Friday was the deadline for teams to sign their picks from the 2018 MLB Draft, and the Cubs announced that they have signed 32 of their 42 draft picks including all of their top 20 picks.
The Cubs had previously announced the signing of 27 picks, but five more signed on the final few days of the signing period. They are:
Fifth-round pick Andy Weber, 2B, Virginia. (Reportedly for a $400,000 bonus)
Sixteenth-round pick Josh Sawyer, LHP, Texas.
Seventeenth-round pick Jake Reindl, RHP, Arkansas.
Twenty-seventh-round pick Niels Stone, RHP, Indian River State College (FL)
Thirty-fifth-round pick Edmond Americaan, OF, Chipola JC (FL)
Americaan was considered a reasonably-tough sign as he had been drafted in the previous two seasons and did not sign either time. It was also good that the Cubs signed Weber, as not signing a top ten pick causes a corresponding drop in bonus pool money, although I assume that the Cubs had already factored in Weber either signing or not signing when they signed their other players chosen in the top ten picks of the draft.
Three of the players who did not sign, 28th-round pick LHP Mitchell Parker, 33rd-round pick RHP Tyler Ras and 36th-round C Jacob Campbell, were “tough signs” who would likely have gone in the top 10 rounds of the draft were it not for college commitments. The Cubs final two picks, catcher Pierson Gibis and first baseman Itamar Steiner, were picks made to honor local kids who have overcome adversity. (Although it sounds like Gibis could play a bit before he was stricken with cancer and will play college ball, at least. Steiner’s story has been told before and you might have seen him singing “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” with actor Jeff Garland at Wrigley last month.)
Overall, that is an excellent ratio of signings for the Cubs. Many of these players are already in the minor league system and several are even playing in short-season Eugene, including first-round pick Nico Hoerner, second-round comp pick Paul Richan and fourth-round pick Ethan Roberts.
Other teams were not as lucky. Three first-round picks, the Braves pick RHP Carter Stewart (8th), Diamondbacks pick SS Matt McLain (25th) and Dodgers pick RHP J.T. Ginn (30th) all failed to sign, along with the first pick in the first-round supplemental round, Pirates pick RHP Gunnar Hoglund (36th). Stewart was the big name here, although reportedly the Braves found something in their physical that they didn’t like and cut his bonus offer in half.
Every other player taken in the top 10 round signed. But the four who didn’t sign are more than the three who did not sign last season and the two who did not sign in 2016.
Here’s the official press release with all the picks and those who are now Cubs in bold.