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Cubs nowhere close to concerned over top pick
MILWAUKEE – Don’t make the mistake of getting too concerned over national reports saying the Cubs and their top draft pick are “nowhere close to a deal.”
Cubs officials won’t make any public comments on the talks but don’t seem particularly worried over the no-news report that agent Scott Boras’ wants more than the $6.7 million “slot” MLB assigned to the No. 2 overall pick to get his guy, Kris Bryant, signed.
Because the most important thing that’s “nowhere close” is the July 12 deadline for getting a deal done, a date the Cubs anticipated all along would be the day they get the deal done.
And these kinds of reports commonly arise this time of year with little correlation to how things actually play out, more often posturing than substance.
The fact is the Cubs could give Bryant a “below-slot” bonus and still give him the top deal in this year’s draft because No. 1 pick Mark Appel – also a Boras client – got a below-slot $6.35 million deal from Houston.
Bryant could refuse to sign and return for his senior year at San Diego – as Appel did at Stanford – but it’s hard to imagine he’d improve his draft stock with the extra year.
Scouting insiders say there already are two or three position players eligible for next year’s draft that project well enough to challenge Bryant as the top non-pitcher a year from now.
And given the Cubs’ acknowledged path of no short-cuts in their organizational overhaul, failing to sign Bryant wouldn’t be devastating, if only because it would mean being granted next year’s No. 3 overall pick – along with the commensurate extra bonus allotment – in addition to what figures to be another top 10 pick on 2013 “merit.”