Cubs Get Commitment From Matt Szczur

THURSDAY: The Cubs announced that they have reached an agreement with Szczur. He will fully commit to baseball and set his pro football career aside. "We look forward to supporting and fostering [Szczur's] continued development as a baseball player,” Cubs GM Jim Hendry said.

TUESDAY: Outfielder Matt Szczur has verbally agreed to a deal worth $1.5MM with the Cubs, tweets Jim Callis of Baseball America. Tony Pauline first reported the deal (on Twitter).

Szczur, 21, was the Cubs' fifth round pick in the 2010 draft. He agreed to a $100K signing bonus at the time and hit .347/.414/.465 in 116 A-ball plate appearances after signing. Szczur then returned to Villanova for his senior football season, and this new contract buys him away from a potential NFL career.

The original contract called for a $500K bonus if Szczur committed to the Cubs in writing before the NFL combine in February, but it's unclear if that money is still in play. Baseball America recently ranked Szczur as Chicago's seventh best prospect, though that was before the Matt Garza trade thinned their system.


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74 Comments on "Cubs Get Commitment From Matt Szczur"


baseball52
4 years 6 months ago

Thank Jesus!

AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs
4 years 6 months ago

Szczczczczczczur

4 years 6 months ago

It’s pronounced “Caesar,” as in Julius, if anyone was wondering.

4 years 6 months ago

Oh, didn’t see this when I made my last post asking.

What nationality is it?

DunkinDonuts
4 years 6 months ago

On jest Polski, oczywiscie.

Tko11
4 years 6 months ago

Naprawde?

crunchy1
4 years 6 months ago

If he can make it, he’d have a huge following here in Chicago. Very large Polish population on the NW side of the city — not too far from the park.

4 years 6 months ago

Actually, I’m pretty sure the Cubs just signed a misspelling of Max Scherzer.

Karkat
4 years 6 months ago

This guy needs to make it to the majors *pronto* so I can hear Tim McCarver attempt to say “Szczur.”

start_wearing_purple
4 years 6 months ago

I’d prefer he get fired, he’s an awful sportscaster.

Karkat
4 years 6 months ago

Well sure, but since he’s here we might as well enjoy how terrible he is. He should really stick to singing selections from the American Songbook.

johnsilver
4 years 6 months ago

Compared to some others like Bob Prince, Joe Morgan, Dewayne Staats to name a few.. He is outstanding. Though he can get on nerves sometimes with his tirades.

4 years 6 months ago

this kid isnt just a great athlete but a great person. he donated his bone morrow and didnt play in a couple of baseball games. he derserves everything he gets.

NorthSideIrish
4 years 6 months ago

He donated marrow to a one year old girl with leukemia who he had never met before. The surgery caused him to miss over a month of the baseball season.

firealyellon
4 years 6 months ago

harvesting marrow is quite lucrative; the Ricketts are geniuses.

4 years 6 months ago

This guy will be on the fast track to the Majors with the cubs. He simply oozes talent! The North Side has a major prospect to follow here! Great News for cubs fans!

4 years 6 months ago

Exszczeptional news.

4 years 6 months ago

Pronunciation please.

counciltucky
4 years 6 months ago

Sneeze, and then add “er” at the end.

4 years 6 months ago

Is this one of those guys that is a first/second round guy who fell to the 5th round due to football status? if so, Cubs got a steal here.

crunchy1
4 years 6 months ago

Here’s a report Aaron Fitt from Baseball America…

“The thing that jumps out at you is his athleticism,” Fitt said. “He’s a freak athlete. He’s just lightning fast. He’s still learning how to play the outfield, so he is a little raw in that respect, but the more he concentrates on baseball the better he is going to get. The only reason he is not a first-round pick is because he’s got rough edges to polish up.”

In case you’re wondering, he probably would have been a 3rd or 4th round pick in football as a WR.

