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.
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.