Did I give you enough distance from today’s disappointing loss to allow you to enjoy some good news?
Today, the Chicago Cubs reportedly agreed to a deal with their first first-round pick, lefty Brendon Little:
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 21, 2017
Little, who left UNC for the State College of Florida after his freshman year, was eligible for the draft a little earlier than a college player normally would be (junior college players are not subject to the three-year requirement), so he is still just 20 years old. Getting him to sign an under slot deal of any amount is excellent, so the Cubs did well to save nearly $175,000 against their bonus pool with the signing.
And it’s not as if Little was an overdraft – he was expected to go right around when the Cubs selected him.
The Cubs’ bonus pool this year is $7,454,900, and with the 5% they can go over (without incurring a loss-of-pick penalty), the Cubs can spend up to $7,827,645 on bonuses (note: only the amount over $125,000 for picks after round ten count against the pool).
The savings from Little, and other picks in the top ten rounds, will allow the Cubs to be aggressive in trying to sign players with other options – going to college, for example – later in the draft. They may also need to go over slot to sign sixth rounder Jeremy Estrada, a high schooler was a top one or two round talent coming into the spring season, but fell off.
For much more on the mechanics of the signing process, check our draft primer.
You can read much more on Little, who instantly becomes one of the Cubs’ best pitching prospects, here in our lengthy Getting To Know post, together with some video.
Having thrown 85.1 innings already this year, it’s unlikely we’ll see Little getting into too much action in rookie ball and/or Low-A this season. But I’d be surprised if he doesn’t make a few appearances later this year, just to get his feet wet. Next season figures to be his full-season debut, though.