4 years 6 months ago

Well that’s good news for the Cubs then. Also a very smart move for him, as baseball has a much better CBA from player’s perspectives (guaranteed salaries, also less injury risk), and hopefully he doesn’t follow the career path of the last WR-turned Cubs prospect.

crunchy1
4 years 6 months ago

Lol…I hope not. Another WR turned baseball prospect with a hard to spell name. Szczur is considered to have more natural baseball skills than Smardzija though. We’ll see. He’s a long way from the majors right now.

Callis of BA just had a nice write up on Szczur and said he would have easily been a first round pick.

coachofall
4 years 6 months ago

Just someones opinion but Keith Law just said in his weekly chat that he projects as a 4th or 5th OF type based on multiple scouts analysis’

crunchy1
4 years 6 months ago

He’s probably going to be the type of guy who brings wide ranges of opinions, partly because there’s been limited opportunity to see him play. As a Cub fan who’d like to see us with a bit more speed, I’m hoping the more optimistic reports are correct!

crunchy1
4 years 6 months ago

Nice. Cubs couldn’t afford to lose Szczur after trading away Lee. He’s probably our only legitimate leadoff prospect right now. Can’t wait to see what this kid can do now that he’s going to focus strictly on baseball.

firealyellon
4 years 6 months ago

I didn’t know ‘leadoff’ was a baseball position.

crunchy1
4 years 6 months ago

I didn’t think this was too hard to understand, but I’ll explain it to you. First of all, I said leadoff PROSPECT. Not leadoff position. The ability to leadoff was Lee’s greatest value to the Cubs as a prospect. It’s not his ability to play SS, since we have a 21 year old starting in the majors already. It’s not even as our best hitting middle infield prospect since we have other prospects who hit better than he does. His value on offense was speed and the ability to get on base, two things that Szczur is expected to contribute.

chance18
4 years 6 months ago

No love for Jackson? I know he might outgrow the leadoff spot and be a middle of the order guy, but he has the speed an on base skills to be our leadoff guy by 2012.

crunchy1
4 years 6 months ago

Jackson’s on-base skills are tremendous. I do think he’ll outgrow leadoff and have enough power to have more value in the middle of the lineup. If he doesn’t he’d be a great option to have at the top of the order — but I’d be a little disappointed if he didn’t develop 20-25 home run power.

chance18
4 years 6 months ago

No love for Jackson? I know he might outgrow the leadoff spot and be a middle of the order guy, but he has the speed an on base skills to be our leadoff guy by 2012.

chance18
4 years 6 months ago

No love for Jackson? I know he might outgrow the leadoff spot and be a middle of the order guy, but he has the speed an on base skills to be our leadoff guy by 2012.

BlueCatuli
4 years 6 months ago

What about Brett Jackson?

ellisburks
4 years 6 months ago

Won’t somebody PLEASE think about Brett Jackson??

Jntg4
4 years 6 months ago

Great, now the Cubs have Colvin, Jackson, and Szczur on the horizon (or in Colvin’s case, in the Majors). Only problem is that Soriano is a roadblock until 2014.

crunchy1
4 years 6 months ago

I think by the time Szczur is ready, Soriano will be gone. Could be an OF of Colvin in LF, Szczur in CF, and Jackson in RF. That’s a pretty athletic trio.

ubercubsfan
4 years 6 months ago

Unfortunately, I believe the DH will finally hit the NL after the 2012 when the MLBPA has to renegotiate with owners. Real baseball will be over and replaced with the handicapped version. :(

firealyellon
4 years 6 months ago

the DH gives AL teams a huge advantage in interleague play; you should be happy about this.

ubercubsfan
4 years 6 months ago

Why do you want Al Yellon fired? lol

Gumby65
4 years 6 months ago

Introducing the DH fulltime in the NL during the age of the internet? Not likely.

