BOOM: The Cubs Have Signed First Rounder Albert Almora for $3.9 Million

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.)

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

206 responses to “BOOM: The Cubs Have Signed First Rounder Albert Almora for $3.9 Million”

  1. someday...2015?

    The FO is got two choices when it comes to finding an ace or two. They can go out and spend money in free agency or they get creative with trades and trade for guys like Zach Lee or Cody Buckel who haven’t been labeled “untouchable.” Something tells me the FO has a plan to do both.

    1. Derrick

      Lee or Buckel are definately not potential Aces not even close. If they pan out best case a 2 realistically both 3s.

      1. someday...2015?

        Well there you go. If you could get a 2 and a 3 back in the trades for Demp and Garza(Lee and Buckel) you have your 2, 3, 4, and 5. I think everyone expects our ace to be a potential free agent. ^^^ the 4 and 5 could be Samardzija and Wood.

  2. loyal100more

    i think both demp, and garza both get bundled up with a say vitters or mabe even a jackson or barney… anyway i see theo dealing nice “now” packages to pick up outstanding “then” packages. i think theo is worth his money and will operate with the shrewdness that a top 5 baseball exect. is supposed to. i see a couple very one sided trades coming, to a team getting only short term help, while in the process morgaging the future…. it will be great to be on the winning side of this thing for a change. in 84 we gave up joe carter for rick sutcliff, and in 89 we gave up rafeal palemiero for mitch williams… both trades helped us reach the playoffs that year. however in the persuit of a tital we gave up a fringe HOF and minus the steroids thing one of the greatest hitters ever. id love to see a carter or palimiero, come our way as we help a team in the chase of a championship.

    1. Mick

      I could understand including Barney, Baker, Soto, or Camp in your “win now” package to put a trade over the hump in getting another high quality prospect but trading Jackson or Vitters could turn out to be a huge mistake. They’re both just half-way through their first seasons in AAA and are mashing. Plus, they’re not win-now call-ups. I envision the 2013 Cubs’ outfield to possibly include Jackson, Campana, DeJesus, Campana, and Sappelt with Vitters getting a mid-season call for 3B. If we start slinging Vitters and Jackson away in trades for longer-range prospects will have to go out and sign or trade for MLB and AAA depth.

    2. DocPeterWimsey

      The problem with bundling Vitters is that he’s the closest thing that the Cubs have within the system to an option to play 3rd next year. I’m not that high on him – I suspect that his current hot streak is just part of the stochastic nature of pitching vs. hitting distributions – but Vitters still represents a possibility for the Cubs at 3rd in 2013. As Cubs history shows (see Santo …. ARam gap in history), getting a good 3Bman is really tough. So, I would not give up on Vitters just yet.

      1. Kyle

        Really? Two+ months of a .900 OPS and an improved BB rate and you still aren’t buying that the 22-year-old hitter has made a real improvement?

        1. Ivy Walls

          So many wild opinions, the question is not so much who will be traded outside the obvious on the MLB roster but what will be acquired in relation. Barney is a nice player but does not offer much more in return 2011 his WAR was 2.2 and this year at the half way mark is roughly the same at 1.1, his value at his cost is right where it is. As for Vitters he could be included or not as the dynamics of the deal but usually in the mid season prospects are not included with FA veterans.

      2. MoneyBoy

        LOL – Doc … major ups for “stochastic”!!!!!

    3. Sandberg

      I’d give up Joe Carter for Sutcliffe 100 times out of 100. The Red Baron had two Cy worthy seasons for the Cubs and was solid for the rest.

  3. rocky8263

    I get so tired of the 103 year argument. Ricketts has had the team for 2 1/2 years? This is the first year for Theo. Sweum is managing. No bad behavior from players, seems like everyone is trying their best. I’ve said it here before that yes I’m pissed I feel like I wasted $15,000 on season tickets this year but when this team gets good, and I think we all agree it will, I won’t be spending hundred’s per game to enjoy my favorite team. There is no better place than Wrigley and a win. I forgot to mention I have two extra “Family Day” passes for Aug 4th. at 11 am. Spend 3 hours wandering around the park, hit in the batting cages, visit the clubhouse and PNC Club.Sit in Santo’s old seat and reminice. Ricketts stands in the main aisle and patiently talks to anyone who wants to and will pose for a snapshot. Brett, you want to give them away in a contest? Let me know.

