With Friday’s signing deadline on the horizon, the Chicago Cubs have finally signed first round pick, high school outfielder Albert Almora. The 18-year-old was considered one of the most polished high schoolers in the Draft, to say nothing of his upside. The Cubs were infatuated with him from the word go, so his signing – even after all of that “college” talk – is no surprise.
Almora gets $3.9 million, way over the $3.25 million slot for the sixth overall pick. That means the Cubs have spent their entire bonus pool, PLUS have gone over by almost 5%. That’s the max they can spend without losing a future first round draft pick, and you can be sure that agent Scott Boras knew where every dollar was going before Almora signed.
According to Jim Callis, the Cubs can over spend by about another $22,000 without losing a pick, but that isn’t a whole lot to play with. The Cubs can offer guys selected after the 10th round $100K before it counts against the pool, so there still might be a few more signings before Friday’s deadline. But you won’t see any huge, overslot deals from here on out.
Almora instantly becomes one of the Cubs’ top three or four prospects, and he’ll probably start out in Arizona for a bit, before being assigned to a higher level – likely Boise, or maybe even Peoria, given his polish.
The deal probably won’t be officially announced until later in the week.
(I’ve been saving that Almora picture, which looks like a rainforest exploding off of his bat and all around him, for this day.)