Jntg4
4 years 6 months ago

Ya, and Golden could be a factor too, in which case the DH would be good to have.

crunchy1
4 years 6 months ago

Almost forgot about Golden — another great athlete. Hopefully they all pan out.

chance18
4 years 6 months ago

And Ha is a another guy who could be in the OF mix with a solid 2011 at Daytona.

disgustedcubfan
4 years 6 months ago

I don’t think 4 more years of Soriano in left field is going to happen.
At some point, probably in 2013, the Cubs are going to have to suck it up, release Soriano, and eat that last 2 years of the contract.
Paying him 18 mill per, over the next 4 years is a disaster. But trotting him out there every day, blocking young talent you’re trying to develop makes it twice the disaster.

jb226
4 years 6 months ago

I doubt he will be released, barring some horrendous turn for the worse.

Soriano won’t be worth his contract in those years; that was true the day he signed it, and has only gotten more true as he has chronically failed to live up to expectations even in the early years. This is a man who stole 41 bases the year before he came to Chicago, and 53 in the four years since then.

But that ship has sailed. We’re paying him, whether he’s playing for us or we release him.

What you’re really talking about, then, is a performance that is so bad that it would be worthwhile to pay him NOT to play for you, pay a prospect to pay for you, and start his arbitration clock to do it. That would be quite the terrible performance indeed to justify all of that. Presumably that prospect isn’t particularly proven in the major leagues if you need to entertain eating $18MM for him to have a place to play. I just don’t see it happening, as I said, unless Soriano’s performance just falls off a cliff.

That said, however, I think that if his performance does NOT fall off a cliff in those later years, we might be able to find a taker for him via trade — at least assuming he’s willing to waive the NTC. Believe it or not, Soriano has outplayed his contract so far (according to Fangraphs’ value + Cot’s for pay), mostly due to a huge surplus in his first year. If he declines slightly each year from last year’s performance, I don’t think it would be unrealistic to find a team willing to pay about half of the salary to take him.

BlueCatuli
4 years 6 months ago

Don’t discount Reggie Golden.

Wrek305
4 years 6 months ago

Is it too much to ask who he is? and will be on the 25 man roster.. they now have 7 OFers Hendry is awful why is he signing and trading for more OFers Reed Johnson is an awesome signing but getting two OFers in two seperate trades and now signing another outfilelder makes no sense.. it like Hendry has a OF fetish like he had a 2nd baseman fetish a few years back they literally had 7 player on the 25 man roster that orignally played 2nd

crunchy1
4 years 6 months ago

He’s going to be in A ball — no higher than low class A Peoria and he will not be on the 25 man roster or even the 40 man roster for now. This guy is still a few years away. Could be our leadoff man of the future.

chance18
4 years 6 months ago

It’s called depth and competition.

BlueCatuli
4 years 6 months ago

He’s called a buffoon.

jb226
4 years 6 months ago

Glad I’m not the only one who has noticed. Here’s hoping that Disqus adds the ability to block seeing posts from certain users in the near future.

boblongsports
4 years 6 months ago

Former Villanova Wildcat Football and Baseball great, glad to have him on the squad. Wrigley Field is the new Szczur’s Palace!!! Go Cubbies!!

4 years 6 months ago

he is actually an AMAZING football player too. he plays running back and WR. hes good at whatever he does.

Wrek305
4 years 6 months ago

too bad saramarjrda didn’t stick with football he’s horrible at pitching

chance18
4 years 6 months ago

And Ha is a another guy who could be in the OF mix with a solid 2011 at Daytona.

bobbybaseball
4 years 6 months ago

How did that whole giving up football thing work out for Jeff Samardzija?

jb226
4 years 6 months ago

Well, he signed a $10MM major-league deal so… not too bad.

crunchy1
4 years 6 months ago

All that without getting chased by 260 lb linebackers who run 4.5 40s. $10M and he’ll eventually retire with his head and body in tact. That’s a slicker move than any he ever showed on the field at Notre Dame.

goner
4 years 6 months ago

Now that Szczur is a millionaire, hopefully he can buy a vowel.

jpkinney7
4 years 6 months ago

sippin sczcurp

4 years 6 months ago

Cubs should trade Samardzija to the Bears for someone unimportant like Devin Armoushodu