Jim Callis of Baseball America has the breakdown of this year’s draft pick signing bonus pool and the total for the first 10 rounds is $202 million, which is up 8.2 percent compared to last year.
Houston has the No. 1 overall pick, so not surprisingly the Astros’ pool is an MLB-leading $11.7 million, followed by the Cubs at $10.6 million and the Rockies at $10.2 million. And because they forfeited first-round picks to sign free agents the Brewers ($3.9 million), Angels ($3.0 million), and Nationals ($2.7 million) are the only teams with a pool of less than $4.5 million.
Callis has a lot more details about the draft and available money, so check out his whole article.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.