    1. MichiganGoat

      BUT BUT BUT I WANNA WIN NOW!!! The entire FO and Ricketts are cheap, they don’t care about winning, they traded away the greatest Pitcher EVER (Marshall) for a mullet wearing mediocre pitchers and prospects we might as well call Chip & Dale. Colvin is a beast and we let him go for a gimp wrist, there is no hope! only this bottle of Jamestown Kool-aid, I won’t wait anymore. WE COULD HAVE HAD FIELDER AND CJ WILSON AND A BIONIC CLONE OF MICKEY MANTLE and we did nothing!!! LOUD NOISES (LOL), the future is bleak take a drink with me and say goodbye to the pain…. Here I come Ronny and Harry here I come.

      1. Frank

        Didn’t realize they had Kool-Aid at Jamestown. Did they serve it at Smith-Pocahontas wedding? Just messin’ . . .

        1. MichiganGoat

          With this Kaal-aid all the “O” turn inta “A” – its that gaad. Drink with me Brather

        2. Bric

          Pocahontas never married John Smith. She married John Rolfe, the man who brought tobacco to the Virginia colony and became immensely rich from it. They both moved back to London where she died and is burried next to the Thames River.

          John Smith on the other hand left (or was run out of) the Jamestown Colony and became an accomplished cartographer who explored much of the northeast coast. His map was used by the Pilgrims and was orginally offered the role of military advisor by them but declined and was replaced by Miles Standish.

          Sorry, bro, just messing with you back.

      2. Kyle

        “Rebuiilding” is just code for “don’t hold us responsible for the results.” The nice thing about trying to win immediately is that when you fail, you’ve only wasted a few years instead of a decade.

        1. JoeyCollins

          Unless your attempt to win immediately forces you to trade talented prospects and sign long contracts (soriano) that don’t pan out. Then your stuck with bloated contracts and no farm system for years.

      3. Dave H

        Take ronnie woo woo with ya!

    2. J Wilson

      Rocky8263, I have a question about season tickets. I just don’t see the value in paying for 81 games when you probably won’t go to half of that number. This question is moot if you a) can get off work for day games and b) somehow can go to the vast majority of night games.

      Is it worth the up front cost to buy season tickets? I know there’s a pride component to the decision, but I just can’t see how purchasing season tickets is a financially sound choice. Say you go to 20 ‘prime’ games each year, which I think is a good amount, and you pay market value. Even if you pay $300/ticket, that’s $12K. No future PSL fees, no psychological stress, no need to sell tickets, no acquaintances blowing up your inbox or phone to ask for tickets.

      And if the Cubs did make it to the playoffs, you’ll have to pay for those tickets. Wouldn’t it be smarter to pay the $500-1,000+/ticket at that time? My name came up on the list, I passed. I would be very interested in hearing how you decided to pull the trigger. Cheers, go Cubs!

      1. MoneyBoy

        JWilson … (sigh) as a season ticket holder since 1988, I have some, um, history. Add to that my “fandom” since the late 50′s …

        We began with 4 tickets in the “Grandstands” aka “Terrace Reserved OF.” I have 10 partners. Ticket prices have escalated far beyond the CPI, but that’s not the story. In complete candor – much to my surprise, everyone came back this year! I’m not sure, yet, about next year. But it still is a thrill and a treat to have tickets to every game – there are many games that our people don’t go to. But those who do rave about the location, the park, and the “thrill” of being at Wrigley!

        This being “Bleacher Nation” and Brett having written his “If It Takes Forever,” I’m (god forgive me,being 60 y/o) all in, however long it takes!!!

