Cubs Sign Albert Almora

JULY 11th: The Cubs have officially announce the signing in a press release. Almora will report to the team's complex in Mesa.

JULY 9th: The Cubs have agreed to sign first round selection Albert Almora, Jim Callis of Baseball America reports (on Twitter). The high school outfielder obtains a $3.9MM bonus.

MLB recommended a $3.25MM bonus for Almora, the sixth overall selection in last month's draft. The outfielder has lots of tools and polish, Callis notes. The Cubs have now agreed to terms with their first 20 selections from the draft. Just six first round selections remain unsigned with four days to go before this Friday's deadline for signing draft picks.


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88 Comments on "Cubs Sign Albert Almora"


3 years 1 month ago

Thank God!

jb226
3 years 1 month ago

Good to hear.  I honestly don’t know a lot about him, but the crapshoot of picking again next year is frightening on its own.

BlueCatuli
3 years 1 month ago

Baseball America has a free scouting report with video. Google “Albert Almora Scouting Report” and find the link to Baseball America. Nice addition to the Cubs farm system. Big win for the front office getting Almora and Underwood signed with the new draft rules.

Bob George
3 years 1 month ago

Agreed, singing both Almora and Underwood is a nice get for the Cubs. This looks like a very good draft by the new Cubs front office and has drastically improved their farm system.

baseball52
3 years 1 month ago

Woo!

Drake
3 years 1 month ago

Who are the four unsigned in the first round?

asovermann
3 years 1 month ago

Gausmann, Appel, Giolito and Heaney I think

slider32
3 years 1 month ago

Henley also!

killian lord
3 years 1 month ago

 6 are still unsigned, Gausman, Appel, Heaney, Giolito, Shaffer and Hensley

jwsox
3 years 1 month ago

Appel isn’t going to sign. He wants strasburg money. Even though the new CBA does not allow for that. But he honestly thinks he is as good as stras

vtadave
3 years 1 month ago

Doesn’t really matter what he wants of course. Hopefully for Pirates fans sake, he looks closely at the cases of Matt Harrington and Matt Purke when he considers turning down $3 million.

Guest
3 years 1 month ago

Great news for Cubs fans.  This guy should be a stud in a few years.  I look forward to seeing Castro/Jackson/Rizzo/Baez/Soler/Almora in a few years! Now if only we can acquire some young pitching!

EDIT: Spelling

the_show
3 years 1 month ago

He’s a high school kid not likely he will be in the bigs in two years

jb226
3 years 1 month ago

It’s optimistic, to be sure, but everywhere I try to read about this guy I find some verbiage to the effect of how polished he is.  If he’s that polished I wouldn’t be surprised if he can make it up on closer to a typical college timeline than a typical high school timeline.  Or maybe evaluators just need to find a better word, heh.

BlueCatuli
3 years 1 month ago

Don’t confuse polish for MLB ready or close to MLB ready. It just means he has a polished tool set. Bubba Starling is considered a raw talent. Great athlete, needs to learn to play baseball. Almora is a baseball player.

G-Code260
3 years 1 month ago

If the Cubs trade away Dempster and Garza I suspect they will be looking for some quality young pitching prospects in return.

slider32
3 years 1 month ago

Totally agree, the Cubby’s need to trade Garza and Dempster for some young pitching. Hoyer should looks to the Jays, Padres, Dodgers, or O’s for young pitching.

Bob George
3 years 1 month ago

Other than Zack Lee, the Dodgers farm system is lacking in good SP prospects. The previous owner slashed their scouting and signing bonus budget, which destroyed their farm system.

vtadave
3 years 1 month ago

Garrett Gould, Chris Reed, Allen Webster, and Ethan Martin are all solid pitching prospects. Among guys who have already pitched in the big leagues, I’m sure teams would be interested in Rubby De La Rosa once he’s healthy and of course Nathan Eovaldi.

If you want to talk Dodgers position prospects (sans Seager and Puig) then go ahead and rip them, but there is a decent amount of young pitching in the organization.

3 years 1 month ago

A catcher that can hit would  be nice!  Soto is a one year wonder…

jb226
3 years 1 month ago

Two year wonder but yeah, he’s too unreliable for me at this point.

uww1
3 years 1 month ago

What about Baez? 

Castro/Jackson/Rizzo/Soler/Almora/Baez

Imagining the Battiong order:

Almora                 CF
Soler                    RF
Castro                  SS
Rizzo                   1st
Baez                   3rd  
Jackson               LF
Lake                   2nd
Catillo/Clevenger   C

schaddy24
3 years 1 month ago

Castro would not be hitting 3rd in that lineup. He simply doesn’t have the power potential like the other players. The lineup would look a lot more like this:

Almora
Castro
Rizzo
Soler
Baez
Jackson
Lake (assuming he makes the majors or isn’t traded)
Castillo/Clevenger

Jntg4
3 years 1 month ago

Replace Lake with Vitters

schaddy24
3 years 1 month ago

I like that a lot more. Im very skeptical about Lake. He could have a great bat but his defense is worse than Castro’s and thats saying something. I would prefer that Theo sold high on him when he works his way to AAA. We could always try and get a decent arm for him.

