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Today, one of the Chicago Cubs’ talent-grab picks in the 2013 Draft signed his contract, according to the best source we’ve got: himself.

Here’s the tweet:

The signing probably won’t be officially official until Alamo passes a physical, and, as we saw with 14th rounder Daniel Poncedeleon, the deal can fall apart even after the tweet-a-picture-of-the-contract-signing thing.

That said, assuming Alamo’s deal becomes finally final, this is a great signing for the Cubs, and a great grab in the 24th round. Alamo, a high school catcher out of Cypress, California, was one of the best high school catchers in a draft that was extremely deep in them. Alamo was the 348th draft prospect to Baseball America, and MLB.com heaped high praise: “Alamo is a physical high school catcher who has room on his 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame to get even stronger. He already generates good bat speed and has the potential to develop plus power. To unlock his power potential, however, Alamo will have to improve his approach and pitch-recognition skills. Defensively, Alamo has good tools, but is still is a work in progress as he learns to use his big body behind the plate. He has an above-average arm and good hands.”

Alamo would instantly become one of the better – albeit younger – catching prospects in the Cubs’ system (which is as much praise of Alamo as it is damnation of the position in the Cubs’ system right now).

What’s equally important here, though, is that there is a belief that Alamo was going to require an over slot bonus to sign. Remember, players taken after the top ten rounds can be signed for up to $100,000 without it counting against the team’s bonus pool. Any amount over that counts against the pool.

The Cubs are already well over their pool amount right now, as we’ve discussed before, which is largely because they have yet to sign first round pick Kris Bryant (if you don’t sign a player, you lose that pick’s portion of the pool). Some of the Cubs’ top ten round picks have been signed for over slot, so the team technically stands in the red right now.

Where am I going with this? Well, if the Cubs had serious doubts about their ability to sign Kris Bryant, or believed that he was going to require an over slot bonus to sign, they probably wouldn’t be inking any over slot deals in the later rounds – like Alamo – just yet.

Now, I want to caveat a few things:

(1) We don’t *know* that Alamo is getting over slot. We also don’t know, even if he is getting over slot, how much over slot it is. Alamo always seemed (on Twitter) pretty eager to get his professional career underway, so it’s theoretically possible that he didn’t get a massive amount over $100,000.

(2) We don’t know if the deal with 12th round pick Trevor Clifton, which is reportedly well over slot, is official or impacts these calculations just yet. If that deal isn’t happening, then the calculus here changes a bit.

(3) We don’t know if the Cubs are just being very aggressive, and are willing to take their chances on Bryant not signing, irrespective of what they do with their later round signings (calling his bluff, so to speak, and backing it up by already putting themselves into the serious penalty range – I really doubt this one, by the way, given that the Cubs would be risking losing a first round pick next year; instead, I would imagine that the Cubs have communicated to Bryant and Scott Boras that, “hey, we’re signing these X, Y, and Z kids for over slot, and this is what we have available to sign Bryant – take it or leave it, because we’re not going to put ourself into a position to lose a draft pick”).

Those caveats considered, all I’m saying is that this is probably a good sign – at worst, it’s neutral – that the Cubs and Bryant are getting close to a deal at a price where the Cubs have the confidence that they can finalize some later round over slot deals without risking serious penalties. That was probably always the case, and there never really has been serious concern that Bryant wouldn’t sign.

But I feel just a touch better with this news than I did before. The signing deadline, by the way, is this coming Friday, July 12.

  • TonyP

    Woot!

  • Die hard

    Bryant will sign rather gamble on being picked #1 next year … Starting at AA likely given recent Cub roster moves which should pacify Boras

    • Rich H

      In one day you went from put him on the 40 man and lets see what happens. To he will get to AA. Tomorrow is he going to be in KC?

      • MichiganGoat

        This is why responding is the worst thing to do to his posts.

        • Rich H

          I can’t help it. I call it my hey stupid gene. It is broken so when I see a comment like that I have to yell at my computer.

      • Die hard

        The situation is fluid and new facts require new analysis

        • gocatsgo2003

          This is Die Hardian for “I make it up as I go… deal with it.”

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I would agree with putting Bryant in AA right away. Let the kid get his feet wet in Daytona and let him get his feet under him before you send him to one of the toughest leagues in the minors. The kid can hit but don’t rush him for the sake of wanting to see an infield of Bryant, Baez, and Alcantara. I’d have to say that be awesome but maybe let him start at high A ball

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        I wouldn’t agree*

      • Die hard

        His college competition better than AA which is why he wants assurances… Meet him halfway on demand and pay him $ 5.85 mil … Done deal

        • Bwa

          Blatantly not true. College ball is probably comparable to Kane county.

