The Cubs signed first-round draft pick Kris Bryant on Wednesday for a franchise-record $6.7 million bonus, and are likely to send the third baseman to Class A Boise to start his pro career.
The signing will be announced today after Bryant passes his physical.
Bryant, the college player of the year at San Diego and the No. 2 pick in the draft, will receive the suggested value for his slot, giving him the largest bonus since new draft rules were instituted last year. The Astros paid No. 1 pick Mark Appel, a pitcher from Stanford, $6.35 million, which was below his slot value.
Mark Prior held the previous record for a Cubs draft pick, getting a $4 million bonus in 2001 as part of a $10 million deal. Jorge Soler received a $6 million bonus last year as part of a $30 million deal, but he was an international signing and not a draft pick.
General manager Jed Hoyer wouldn’t discuss the signing but said Bryant is likely to start at Boise.
“We need to get a feel on how rusty he is,” Hoyer said. “They made the regional but not the super regional, so it was late May when he played his last game.
“He probably hasn’t faced any live pitching, though he’s been hitting in a cage. Once we get a feel for his conditioning, we’ll figure out exactly what the right path is. But certainly he’ll start out at the very low levels, and we’re hopeful he can move quickly right through those.”
Bryant told the media on draft day he felt he was ready for the majors right now. Of course, that was never in the cards.