Kris BryantJon Heyman, who has an unspoken close connection with Scott Boras’s camp, today reports that the Chicago Cubs are close to signing their top draft pick, San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant … who is represented by Boras. In other words, I tend to believe Heyman on this one.

With the signing deadline looming on Friday, this would be news we’ve long waited for. It will clarify how the Cubs are able to proceed with the rest of their spending (although, strictly speaking, it’s my guess that they’ve already got that all worked out).

Interestingly, Heyman reports that Bryant is set to receive a “record” signing bonus, which actually just means that he’ll receive the largest bonus in the new slotting system, with the young man picked ahead of Bryant this year – Mark Appel – currently holding the honor. The slot value for Bryant’s pick is sufficiently higher than Appel’s bonus that, as I’ve noted before, the Cubs can make Bryant the highest-paid player while still saving money under slot. That’s now what I expect to happen.

It’s a little bit of a surprise, given that Appel is also represented by Boras. While getting the biggest bonus for Bryant is a feather in the cap, isn’t not getting the top pick – and the top overall talent – the top bonus, like, the opposite of that? I really would have thought everyone would have agreed that a bonus just under what Appel received was appropriate (if not lower). The third pick, Jonathan Gray, didn’t even top $5 million.

In any event, hopefully this will be wrapped up soon, and Bryant can get his minor league career underway. Whatever Bryant gets, I believe the Cubs will have made certain not to exceed their bonus pool by more than 5% (as high as you can go without losing a future first rounder). I just hope that there was enough money leftover for later round over slot signings.

UPDATES: According to multiple reports (including Peter Gammons and Jim Callis), Bryant is getting slot from the Cubs, or just about $6.7 million. That is surprising for any number of reasons, and modestly disappointing (not for Bryant, who absolutely should have tried to get every dollar he can), if it proves to be accurate.

That said, it’s not that disappointing, especially if the Cubs already prepared for this with respect to their later round picks. The Cubs were about $200,000 over budget before Bryant signed because of over slots in rounds 2 through 10, and Bryant signing at slot will allow them to go over their total pool by about $500,000 without losing a draft pick. Take $200,000 of that away for the earlier round over slots, and you’ve got about $300,000 to spread around the later guys. Tyler Alamo was believed to be an over slot type, as well as Michael Wagner. Each has already signed. Trevor Clifton is believed to have agreed to a deal for “third round money,” which would be $500,000 to $600,000. It sure doesn’t seem like the Cubs can accommodate that if Bryant got slot, so, I guess we’ll see what happens – maybe he’ll end up taking less.

Let’s not lose sight of the fact that Bryant is a ridiculously awesome prospect, and, when he puts pen to paper, the Cubs’ system will get a further talent injection. This is all still pending a physical and the official officialness, but that’s expected soon.

  • Lou Brown

    I was reading that Cubs signings forum. There was some figures (and tweets) out there that the Cubs should be able to sign Clifton by going right up against the limit before losing a draft pick.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Are those sources saying we can sign Clifton factoring in that they probably signed Alamo to overslot and a few others? I really hope we can sign Clifton but I don’t know how we’d have enough money in the bonus pool to sign Clifton to a reported “3rd round money” deal.

      • Jp3

        Maybe Clifton wasn’t going to college on a mathematics scholly?😁

      • Lou Brown

        I think they were saying Clifton was around 450k. 100K base, then the 350K we picked up signing Bryant (5% of the pool addition). But it was on a forum, so grain of salt.

    • ssckelley

      Yagyu posted on PSD he estimated the remaining overage to be $340,925. It is possible Alamo only signed for $100k so that would leave enough to sign Clifton for $440,925 without the Cubs losing their pick next year. The only other question is Wagner who was also considered to be an over slot guy, but maybe he signed for the 100k maximum as well.

    • Matthew Nomad

      IF his Twitter feed is indicative of anything, I doubt we’ll see any signing of Clifton.

  • stevie

    All I can say is signing Bryant is exciting, IMO. I really like a lot of the young talent we’ve added in the past few years. Theo and Jed has restocked the minors at a pretty rapid pace, plus the last Hendry draft. The future looks really bright, and it seems to me that with theo in place every year we will be drafting and adding good young talent, which could keep us consistantly loaded in the minors. I see the international kids we’ve added, some of the kids we’ve drafted these past two years, what we’ve added in trades, plus what we may be adding here soon, and we should have no problem having the top farm system in the game.

    With the young core we have, and hopefully we add a young major league ready arm or two in the Garza deal to those young guys, things are looking up. With the money we should have to spend year in and year out, and all the young developing talent, we should be a nightmare for teams not only in our division, the national league, but the whole majors altogether.

  • Jp3

    I’m ok with whatever deal he gets as long as the punch line isn’t WE LOSE NEXT YEAR’s FIRST ROUND PICK. Losing the ability to sign high priced IFA’s next year is one thing but losing a top 10 pick would be unacceptable and undoubtedly someone didn’t do their homework correctly on the numbers. I always give Theo/Jed the BOTD but this would be the limit.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      If International signings were draft like, we wouldn’t have done what we did this year. That said, there is 0.00000000% we lose our 1st rounder next year.

      • MichiganGoat

        Well FIRE THEO because there is still a chance based on that math… eventually zero will approach 1

  • Ivy Walls

    All I got to say is regardless of the circumstances or costs Cubs have 4 legitimate top 20 prospects between 2 and 3 years from starting in the Show…and conceivably have enough quantity in tier 2 and 3 level prospects between 1-3 years away that they could field a team mostly made up of Cub Way players with a few (probably starting pitchers) acquired through trade and FA to begin contending with the elite of the NL. When the NL finally goes DH that prospect top 20 list will grow to at least 5 and possibly an international signing from this year as well.