        If you watch the secondary markets for tix, you’ll understand why the “paid” crowd” is far different from the “fannies in the seats.” Al Yellen had a great piece about that not too long ago. Oh, and, watch for all the out-of-town fans in the stand on TV!!! The White Sox don’t draw flies … the Cubs averaged 42,000 for the Detroit series!! A franchise record for a 3-game series! Umm – can you say “out-of-town?” Boston? Not so much!!

        Oh, as to PSL’s, I was invited to a “thing” for season ticket holders!! I was, um, very blunt about PSL’s. I told the shills conducting the meeting that would be the end of me … finis, done, gone, forever … Wrigley, Ivy, tradition or not!!

        One more little detail – I was seriously considering dropping from 8 tickets to 4 until a couple of full partners committed to another year – about 2 weeks before the money was due!!!

        Brett & Luke – the signing of Almora is a FAB thing!!! The last two MLB drafts plus the INTL signings have been a wonder to behold!!! However it all shakes out, it portends well for the future!! Thanks, as always, for your wonderful work!!!

  4. theNOOGE

    I thought no announcement were supposed to be made during the break, or do draft signings not count?

  5. Cub Gone Wild

    Who is stupid enough to risk 4Mil and go play JuCo ball for a year? One blown knee or other freakish accident and the money is all gone. Not to mention that there are great kids coming next year out of highschool. He might not have gotten drafted any earlier than he did this year. Nothing is as certain as money in the bank and thats why he signed now.

    1. chirogerg

      He would most certainly not have gone to JUCO. He was committed to Miami.

      1. Norm

        Right, cuz those verbal commit’s are so binding…

  6. louis

    New top ten for me:
    1. Brett Jackson
    2. Javier Baez
    3. Albert Almora
    4. Matt Szczur
    5. Josh Vitters
    6. Dillon Maples
    7. Trey McNutt
    8. Junior Lake
    9. Daniel Vogelbach
    10 Jeimer Candelerio

    1. bazfan1234

      No Soler?

      1. louis

        The top ten is changing every minute hahaha
        I can’t believe I forgot about Soler. #Excitedaboutalmora

    2. Kyle

      1. Baez
      2. Almora
      3. Soler (anytime hit tool is like the fifth thing people mention about a prospect, I get nervous)
      ***big dropoff*
      4. Vitters
      5. Candelario
      6. Jackson
      ***big dropoff*
      7. Lake
      8. Szczur
      ***big dropoff*
      9-20 about a dozen guys about equal

      1. Dane

        No pitching.. :/

        1. Kyle

          Yep. That’s the unfortunate/fortunate truth of our farm system right now.

          1. Vladimir

            Well they are working on it. Haha maybe in a year Underwood or Johnson might creep up the list and who knows they may get some REALLY good pitching at the trade deadline that could be in our top 5. And if they target pitching again in next year’s draft. Point is, don’t worry it’s going to steadily get better from here on out.

    3. Mick

      Aw crap, I’ll play…

      1. Baez
      2. Soler
      3. Almora
      4. Candelario
      5. Jackson
      6. Lake
      7. Szczur
      8. Underwood
      9. Vitters
      10. Golden

  7. someday...2015?

    1. Baez 2. Almora 3. Soler 4. Jackson 5. Candelario 6. Lake 7. Szczur 8. Vogelbach 9. McNutt 10. I don’t know why but since I trust Theo, Underwood.

  8. someday...2015?

    Ah see I knew I forgot someone. Throw Vitters in at 5 and move everyone down one.

  9. Chief

    I think I’ve got it set up as Soler, Almora, Baez, Maples, Johnson, Vitters, Szczur, McNutt, Lake, Blackburn. I’m not as high on Candelario as a lot of people apparently, higher on Blackburn than most, and Vogelbach’s conditioning frightens me. I’ve only seen Vitters and Baez in person, and I have yet to see a lot of video on Johnson or Blackburn, so these rankings are fairly fluid, even in comparison to how fluid prospect rankings generally are.

    1. Jared

      ur putting two guys who have not played an inning in the minors before a guy who is hitting very well, fields well and has a huge upside in baez????????

