The Cubs have reached an agreement with their first-round draft pick Kyle Schwarber, a catcher/outfielder out of Indiana University, according to Carrie Muskat of Cubs.com. The report indicates Schwarber was signed for $3.125 million. Considering Schwarber was the fourth overall pick in the entire draft, that's pretty low. Here's the good news for the Cubs:
For those unfamiliar, the way the MLB draft system works is each team only has an alloted pool of money to spend with each pick in the draft getting a "slot" value. So when a team is able to sign a player well below the slot value like this, they have more money to sign other players by going over the slot value.
In the case of the Cubs, for example, they grabbed several high-upside, high-school pitchers a little bit later who are committed to colleges and are also considered tough to sign. With the savings from the Schwarber signing, they'll have some extra money to be able to go above the draft slot on a few of these guys.
As for Schwarber himself, the left-handed hitter posted a line of .358/.464/.659 with 16 doubles, 14 homers, 48 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 59 games for Indiana this past season. The Cubs publicly said they loved his approach at the plate, which shows through with 44 walks against 30 strikeouts. He's a two-time All-America selection and was widely viewed as the top collegiate hitter entering the draft.
The Cubs have announced that Schwarber will report to their Rookie league affiliate (Boise) this coming Friday.