          • Serious Cubs Fan

            Agreed. AA ball is where most of the elite prospects play. Maybe the very best college rosters might be equivalent to somewhere between high A and AA ball but even then i don’t know. You also have to factor in that Bryant didn’t play against the best competition in college day in and day out, because the league San Diego plays in. It wasn’t like he was play in the SEC or another major baseball conference. He did though, play well against tougher teams in college.

            • Die hard

              If Bryant not elite then why did Cubs draft him # 2 over all … I am confused and time to take a nap

              • Serious Cubs Fan

                Die Hard: I never said Bryant wasn’t elite. I said you were wrong to assume college competition was comparable to AA ball.

                • Lie Hard

                  Why continue to coddle these kids? I say give the big shot a real challenge and bring him up the big league squad. It worked out great for Pete Incaviglia.

          • Scotti

            “College ball is probably comparable to Kane county”

            The typical college guy gets nowhere near Kane County. The typical college guy isn’t even Boise level–he doesn’t even get drafted. An SEC level college, or an All-Star team from a less competitive division, is roughly Boise level.

            That said, after a week, or so, tune up at Mesa (yes, Mesa) a trip to Boise for a week, then move him up to Kane County for the rest of the year.

        • 5412

          Hi,

          College competition is not even close to AA ball. I have seen many an all American flame out in AA.

          My son played on a div II national championship team with several all Americans. His team was 29-5 against Div. I competition including drubbing the top ranked Div. I school at the time. AA is what seperates the really good from the elite.

          I am not saying to start Bryant in Daytona, but it might be good to let him get his feet wet a bit before throwing him to the wolves.

          5412

  • Blublud

    Bryant will sign. There is no need to worry. He’ll get much less then what we people have been saying he’ll get.

    • cubchymyst

      I still think he gets around 6 million or a little over. Even giving Bryant 6.2 Million gives the cubs around 800K to to sign Clifton and Alamo.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Anyone know were we able to officially sign Trevor Clifton? Or were we waiting to see if we had enough bonus pool money left over after signing Bryant? I really hope we sign the kid.

    • jpeck

      Yes, the cubs signed Clifton. “overslot” about a month ago.

      • brunsmk

        He hasn’t officially signed yet from what I have read here and other sites. Probably depends on the money that goes to Bryant.

        • jpeck

          In an article by Brett on June 17th. it stated that he had signed. Not sure if anything happened after that.

          • brunsmk

            Just read Brett’s comments in this article point 2), where he isn’t sure about the signing.

            • Cheese Chad

              Yeah it sounds like the details are still unknown.

  • Cub Style

    Just as long as we’re ok financially with him not signing, I’m not worried about Bryant going back to SD. Right now, I’d give you two Kris Bryants to take one of Rodon, Turner or Beede.

    • Cub Style

      I should have probably read over this before I posted it, haha.

    • chirogerg

      I almost agree with this. If it was possible to sign everyone but Bryant, not go over the bonus pool by 5%, and get a #3 pick and the other top 5 pick we’ll “earn” this season, and then get 2 of Rodon, Beede, Turner, Cederoth, or the legit HS Catcher whose name escapes me, that would be legit. That all certainly will not happen, but my point is I wouldn’t mind if Bryant didn’t sign. The 2014 draft is more legit than this one as of now, but I think that’s what people said about this draft last year, so we’ll see how it all turns out.

    • Rebuilding

      You guys severely underestimate Kris Bryant. You don’t just shrug your shoulders and not sign a #2 overall pick. And we would have never taken him #2 over Geay if that was the attitude of the FO. He will sign and you will be glad he did in a few years

      • Rebuilding

        Gray

    • X the Cubs Fan

      Id rather have Bryant this year and Touki Toussaint, Tyler Beede, Carlos Rondon, or Michael Cederoth next year.

  • #1lahairfan

    Hey Brett,
    What’s the most you can give a draftee in college tuition money?

    Thanks.

    • HackAttack

      Not Brett obviously. There’s probably not an actual limit. But rules guru Arizona Phil posted this over at TCR the other day.

      “A player must start using the money within two years of his last MLB or minor league game or the club keeps the money.

