Well, they can’t all be positive tea leaves, right?
According to a report from HornSports.com – a Texas sports/recruiting site – Chicago Cubs draftee Michael Cantu won’t be signing with the Cubs this year, and will instead honor his commitment to play baseball at the University of Texas.
Cantu was a top 150 draft prospect this year, and the Cubs took the catcher in the 30th Round. Although he slipped that far because teams believed he would be tough to sign, given that it’s not like he was taken as a total flyer in the 38/39/40th Round, the Cubs clearly hoped there would be a chance they could sign him away from Texas. If the HornSports report is accurate, that isn’t going to happen.
We looked at the Cubs’ bonus pool situation yesterday, and it remains possible that the organization could have multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars left (after signing 6th round pick Dylan Cease for something near $1 million, if that ends up happening) to try and entice a late-round signee (remember, the first $100,000 they give to a draftee in Rounds 11 through 40 doesn’t count against the bonus pool). It’s possible that the Cubs concluded that, no matter how they played with their funds, they weren’t going to have enough to meet Cantu’s price. Perhaps the Cubs will save that Hail Mary money for 23rd Round bat Isiah Gilliam or 37th Round catcher Riley Adams. Neither is likely for the Cubs, but we’ll see.
It would have been nice to add Cantu, a very legitimate catching prospect, to the system, as the Cubs can still use more catching depth. With first rounder Kyle Schwarber maybe-kinda-sorta doing some catching, that helps, and third rounder Mark Zagunis is clearly a catcher. Also, there are a couple lesser catching prospects the Cubs took later on who are likely to sign, even if they probably aren’t impact types. So the Cubs did add some catching in this draft.
And, for the record, the signing deadline isn’t until mid-July, so, technically, anything’s possible.