BDLugz
3 years 1 month ago

Castro has pretty incredible defense for a 22 year old… he has one of the highest range factors in baseball at SS and a solid UZR rating this year.

He’s improved drastically every year, and is already an above average SS.

asovermann
3 years 1 month ago

Vitters would obviously have to learn 2nd base first then since Baez projects as a 3rd baseman

WrigleyTerror37
3 years 1 month ago

 Baez has potential to be 3b, ss or 2b so it all depends what positions will be open for him

Jntg4
3 years 1 month ago

Or Baez could end up at 2B…

sdsuphilip
3 years 1 month ago

Very unlikely he will maintain the agility for a middle infield spot as his body fills out.

sdsuphilip
3 years 1 month ago

Expecting every prospect to work out is a bit much and jackson doesn’t really belong in that group.

burtonbball88
3 years 1 month ago

Granted he’s truck out a bit more over the year, I don’t think you can totally write him off. He may only need to make a couple of adjustments. Personally I think Szczur will really challenge him or Soler for a spot because of his plus speed. But still Jackson can be an above average outfielder.

3 years 1 month ago

Great signing and draft strategy.

3 years 1 month ago

When you hear the word “gamer” and “leader” on a player it always means he’s not an elite player. Thats the way scouts describe Almora. Am thinking if he ever makes it to the bigs he’s gonna be an average player.

hawkeyesforever
3 years 1 month ago

I dunno, there’s plenty of elite players on the MLB who are both “leaders” and “gamers”.  I don’t think just because you’re a “gamer” or “leader” you’re limited to being an average player.

cachhubguy
3 years 1 month ago

Seems to me that guys like Ripken and Jeter are described that way. Not too average. Why don’t we let the kid play a little before we judge him.

toddcoffeytime
3 years 1 month ago

David Eckstein.  WHAT A GAMER.

101andCounting
3 years 1 month ago

He’s a real scrapper!

RipeOn
3 years 1 month ago

Mostly those are euphemisms for “not a great athlete” and/or “white” with few exceptions.

And you could do a lot worse than be an average player, that would be a fine result for Almora, and his gamer-iness is probably just reflective of the likelihood that he’ll achieve that level of success.  It’s just a lazy way of saying he’s good but not exceptionally physically impressive.

sourbob
3 years 1 month ago

If you ask how your blind date looks and someone says, “She has a great personality,” she’s probably a cow. If they say, “She’s cute–tall, athletic, brunette. And she has a good personality,” she’s probably attractive AND has a good personality.

When scouts talk about Almora, they say he has advanced pitch recognition, terrific defensive instincts, and good makeup. They don’t say that because they’ve nothing better to say. They say that because, by all accounts, it’s true.

CubsFan5
3 years 1 month ago

The only negative thing scouts really have to say about Almora is his speed. ”
Almora has tools, game instincts and makeup; his lone weakness is his fringe-average speed, which some scouts describe as below-average. Scouts give him 60s across the board otherwise, with some giving him higher grades for his arm strength. His instincts allow him to play center field at a high level; one scout said he was a 40 runner with 80 range and said he played center field like some players do shortstop, being instinctual rather than reactive like almost all outfielders.” – John Manuel BA post. 

RipeOn
3 years 1 month ago

It’s not physically possible to have 80 defense in CF with 40 speed no matter how instinctive a player is.  That scout sounds full of it.

CubsFan5
3 years 1 month ago

80 Range not 80 defense… People felt that he’s more around 45 speed.

3 years 1 month ago

Just because they need pitching doesn’t mean they have to trade for young pitching, you trade for the best prospects available and btw its not like the Cubs have a lot of young elite hitting prospects either. 

CubbieBlueHoosier
3 years 1 month ago

With outfield prospects such as Jackson, Szczur, Soler, and now Almora, and infield prospects such as Junior Lake, Javier Baez, and Josh Vitters to go with Castro and Rizzo, they have pretty decent depth other than where it really counts–pitching.  I’d love to see the Cubs make a few moves to acquire some quality pitching prospects.