      The tuition can only be spent on associate (JC) or bachelors degrees, not on post-grad (PhD, Masters, medical or law school). Once the player gets a B. A. or B. S., he’s done, even if he wants a second B. A. and/or B. S.

      The tuition money cannot be spent on a nice shiny new Ferrari that can be driven to & from class, or on a mansion on a hill the kid can live in while he goes to school. It’s just for tuition only.

      The fact is a lot of players never spend the tuition, or if they do they don’t come anywhere close to needing the maximum value of the tuition bonus in the contract, especially if the player just attends a JC and doesn’t pursue a B. A. or B. S. “

  • Frank F.

    Seeing as Bryant essentially came out of nowhere, the risks greatly outweigh the benefits if he were to hold out. Sure, he could go back to school. And the best case scenario is that he has another monster season and is again drafted next year for maybe .5-1MM more than the 6 that the Cubs reportedly are offering him. But does that justify the risk that he completely falls off next year and loses everything?

    • #1lahairfan

      He did not come out of nowhere.

    • Die hard

      Bingo! Unless he likes the college life and hopes another team drafts him next year

    • Dumpgobbler

      Bryant has been highly touted for a long time.

    • chirogerg

      1st round talent out of HS, but said he wouldn’t sign, so he fell

  • Fastball

    Gaurantee that Bryant starts out at AA as it pays quite a bit more and he will move to AAA by this time next season which is even more base pay. Next step the MLB roster and he is at decent money for 1 year out of college. Then if he pridyces he can get a deal.

    • Hansman1982

      Umm, the $3,000 more that he would make at AA this year ain’t shit. He will start where the cubs see fit.

    • ChicagoMike702

      He will/would definitely start at one of the A ball levels, if not a few games at rookie ball.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Almora is just a flat out stud. Kid gets a hemorrhoid one day, then goes out the next day and goes 3-4 with a SB. I think I’m on the boat of not promoting him till the start of next year. The FSL rainouts can’t be good for a prospects development. AA needs to be playing every day.

    • college_of_coaches

      The problem is this strange weather pattern. Tenn has also experienced several rainouts, including today.

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      Speaking of Daytona, I still don’t understand why the Cubs have a minor league team that far away. Same with Boise. I was amused when they moved from Peoria to Kane County for proximity reasons.

      • Zorag

        Florida makes sense because so many teams are relatively close to each other and there are some nice facilities because of spring training.

        Boise almost lost their team to Hillsboro, OR, but another team relocated there.

        Personally, I think having a wide geographic base is a good thing.

      • Dustin S

        The problem with the High-A level is that none of the 3 High-A leagues are very close to Chicago. It’s the California League (further even than Daytona), Carolina League, or the Florida State League that Daytona is part of. Carolina would be somewhat closer, but not by a lot. It’s kind of the same situation with Boise, where the 2 short-season A leagues are on the coasts, either New York-Penn league or the Northwest League.

        In both cases you’d think the big-league clubs in the Midwest would get together and build leagues at those levels closer to home, but I’m sure there are more practical reasons like finding cities to host them, being locked into stadium contracts, etc. that it hasn’t happened yet. They would also have to get at least 8 or 10 teams to jump ship all at once to form a new league, probably tough to do.

        • Zorag

          I think the only way they could would to be to absorb the Frontier League or American Association. Both are geographically closer. But then they would have to disband some MiLB teams.

  • http://bleachenation Sacko

    Boras.. The Yankee’s just love him and ARod

  • ssckelley

    This is a great day, the Cubs snagged a really good catcher in Alamo.

  • The Dude Abides

    We will know by July 12 what Bryant signs for, everything before is just speculative at best. BUT signing this catcher is a nice get,

    Brett what is the total players signed to date? Thanks

  • Lou Brown

    Hey look, Ian Stewart is playing against Iowa tonight. I am suprised he didn’t take a few days to report.

    • Zorag

      He played yesterday, too.

  • Jason

    I think it’s a bad sign in generally that he isn’t signed yet. if he was a team player he’d be playing ball somewhere for the cubs. instead he’s bickering about money. how about take your below slit huge payday and start pricing your worth it. hit up kane county and hope for domination. maybe you can see Florida with a solid run

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If I was facing what might be my only chance to get serious money for the rest of my life, you better believe I’d be holding out for every penny. Bryant doesn’t owe the Cubs anything, and he’s a fastball to the head away from having no career.

      • Zorag

        I thought the general consensus was that he’d get all the money that was left.

      • TonyP

        Yet a lot of guys in a similar situation have already signed without holding out this late to squeeze out every penny…..

        • Nick

          I understand most first rd. picks have already signed but this is the guy with the most leverage by far. By nature of being number 2 overall and a college junior he has more leverage than anyone. Use it while you can. Unlike Appel though who went eighth in the prior draft Bryant really has nothing to gain to go back to school and I think this is why we are seeing such a hold out with him.

          • ssckelley

            He does not have much leverage at all, he has very little to gain and 5-6 million to lose by going back to college.

          • Serious Cubs Fan

            Not huge leverage. Bryant was the #2 pick. If he goes back to school then he risks injury, poor play, parts of his game being exposed, and next years draft look top heavy with better elite prospects (hard to tell bc a lot can happen in a year though). He’s betting on going #1 in the draft next year, and when he goes to negotiate next years contract IF he goes number #1 or #2 he’ll have no leverage since he’s a senior. He has a ton too lose

            • Rebuilding

              Exactly. It’s in everyone’s best interest that he sign and so he will. I just wish he would so people would stop talking about punting the #2 overall pick for a #3 next June. It’s silly

              • SenorGato

                It really is, especially since its usually the same crowd calling for it that is worried about overpaying for the #2 player.

            • SenorGato

              The way you describe it, the player has only a hint of leverage in the first place.

              • SenorGato

                No matter when drafted.*

          • TonyP

            I understand the rational, I just don’t like it. I would rather have a kid eager to sign and get playing than worry about every penny. I obviously don’t know what the spread is, but I hope it 7 figures and Bryant doesn’t cost us other players.

            • Rebuilding

              Maybe it’s not even about money. Maybe Bryant really did want to clear his head and take a little time off before he embarks on his profession. There are plenty of kids that backpack Europe after college and I don’t see people up in arms about it. It’s been a little over 3 weeks… It’s not going to stunt his development at all

              • TonyP

                I’m more concerned about the ability to sign others not Bryant’s development. Until he signs the FO doesn’t know how much can be spent on the rest of the unsigned guys. If he goes all the way to the last minute and we miss out on some guys it will be disappointing, but yes he is entitled to do whatever he wants.

                • Rebuilding

                  I think Alamo is about the last overslot type sign that was realistic. So now both sides know exactly what is left and this should get wrapped up soon

      • OCCubFan

        But kids think they are immortal and indestructible. So, if I were his age with his talent, I might think that the sooner I get my professional career underway, the sooner I reach free agency and the really big payday. And I get more time in my prime at the big league level.

    • mjhurdle

      while i kinda see where your frustration comes from, i don’t see a lot of people in the job interviews i give saying “hire me way below what the market says i should be hired for just so i can prove to you that i am worth that money in a year or 2 and you can pay me then.”
      Why should Bryant be any different? in fact, he has even a greater right to get his money now due to the volatile nature of his career field.

  • BABIP (MichCubFan)

    You can definitely see it from his side. People are just worried in the moment, but just like it worked last year with Almora, some guys sign at the deadline. Not a big deal.

  • http://JUICEDMOTORSPORTS.COM JUICED1

    I’d like to see him playing already. I just saw that Mark Appeal made his first start for Houston. Believe it was their short season A team (a college senior going to short season A ball). I get that you need to get paid as an athlete but don’t you want to get out there and prove yourself.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Indians just DFA’d former top prospect Carlos Carrasco. Could be an interesting pick up if they tried to stash him at Iowa. I know the numbers aren’t pretty but they could try and convert him into a reliever down in Iowa. He has pretty good stuff and throws hard. I think a change of scenery and new coach might be worth picking him up and trying to stash him in Iowa. Couldn’t hurt

    • Tim

      I agree with you on this. Carrasco is a worth while guy to take a flyer on, with our bullpen you can never take enough chances on guys with live arms. Worst case scenario you cut them loose if they suck, like Loe early this year. Best case you have Kevin Gregg on your hands. No reason not to make a run at him.

      In regards to Hairston, I wonder how this minor deal effects Washington’s pursuit of Garza. By that I mean, why not try and get both players if you really wanted them now? To acquire them individually you would think would cost the Nationals more. I am not saying this takes them out of the Garza market, I just think it is an interesting deal. The Nats are known to be after starting pitching, they are in “win now” mode, they are under performing this season but still in the race, why not get Garza in this deal too?

