On Monday night, the Chicago Cubs drafted high school outfielder Albert Almora. Almora was the impact player that the Cubs’ front office was intending to draft with the sixth overall selection. In fact, Almora was the player that the Cubs had at the top of their draft board.
Almora is a high school senior whose work ethic comes highly regarded. It is that type of work ethic that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer want to see out of the players that call Wrigley Field home.
The next step for the Cubs is to make Almora an official member of the organization. This, of course, means that the team will have reach an agreement with Florida native. Almora has been compared to the likes of Adam Jones and Ryan Braun, but the outfielder is not letting his potential get to his head. Rather, there have been some reports that have suggested that Almora has made attending college a priority.
Almora has a full scholarship to play baseball at the University of Miami, and the outfielder may be using that as leverage against the Cubs if the team fails to offer him more than the slotted $3.25 million for the sixth overall draft pick. Remember under the new conditions of the collective bargaining agreement, the Cubs have a total of a little under $7.94 million to spend on the 12 picks that they selected in the first 10 rounds of the draft.
Meaning if the team were to sign Almora to a contract that was above the slotted value, that may provide a challenge in trying to sign their other draft picks. I am not too concerned with Almora and attempt to use his scholarship against the Cubs. I think this play by Almora is a direct result from his agent Scott Boras. Boras tends to hold teams hostage with their own draft selections, though 9 times out of 10, a deal is agreed upon before the deadline.
If we were having this conversation in August, then it would be the time to panic. But it is a mere two days after Almora was drafted, there is no need to worry as of yet.
Cue the one liners in 3..2..1
Newly recognized free agent Jorge Soler held a workout for Major League teams on Wednesday and the Cubs were in attendance. There has been a ton of smoke to the Cubs pursuit of Soler. At one point, it was believed that the Cubs and Soler had agreed to a 4 year, $27 million contract. Those reports proved to be false. However, there has been talk that Soler and his representatives have requested that teams make their strongest offer for the outfielder by Thursday. Soler needs to sign by July 2 before the new CBA limitations on international spending are put in place. Soler is reportedly looking for a contract that is worth $25 million to $35 million. The Cubs have always had a target on Soler. He was their Albert Pujols of the off-season.
In news that is not really news, Ryan Dempster told reporters once again that he is open to being traded if the move is in the best interest of the organization. This no different than what Dempster has already said this season. With the draft over, the Cubs’ front office figures to put an emphasis on changing the Major League team. Those changes will likely begin with Dempster. Dempster has been the Cubs’ best starting pitcher this season, and being at the age of 35, the veteran starting pitcher is almost certainly going to be traded before July 31.
The Chicago Cubs placed reliever Blake Parker on the 60 day disabled list due to a right elbow stress reaction. In a corresponding move, the Cubs purchased the contract of Manny Corpas from the Iowa Cubs.