Chicago Cubs Prospects: 2023 MLB draft class fully signed, where will the players go?

The Chicago Cubs managed to sign all of their 2023 draft picks, now we just need to figure out where these players will start their professional careers.
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3rd Round

Josh Rivera SS Florida

Slot Value: $872,400

Signing Bonus: $725,000 (Underslot)

Total Bonus Pool O/U: -$153,100

Josh Rivera was the highest-rated college senior available and the only reason he fell to the third round was probably because he had already discussed this large signing bonus with the Cubs. It’s more common for teams to prey on college seniors and sign them to miniscule bonuses to offset other costs but he almost got a full-slot bonus because he was just that dominant this season.

I could see him following a similar trajectory to Shaw, where he could end the season as high as AA Tennessee, but it’ll be important to avoid a logjam at High-A South Bend where the Cubs will still want to have teenagers Cristian Hernandez and Jefferson Encarnacion working on their defense while having Rivera and Shaw likely adjusting to new positions off of shortstop. 

4th Round

Will Sanders RHP South Carolina

Slot Value: $591,800

Signing Bonus: $600,000 (Overslot)

Total Bonus Pool O/U: -$161,300

Sanders will likely be similar to Wiggins in that the Cubs will give him time to continue recovering before assigning him anywhere. He strikes me as the more likely of the two to stick as a starter so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him spend half of the season next year (or until he dominates) in Myrtle Beach and finish the season in High-A South Bend. 

5th Round

Michael Carico C Davidson

Slot Value: $416,900

Signing Bonus: $400,000 (Underslot)

Total Bonus Pool O/U: -$144,400

Signing potentially the top offensive catcher in the draft to an under slot deal in the 4th round is a pretty big win. His beginning location is going to be dependent on what the Cubs think his permanent position will be. If they want to develop him as a catcher with other strong catchers in the system already (Miguel Amaya, Pablo Aliendo, Moises Ballesteros, etc.) then I see him spending a lot of time at Myrtle Beach.

However, if they recognize that the bat is the calling card he could be on a quick trajectory similar to Haydn McGeary in last year’s draft. If the Cubs play him primarily as a 1B/DH I could see him end this season at South Bend and potentially start as high as AA Tennessee to start next season.