      I also wonder if this type of situation has happened before. A team, in this case the Nationals, interested in a player (Garza) trade with players team (Cubs) for a different player (Hairston), does that team(Nats) ever go back and make a deal for the original player it wanted (Garza). I cannot recall a scenario like this has happened, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t, but I do think it leads to a strange dynamic between the teams. I would bet the Nationals don’t try and get Garza now.

      I know the logic is a little weird, but we’ll see

  • ssckelley

    If I am looking at the draft list correctly I believe Alamo makes #24 of the 40 draft picks signed, hopefully Bryant will be #25 soon.

    After the draft I read a number of grades given out for teams drafts, are there any that rerank them after the July 12th deadline? IMO a ranking/grade after everyone has signed would make more sense.

  • North Side Irish

    Josh Timmers (@Cubsminorswrap) tweeted at 9:38 PM on Sun, Jul 07, 2013:
    Good 1st pro inn for @RobZastryzny_8 f9, k looking, bb, k swinging. His offspeed stuff too good for NWL hitters.

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      I see Mark Buehrle written all over Zastryzny.

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        One positive is that Zastryzny throws harder then Buehrle ever did. Not sure if Zastryzny will Buehrle’s pitch control though

  • TheMagicMan

    Ha, Iowa Cubs are playing Alburquere right now. Guess who.. Ian Stewart 0 for 3 with a run, walk, and two K’s. Now Marmol needs to come in

  • kenster

    Cubs traded Hairston

  • Joe

    Hairston is gone to the Nationals now. That HR today did wonders for his trade value.

  • SenorGato

    Probably my favorite of the HS players drafted and signed. Has the right size and athleticism to be ’bout that life.

  • todd mccombs

    Boras and the Cubs are only a few 100k away from an agreement – Bryant will not be going to 2A when he signs ( prob going to rookie ball)- Next year slots might be smaller than this years years slot money(still not decided) – That’s if Bryant is a number one pick (there is a chance of not repeating his numbers,he gets hurt or someone puts up better numbers and they are younger) -Cubs will look stupid if they don’t sign him – but Bryant and Boras take on a huge risk for small reward if Bryant doesn’t sign.

    Two much money to be lost – smart money goes with a bryant signing for about 6.2 mil before the deadline.

    • TonyP

      You have inside information or just speculation?

  • #1lahairfan

    I hope we are not selling low on Hairston.

  • todd mccombs

    I also think this is going to be a big week – Garza might be traded along with Bryant signing – propels the cubs to the number one farm system in baseball. Should have 7 to 8 top 100 prospects in baseball.

    • Michael

      They will be a top 3 but not 1 simply for the fact not a single pitcher will be in the top 100 and I believe that hurts their rankings unless they trade Garza for a top pitching prospect

      • TonyP

        I wonder where Pierce Johnson will land, he is having a nice year. Top 150? Top 200?

        • Michael

          I would guess around the 150 mark if he continues taking strides next year then I could see him cracking the top 100

          • X the Cubs Fan

            He’s definitely in the top 150, he may be right outside the top 100 for this coming season.

        • Kyle

          I don’t think there’s really any difference between 150 and 200. Sometime after 75, it becomes a big, undifferentiated blob.

  • kubphan82

    Someone wake up Brett… Cub stuff happens every day at every hour, lol..

    We love ya Brett…

  • #1lahairfan

    There is an international slot coming with the unamed pitching prospect in the Hairston deal.

    • X the Cubs Fan

      I’m good.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Where did you see that? Everything I’ve seen just says the minor league pitcher.

      • SenorGato

        I wonder if Matt Purke’s injuries have dropped his stock enough to be had for 1.5 years of Scott Hairston. That would be way more interesting than I expect, though at this point he’s probably hoping to be Tom Gorzellany, a big pitching prospect until shoulder injuries sapped arm strength.

        • X the Cubs Fan

          John Heyman says its a class a pitcher for what its worth.

    • #1lahairfan

      Never mind guys that’s what I believe was being thrown around a couple hours ago.

      I probably messed up. So the return will likely just be a pitching prospect now.

  • another JP

    Given the low BABIP of Hairston, I’d have to think the Cubs would get a decent pitcher from the Nats– probably a lower level prospect. Or someone that has potential but is injured. I guess a lot depends on how much salary the Cubs are willing to pay and whether there’s any IFA money involved.

  • BABIP (MichCubFan)

    I wonder if tomorrow might be a busy day….like more busy than just trading Hairston.

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