      1. Chief

        Almora and Soler have a much higher upside than Baez, and truth be told, you could argue that Almora at least has a higher floor than Baez. So yes, I am ranking them higher than Baez. Between Baez’s attitude issues and my love for both Almora and Soler, I have no problem with ranking it that way.

        1. Jared

          we havent seen any attitude problems from baez at all since he has came into the organization… and how do u know what solers cieling is??? reports….none of have seen him swing a bat or field a ball…Baezs cieling was higher than almost every player taken in last years draft, he was a bit of a risk but has shown that he is no joke….the kid has a huge power upside and an insane arm! this list very well could change for me but i would like to see what almora can do outta highschool and what soler can do in america before i put them ahead of baez

        2. Drew7

          Maybe you’ve seen reports I haven’t, but I havent seen anything that says those two have higher ceilings. As for high floors, Jackson has to be considered to have a higher one than all 3 at this point.

          Even if Baez had an attitude, why is that an issue at all? We know he’s good, he knows he’s good, and good players make good teams.

          1. Jared

            i totally agree with all of that, and jackson is having a rough season by his standards so far and still has 40 extra base hits and has an OPS of .833

        3. Kyle

          I don’t have a problem with any order of Soler/Almora/Baez, but I can’t agree that Baez has a lower ceiling than the other two.

          Baez’s bat speed gives him an epic ton of ceiling.

          1. Serious Cubs Fan

            I think if Baez develops +30 plus power in his career, I think Baez will end being the better player of the 3. Because he plays at premium position for good 3rd baseman well at least currently good 3rd baseman are at a premium. Baez has the bat speed for average, seems to have good plate approach for a good OBP, solid stolen base threat (at least early in his career), plays wit a swag which I like. But all have pretty high ceilings. Almora has a high ceiling, potential Hunter Pence with better defense, little more speed. But honestly soler, I have never seen him play so I’m wait and see wit him. Only thing I’m scared wit soler is his swing and miss, and plate approach, other then that from what I hear he has all the tools

        4. Jeremy

          Almora and Soler do not have higher upside then Baez. Baez has 70/70 (hit/power) potential. That’s superstar caliber.

      2. djriz

        Agree Jared…I’m going…

        Johnson (only because all Top 10 are mandated to have a pitcher)

        1. Serious Cubs Fan

          Haha we are a big market in chicago. Were not going to have any big free agent signings in our future lineup? People make there future lineup with just prospects makes me laugh because probably more then half our guys will never pan out because thats just the game of prospects. But still is exciting to predict

          1. Njriv

            Its probably the easiest way to predict a line-up. Its hard to create line-ups with free agents involved because its hard to predict who will become a free agent and who the Cubs will even be going after.

  10. someday...2015?

    I got a question that I think is eating at most Cub fans. What is going on with Brett Jackson and with his k rate unbelievably high, is he still the #1 prospect? Yeah he strikes out once or twice a game but those other 2 at bats, he always seems to do something good. I just can’t put a solid opinion on this kid because of his strike outs. I want to believe that if your gonna strike out that much you better hit 35-40 HR. Thats not going to happen for Jackson. I hope his k-rate goes down because if it does B-Jax would jump back into being the Cubs #1 prospect… I think.

  11. Serious Cubs Fan

    With the $22,000 dollars we have left, who else of the tough to signs do we realistically have a chance to sign? Hickman for $122,000?

    1. Assman22

      Theoretically, Hickman could still be signed at slot, but I’d be shocked if he didn’t go to college at this point

  12. Jason "Thundermug"

    With the new CBA if the Pirates don’t sign Appel will they get like the 9th pick for Compensation in the 2013 draft for failing to sign Appel ? Does anyone know

    1. Serious Cubs Fan

      The Pirates in the 2013 draft would get 1 pick below what they had this year if they can’t sign Appel. If they had the 8th overall pick this year then they’d have the 9th overall pick in 2013