  • Dan

    There is NO WAY that they will lose their draft pick – you people need to relax

    • Lou Brown

      Absolutely. I think the worry was that we wouldn’t fit Clifton in after Alamo and Wagner. If it came down to it, we would not sign Clifton vs. losing a draft pick next year.

  • Wester

    Anyone here anything yet about where he’s headed? I imagine Daytona but I’d love to see tennessee

    • MichiganGoat

      Boise is what I heard on here… good move to get him started.

      • Jp3

        I heard wrigley, Brett said in the pregame. 3rd base, batting cleanup next week. Boom

      • hansman1982

        Get him mashing with wood bats before challenging him…nice.

        • Jp3

          Yeah, I know this is a backhanded compliment but he’s got a helluva swing, he just has to do it now against pros and not the WCC league… He’s going to be a stud but like you said Hans he’s got to work with the wood and big boy pitching.

      • Luke

        I still strongly suspect he’ll find himself in Mesa on the way to Boise. I’d be surprised if he is sent directly to the Northwest League after signing.

        • Wester

          Thanks Luke!

          • Wester

            Think he’ll move up this year if he does well, or finish out the year at Boise?

            • Internet Random

              “”We would need to get a feel for how rusty he is,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Wednesday. “Once we get a feel for his conditioning, we’ll figure out exactly what the right path is. Certainly, he’ll start out at the very low levels [in the Minors]. We’re hopeful he can move quickly through those.””


              • Luke

                Baring injury, he’ll move up this year. Likely in a few weeks. We can probably use Hannemann this year and players such as Saunders last year as a guide.

                • Wester

                  Well those are certainly sufficient answers, you guys rock. I can’t imagine that any other club has a message board with this accurate information, available this quickly, at this hour about their minor league system. Go Brett, Luke, everyone on the message board, and the Cubs!

        • Internet Random

          Muskat says Mesa.

    • Jimmy james

      Jesse Rodgers tweeted that homer said likely boise

      • Jimmy james

        Haha hoyer, darn autocorrect

  • Spriggs

    Just really glad they got this done!

  • THEOlogical

    Let me see if I can do my best impression of Diehard.
    Cubs sign Bryant and lose next year’s first rounder by choice. Bryant will be starting at 3b for Cubs this year and Cubs set to make playoff push. Garza stays for draft pick compensation.

  • SenorGato

    Nice. Great to have him in (whenever it happens), and great for players and agents. I am glad the Cubs respect the cost of premium talent so consistently. It’s a good sign for when they go out and get major league talent. It’s not easy to find and actually land premium talent, even in the amateur world. The farm should offer so much flexibility to do some buying next year, if not this winter (or even before if they want).

    Obviously 100% believe Bryant was the right pick at 2 over Gray.

  • Rick

    Where is Hannemann playing or is he hurt?

    • X the Cubs fan

      He’s injured but I don’t think it was serious.

  • baldtaxguy

    Wow, read these threads of comments last night. I really don’t get the negativity reactions of the signing. I would think getting your 1st round pick signed would be of higher priority than lower and middle round picks. That appears to be accomplished and there is yipping about possibly not signing high schoolers in the later rounds?

    I recall very goofy demands from some high school player (OF?) drafted last year about a premium bonus in return for him backing out of a college committment, that I believe occurred before signing Almora. He ended up not signing and going to college and I recall looking him up before June (can’t recall the player or college right now) and his freshman results were quite unspectacular, again if I recall correctly. Not that his subsequent performance really mattered but what REALLY mattered was signing Almora and the system is much better for it.

    If this year’s lower round hold-outs are trying similar, let them go to college and learn something. If you want to project losing these kids to college as poor FO negotiation skills, I suspect that you may be just using this as a vehicle for supporting a pre-existing opinion of the FO. Seems like a reach….

    • Tommy


    • MichiganGoat

      it was crazy bizarro BN last night

      • Kyle

        This is the time of year when people get really attached to third-round talents that will be repeating Peoria and forgotten in three years.

        • MichiganGoat

          Don’t you talk about Joe Schmo like that


    • ssckelley

      “If you want to project losing these kids to college as poor FO negotiation skills, I suspect that you may be just using this as a vehicle for supporting a pre-existing opinion of the FO. Seems like a reach….”

      No, I love the job the FO is doing and have said that many times. The overslot on Hannemann surprised a lot of people, when he was drafted nearly all the “experts” said it was an underslot move. I find it hard to believe Boras would advize his client to go back to college for anything over 6 million, but what do I know?

      This all came about because of Clifton’s supposed demands of 3rd round money and his supposed signing, and everyone assumed Alamo was also demanding overslot. Nobody knows what offers these kids have and perhaps the Cubs have deals with both of them already done. Perhaps myself along with everyone else complaining about Bryant’s bonus yesterday will be eating crow. If so pass me the ketchup!

      • baldtaxguy

        Hopefully you understood my point, but in case you didn’t, becuase you did not acknowledge it, I’ll ram it home for you once more:

        Who gives a crap about these two in light of signing the #2 pick of the draft? If Clifton & Alamo (great law firm name, btw) don’t sign because of their respective overslot demands, and if there is no overslot dollars in the kitty because we signed the freaking #1 position player in the draft, then bfd!! I certainly won’t eat crow if the two DON’T sign because they matter way less collectively than the freaking #1 position player in the draft. Sure, I want to SIGN ALL THE PLAYERS too, but….its the….the freaking #1 position player in the draft.

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