Bob George
3 years 1 month ago

Let’s be serious here in how we think of these guys as prospects. Jackson strikes out way too much, that’s why he’s still in the minors. Vitters swings at everything, has little concept of the strike zone, and can’t play defense at 3b. He’s looking like a future corner OF who mimic’s Jeff Francoeur at the plate. You can’t bribe him to walk. He’s not a top prospect, despite being a former first round pick.
Szczur the jury is still out on, hasn’t played a lot of baseball after coming from a football background. He has great defense but so far has absolutely no power. Baez looks like a very good prospect. Junior Lake is an enigma. A ton of talent but he only shows flashes of it. Soler and Almora are too far off to get excited about or know how they will adjust to better competition. Counting on any of these guys as top prospects, other than Baez, isn’t going to get us anywhere. Jackson at best grades out as a very solid major leaguer who still strikes out a ton and doesn’t hit for average. The Cubs system has a lot more talent than a year ago, but it’s still not loaded. Remember that less than 1 percent of drafted players ever make the majors, period, and not just become MLB starters. Some of the guys mentioned above will flame out, that’s just the way it is.

sdsuphilip
3 years 1 month ago

Soler, Baez, and Almora are so far away you basically ignore them when it comes to “needs”, BPA is what cubs need.

AaronAngst
3 years 1 month ago

Congrats – on another note:

What are the chances of Dale Sveum getting fired after the season, Cubs fans? Just wondering because I’d like him back as hitting coach in Milwaukee.

ratmoss
3 years 1 month ago

Expectations for this team were rock bottom low.  I think he could not win another game all year and still not get canned. 

AaronAngst
3 years 1 month ago

I figured he’d probably get another year, but you never can tell. Quade didn’t get much time, and expectations shouldn’t have been much higher, honestly. I know some of that was likely just Epstein wanting to put his guy in there… Anyway, I’d always hoped Sveum would get a legit shot at managing in Milwaukee one day.

3 years 1 month ago

 I think there’s very little chance he’s fired. Theo and Hoyer hired him knowing that this year and the next couple would be rebuilding years. That said, there wasn’t much expectation for a particularly well-performing team. Sveum is a smart guy, and Theo and Hoyer really like him. I think he’ll be around for a while, and I’m glad of that.

Bob George
3 years 1 month ago

I doubt they would would can Sveum after only 1 season, but I will say his lineups often make no sense. Why he loves to put a 3b in the OF and an OF’er at 3b, or a 2b at 3b and a 3b at 2b in the same lineup leaves me wondering if he fell on his head. Baker, a 3b, hasn’t played 1 inning at 3b this year. Until Valbuena came up and took over 3b, Mather had played a lot of 3b and done an awful job, averaging 1 error per start and the worst fielding percentage of any 3b since the 1800’s. Yet Baker plays everywhere but 3b. The other day when Barney played SS he had Baker play 2b, where Baker has no range, while Valbuena, who has played 80 percent of his games in his career at 2b or SS and has good range, played 3b, where his fielding percentage is mostly awful for his career, despite the occasional flashy play. Sveum has a love for making the team worse on defense at 2 positions. 

baseball52
3 years 1 month ago

I don’t know where you get this Baker being a 3B idea. He’s a utility player, and if he had a position, it would be 2nd base. He’s played almost 2 times as many games there as he has at 3rd.

101andCounting
3 years 1 month ago

That’s true. Valbuena really hasn’t been a bad 3B either – if he can pick up his average a bit, he might end up being a nice stopgap for another year or two until Baez is ready.

baseball52
3 years 1 month ago

You’re expecting Baez to be up quite fast. We’re going to suck for about 2-3 more years and 3rd has become a top heavy position, so I don’t really care who we have there just as long as the other positions start improving.

jb226
3 years 1 month ago

I honestly don’t see it happening.  The on-field performance has been poor, but he can’t really be blamed for that.  On the contrary, he and his staff are being given credit for Castro and Soriano’s defense improving and he was working a lot with Barney early in the year/spring training as well.  In other words, the things he actually controls have been very good overall.  Cubs have no reason to look for a martyr, so I can’t see why he would be let go.

Smrtbusnisman04
3 years 1 month ago

Well, I’m glad to see another NL Central team sign their first round picks. Pittsburgh, you are on the clock.

3 years 1 month ago

What’s gonna happen if Appel doesn’t sign? I’m curious.

ericc123
3 years 1 month ago

Pirates will get the 9th overall pick in next years draft.  That 9th overall pick will also be protected for the 2014 draft.  They would also get whatever pick in the first round their record qualifies them for this year. Short answer: they get two picks next year.

3 years 1 month ago

VERY nice addition!

Jason Zenk
3 years 1 month ago

By what I’ve seen this Kid has the “stuff” so on one hand Im happy the cubbies got the deal done. On the other hand I remember seeing his reaction to the draft, I cant find it now. But he said “he should have went 1st!” REALLY?  this kinda ego reminds me of pujols… and then we have Boras to deal with……. UGH! Im torn on this. 

Ken Roucka
3 years 1 month ago

I don’t recal him saying he should have been the 1st pick.