  13. Carew

    go cubbies

  14. Cub Gone Wild

    It’s funny how people just arbitrarily create the Top prospects in our organization. Especially when they haven’t even put on their first pair of pro cleats. Oh Well.. Everybody has a right to their opinion that’s why we have BN. I just think it’s great that we have some nice young players to bring along or trade at some point to improve the product on the field. Most of these guys will never see the big leagues but that’s okay. We all need something to read about and give our opinions to. I hope that with all the pitching we signed in the draft that at least 2 make it to the bigs. Those are pretty wishful odds considering the washout rate in baseball. I just hope Theo and the band make the right decisions on the upcoming trades. I don’t agree that we should be looking at all prospects to improve the our farm system. We need some good ML bullpen pitching. I’m not buying that this bullpen has made some miraculous leap to respectability. Not when our best is Russell and Camp then Marmol. Not falling for that one. If we can get about 4 or 5 players we can be competitive next year. Bullpen, Starting Rotation, 3B. I doubt Soriano gets traded and I don’t think they pull the trigger on Barney or LaHair either. Garza, Dempster, Soto and Baker. Johnson and Mather have no value. Maybe the can trade Campana for a bullpen pitcher.

  15. Jason "Thundermug"

    Thanks Serious Cub Fan for that Info

  16. someday...2015?

    Between Chris Berman and this opening act which would make you want to tune out more?

  17. Serious Cubs Fan

    I have pretty high standards for what I consider a good draft. The cubs didn’t have a great one, but they didn’t have a bad one. Overall it was pretty decent draft. We got a couple real high upside kids. But this draft really didn’t blow anyone away. We got Almora but none other true studs, that are clear blue chip prospects. Last draft we had Baez (blue chip) , Vogelbach (high ceiling potential star), Dillon Maples (Potential to be a great number 2, allstar possible), Dawson (upside guy), and a couple other guys like rocky shoulders. This years draft we got Almora (blue chip), Pierce Johnson/Paul Blackburn/Duane Underwood are all high upside arms but I think might have slight less ceiling then Maples. I just feel like if we don’t sign at least 2-3 more tough to signs (which we probably won’t) even be close to comparing the 2011 and 2012 drafts for the cubs. It seems like we got a lot more of those maybe not clear good players but players with a high ceiling. I know its a different CBA but I’m hoping next year with hopefully getting close to the #1 overall pick in next years draft that we get a draft like the Astros had this year. Overall I think the Cubs had a successful draft but not a truly impressive one.

    1. nkniacc13

      Part of the reason the Astros had a great draft was becuase they were able to get such a low signing for the top pick which allowed them to go a bit with tough signs. They also needed talent everywhere where the Cubs had to get a bunch of arms into their system and noramlly it costs more for pitching

  18. Mike S

    Kevin Gausman (No. 4 pick Orioles) will head back to college. Orioles get the No. 5 pick next year (shouldn’t affect Cubs), but Gausman could be targeted by the Cubs and could be an easy sign since he would be a college senior. Interesting…

    1. nkniacc13

      Gausman, Appel or Winston all 3 could be there for Cubs who would you take or would you pick someone else?

      1. Serious Cubs Fan

        Appel is really overrated. Doesn’t have blow you away stuff, or ace stuff, but is very polished for his age so thats why he got considered for the number 1 pick this year. But still very talented pitcher

    2. Serious Cubs Fan

      Seriously Gausman’s going back to school? That kid has an amazing arm. I thought he was the best of the big 3 college arms. or has the highest ceiling in my opinion. Maybe cubs next year could grab him? The draft next year is not top heavy at all. There is no clear cut top pick star so far

      1. Serious Cubs Fan

        I want to know what kind of money Gausman wanted to not have signed. He must have been asking for a boat load overslot. If the cubs get #1 overall pick next year and they pick Gausman and he wants full slot then he’s crazy. The first overall pick slot is like $7.2 mil or something right. Sign the kid for $4mil and under slot and then save the money to do what the Astros did this year by going after a lot of tough to sign high upside kids. and have a truly great draft with tons of top blue chip talent.

        1. nkniacc13

          Sounds more that his heart was still at LSU and didn’t have anything to do with the Money or going to Baltimore. He wants to go to the CWS and win it

          1. Norm

            I don’t think the report said he was going back and I’ll believe he’s going back to LSU when the deadline comes and goes.
            Also, he was a sophomore this year, so he could very well not sign again next season.
            If he told MLB teams that he would sign this year, and then decides NOT to sign, teams may hold that against him and I’m not sure a team is going to take a chance in the top 4-5 picks next year.

