2017 MLB Draft: Twins sign No. 1 pick Royce Lewis to reportedly under-slot deal

Earlier this week, the Minnesota Twins made California high schooler Royce Lewis the No. 1 pick in the MLB draft. On Sunday, they made him a multi-millionaire.

Lewis and the Twins have reportedly agreed to a bonus north of $6.7 million, reports Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports. The team announced the signing -- though not the bonus terms -- and held an introductory press conference at Target Field on Sunday afternoon.

The slot value for the No. 1 pick was $7,770,700 this year. That Lewis signed so quickly and for an under-slot bonus suggests the two sides agreed to a deal ahead of time. Pre-draft deals are technically illegal, but every team does it, and MLB does not enforce the rule.

Lewis, 18, was ranked the fifth-best prospect in the draft class by Baseball America. Here is our analysis from draft day:

Lewis may have the best tools of any position player in the draft, headlined by top-of-the-scale speed on the bases and excellent power at the plate. It's not certain he'll be a shortstop long-term, but if he doesn't he may have a future at another premium position in center field.  

By signing Lewis below-slot, the Twins will now be able to use the $1 million or so in draft slot savings on other players. That, of course, was the plan all along. Spread the money around.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories