For weeks, rumors have swirled about the Chicago Cubs’ draft. The organization’s commitment to the amateur side was clear on the day of the draft – the Cubs repeatedly picked “hard to sign” players, and Scouting Director Tim Wilken said he was given a near blank check by Tom Ricketts to go after whomever he wanted. And, the rumors said, the Cubs were going to make good on that commitment by signing nearly every overslot pick they made.
It seemed too good to be true, but then everyone started signing. By now, if you believe the rumors (most overslot deals will not be officially announced until close to or after tomorrow’s midnight deadline), the only big names remaining on the Cubs’ to-do list are 11th rounder Shawon Dunston, Jr., 37th rounder Ricky Jacquez, and 14th rounder Dillon Maples.
Of the three, most would argue that Maples, a UNC commit (to play both baseball and football), would be the biggest get.
Have I built it up enough?
According to a poster on UNC’s Scout message board (read that carefully and recognize all appropriate rumor caveats), today, Maples left the football practice field, telling teammates that he had signed with the Chicago Cubs.
Is this legit? I have no reason to believe or doubt it anymore than I would a rumor on another Scout site – that is to say, I take it with a big grain of salt.
But, it is a message board for UNC fans, so you would think biased predictions would go the other way. And this poster does not appear to be a fly-by-night, one-time poster. On the other hand, as with most message boards, it’s anonymous. So, you take it as a sure thing at the risk of being wildly disappointed. But, I happened across it, and thought you should know.
For me, I take it, together with the earlier rumors, as a good sign. I won’t, however, be satisfied until these signings are actually official. I’ve reached out to Jim Callis (Baseball America) to see if he’s heard anything, as well as a couple of beat writers.