        2. nkniacc13

          That’s a great plan if you have a kid that rises late that you can get like the Astros did this year. Remember up until the last couple of weeks before the draft you didn’t hear that Correa going in the top 3

        3. Tony S

          How did the Astros sign Correia to an underslot deal? Is that something they would have worked out with him beforehand?
          Surely any kid drafted unexpectedly highly would want the slot allocation for that pick?
          Can anybody explain to me what leverage the club would have had to get that to happen?

          1. Serious Cubs Fan

            They asked him if he would sign for the amount underslot. If he agreed (which he did they selected him), if he didn’t then they would have chose another player. I bet they asked Appel and Buxton as well before hand. They saw it to be a best for there situation to chose Correia. The Astros talked to players about their asking price before the draft

            1. Tony S

              Thanks for the reply SCF.
              I guess I just have the default thinking that every kid and his advisor is chasing slot value or more.
              The club would want to hope that he player is true to his word.

  19. Mike S

    Appel seems like the pick, but the Cubs passed up on him this year so I don’t know.

    1. Mike S

      Nice video of Appel…Fastball sits between 91-94, got up to 97. Changeup was his out pitch, slider was mediocre, needs improvement. His control was a little crazy, but he looks like he has a lot of upside.

      1. nkniacc13

        Id go Gausman,Winston and then Appel

        1. djriz

          NK, by Winston do you mean Karsten?

      2. Serious Cubs Fan

        A lot of guys can rear back to get a couple extra mph on their fastballs, but most guys can’t do that consistently over 5-6innings. Thats what seperates starters and relievers.

        1. Serious Cubs Fan

          AKA: Trey McNutt. He doesn’t have great stamina. I hope he won’t have to go to the bullpen in the future because stamina problems. If you look at his starts he rarely goes over 5 innings pitched per start. That could really tax a pen

    2. djriz

      Then we deal with Boros 2 years in a row. just saying.

      1. Serious Cubs Fan

        Crap. gausman’s agent is Boras? Now I believe hes going to sign with the orioles instead of go back to school. Boras is just telling the kid to spoon full the media a bunch of bs about going back to school as a negotiating tactic to get more money right before the deadline. But overall I’m a big fan of Gausman’s game. Big arm with filthy stuff

        1. djriz

          Serious, I meant Appel’s agent is Boros. Don’t know who represents Gausman. sorry for the confusion.

  20. Jason "Thundermug"

    Daury Torrez DSL Cubs 2 Pitcher has anyone checked out his stats they are pretty amazing

    5 Wins 1 Loss 1.13 ERA 39 2/3 IP 28 hits 2 Walks 34 K’s 4 HR’s

  21. cubsin

    While you’re checking out Daury Torrez (DSL Cubs2), also take a look at Carlos A. Rodriguez (DSL Cubs1). Torrez had his 19th birthday last month, but Rodriguez will celebrate his 17th on Wednesday. His stats: 3 wins, 1 loss, 1.13 ERA, 31 IP, 18 H, 9 BB, 38 K, 1 HR

  22. Jason "Thundermug"

    Awesome on Carlos A. Rodriguez also ! I would like to think that we should be in the top 10 of minor league prospects after the trades Cubs will make along with the guys like Soler, Almora that has been added

  23. Cubs’ Minor League Daily: Outfield Futures | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] we have been expecting all along, Albert Almora has agreed to sign with the Cubs. The minute his name hits the dotted line he will be one of the Cubs’ very best prospects and [...]

  24. Diesel

    Question, has Underwood officially signed or is it just still going off twitter? I just read in an article from that was posted today that Underwood is the only one of our top 20 picks that hasn’t signed. I am wondering which it is and I am hoping more for it being the fact that the person who wrote said article has his head way up his ass and doesn’t know what he is talking about rather than they released details of the agreement before he signed.