can only imagine being an 18-year-old ballplayer with this level of attention and excitement about your decision, and far be it from me to take that excitement away from them by trying to pry an answer out of them early.

So, again, I say: best of luck to both, whatever they decide to do. Here’s hoping that they end up Cubs sooner or later.

  • Fishin Phil

    You show a surprising amount of class for a Lady Gaga fan. Kudos Brett!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Well, I am on the edge of glory, after all.

      • ron

        Edge of glory, or edge of a cliff? Just kidding, that was pretty classy and rejection hurts.

  • Jeff

    Nice scoop, now I know why they used to call you “Ace”. Pretty cool that you have the opportunity to have direct contact with some of these guys and let them know how the fans feel about them. Now, if only you could get Hendry or Ricketts on Twitter, we might make some progress.

  • Jeff

    Brett, I thought it was a joke at first, but I keep seeing the rumors and articles pop up all over the internets. Please tell me the Cubs aren’t seriously considering a run at Yu Darvish this winter. I can’t see how they could possibly invest so much money into an unproven commodity at this point, but this is Jim Hendry we are talking about, so I am worried. I have heard that Darvish may be even more hype than Dice K was.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Everything you just said is currently being worked up in a post. It mostly emanated from Phil Rogers, so… well, it’s interesting to discuss. But, for now, there isn’t much more than that.

  • Spencer

    Kind of disappointing/surprising about Dunston. I thought he would be a lock with because of his dad and the Cubs’ willingness to pay this year. Bummer.

  • Larry

    Wasn’t Dunston on Twitter earlier this summer encouraging a few of the Cubs draft picks to make a decision and join him with the Cubs? I thought I had read that at one point.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      He was. He’s gone back and forth publicly, which is why I tend to think he knows what he’s going to do, and is just having some fun with the process.

      • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

        I can pretty much guarantee that if someone wanted to give me $1m to play baseball when I was 18, I’d be having fun with the process of everything. Shampooing my hair would be fun. Cutting my toenails would be fun. Watching the gardener pick weeds out of the impatiens would be a blast.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Ha. Solid.

  • RoughRiider

    With all the secrecy about over slot contracts I’m fairly positive that anyone who has signed has been told not to let anyone know that might put the word out. And since they are under contract they have to comply. As a matter of fact, I can see draftees sending out disinformation just for the fun of it.
    I think the whole thing is ridiculous in that some of the players are actually signed but can’t play. They lose valuable time playing in the minors just because MLB has a slotting method and don’t want anyone to know that the levels have been surpassed and cause problems in other negotiations. There has to be a better way.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Absolutely on both points. You can lay the blame squarely at the feet of Bud Selig.

      • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

        If you’re gonna start laying blame at the feet of Bud Selig, I’ve got a few dozen things to add to your list.

        Personally, I’d like to start with the idiocy of the WS home-field advantage being decided by an exhibition game.

        • Jeff

          If we are going to start on the whole Bud Selig thing, it could turn into the beer discussion 2.0. I think I could go on all day about how much I can’t stand him as commissioner.

          • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

            I think that discussion would be best had while drinking beer. Lots and lots of beer.

      • RoughRiider

        I was going to suggest that MLB buy Devils Island and turn it into a training camp for players that have signed over slot in the same kind of format as the AZ Fall League. 4 or 5 players from each team playing on 6-8 teams. But it’s easier and far less expensive to just send Bud to Devils Island. Bon Voyage Bud!!!

  • Cheryl

    This whole thing about having to wait on Selig to announce signings is terrible. If Dunston and Jacquez want to go back to school than I think you did the right thing Brett in not probing beyond what you did. To me twitter seems like a means of private communication and I really wonder if conversations that appear on twitter should be revealed because we want to know their decisions. Sure I’m curious but lets give them some privacy.

    • VanSlaw

      To me twitter seems like a means of private communication

      Remind me not to take a shower at your house.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Though I agree that it’s best not to prod the kids right now (which is why I didn’t), I don’t necessarily agree about Twitter being private. I’m not sure if you’re a user, but there are ways to keep your communications private if you prefer. But, generally, people don’t, because we want the world to see our Tweets. That’s why Twitter exists.

      • Cheryl

        No, I’m not a twitter user. Maybe that’s why I look at it differently. Since I don’t use it when I see whar seems to be private conversations it makes me uneasy. I guesss I’m not up to speed on that aspect of social networking. I’ll have to look into it more.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          You should – Twitter, in my humble opinion, is quite awesome. Think of it as one, big, public conversation.

  • JulioZuleta

    2 recent tweets (sorry Cheryl)
    jimcallisBA Jim Callis
    #Cubs deal w/7th-rder Trevor Gretzky is official. Calif HS 1B/son of Wayne got $375k, has projectable power. San Diego St recruit. #mlbdraft

    jacquez_ricky Ricky Jacquez
    As the deadline nears my decision narrows and Texas most likely is my option. Who knows anything can happen!!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, Julio. It’s going to be an exciting few days.

  • JulioZuleta

    I know, I want it to be over with so I can get back to running my batting cage. (Google it, I, Julio Zuleta, recently opened a batting cage in Florida)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I would totally go to that batting cage.

      • Cheryl

        Brett, According to a recent posting on ChiCitySports the Cubs have signed 28 draftees so far and names them. The list does not include Baez, Vogelbach, Dunston, Maples or Jacquez.

  • Jason

    The Cubs have signed seventh-rounder Trevor Gretzky, a high school first baseman out of California, for $375K, according to Callis (on Twitter). Trevor is the son of hockey great Wayne Gretzky and was a San Diego State recruit.
    Worry about this is over !!!

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