BDLugz
3 years 1 month ago

Because he didn’t.

Jason Zenk
3 years 1 month ago

You know I could be mistaken for someone else. But Im almost positive he DID say it. I really didnt watch much of the draft, just pretty much to see who the Cubs took.  Thats why I was looking for the clip of his reaction right after the Cubs got him, I cant find it now. Cant Find Anything on him as soon as he was drafted. it was some thing like .. “How does it feel to go 6th? Feels Good, but i should’ve went 1st!” I remember, Cause I thought the nerve of this Kid! I also find it odd that i cant find that clip on him.. If Iam wrong I will be happy to admit Im wrong. In fact I would like to be wrong, it would change what i think of the kid. 

CubsFan5
3 years 1 month ago

I too think we should have kept Colvin, but his splits aren’t the best. (His counting stats look fine), but others not so much. 

Home: 
BB%    K%   AVG OBP SLG OPS  BABIP
5.3% 24.2% .330 .366 .739 1.104 .379

Away:
BB%  K%       AVG  OBP SLG  OPS BABIP
3.8% 23.8% .283 .308 .525 .833 .319So, he’d definitely be suitable on the Cubs, but we’d still have a log jam in the OF. He’s not the greatest defensively either. Also with the amount he of walks to K’s, the Cubs line up would be even more impatient at the plate. While Stewart hasn’t been great with the bat (currently injured) he’s played solid defense at third. A position the Cubs needed after losing ARam. 

This was supposed to be in reply to: Jason Zenk

Jason Zenk
3 years 1 month ago

I like what Theo and Co are doing with the Cubs. Trying to build something for longevity. I like the idea of the younger guys. Their not a bunch of prima donnas (atleast not yet) They play with GRIT! BUT when Colvin was traded needless to say i was a lil upset. To me Colvin “fit” into what they are doing.  then again Im sure there is something Im missing. Yea last year Colvin was off. but by the numbers so were Dejesus, and Stewart. I just have this feeling that Colvin is going to be one of those deals that comes back to bite the Cubs in the butt.  
   I understand the reasoning for not bringing Rizzo up sooner. I just feel that the more these guys get to play together and “mesh” as a TEAM. the sooner it will happen. 

Ken Roucka
3 years 1 month ago

Colvin doesn’t fit what they are trying to do because he doesn’t work counts and take walks.

Ptk123
3 years 1 month ago

Neither does 6 out of the 8 position players currently playing for the Cubs!

3 years 1 month ago

You have to look at it from the perspective of last winter.  The Cubs had no 3rd baseman.  Ramirez was let go, Vitters was not ready, Valbuena was not even in the picture and Rizzo was not ready so LaHair had the 1st base job.  So at that time Colorado was soured on Ian Stewart and had and the Cubs considered they had a surplus of outfielders.  Colvin did terrible last year and definately striking out a lot more that FO had a taste for.  Colorado had an interest in Colvin.  It was a sound deal at the time and a deal they any GM would make given these factors.  The Cubs will be fine.  They how have Almora, Solar, Sczurzer, along with the current corps of Dejesus, Mather, Campana, Baker and the soon to be gone Soriano.  The outfield picture for the cubs is bright.  You may judge the trade poorly, however hindsight is 20/20.

CubsFan5
3 years 1 month ago

I actually liked getting Stewart. He plays solid defense, and if he can somehow get his bat back to his career levels (not the best numbers) he’ll probably stick around. 

3 years 1 month ago

 I think by the time that happens, 3rd base could be taken over by Josh Vitters.  Stewart will need a really good spring training.  He might be traded again.

CubsFan5
3 years 1 month ago

Vitter probably won’t stick at 3rd. He’s been pretty bad there. No where near as good as Stewart defensively. Also Vitters still has no plate discipline, he’s all over the place. His AAA numbers aren’t that bad, but his K% and BB% aren’t pretty. 

3 years 1 month ago

Vitters is bad to horrible at 3B…but Stewart may never regain wrist/hand strength enough to play MLB again after surgery to repair the nerve. I would like to see Garza and Vitters dealt to DET for Castellanos and several pitching prospects.

CubsFan5
3 years 1 month ago

Baez is probably sticking at 3rd. If anything I want Garza traded for young pitching. 

mutantbeast
3 years 1 month ago

Cubs last 2 yrs have been solid in position players. The one guy in there system who intrigues me is Dan Vogelbach. Appears to have legitimate power, just not much of an athletic build. Shawon Dunston Jr, when asked about Vogelbachs power used the words Oh Yeaaahhhhhhh. Now they need to build pitching-they have none at either AAA or AA.

matthew07
2 years 8 months ago

Almora will be a bust.

Jason Zenk
3 years 1 month ago

Steve, As a Cub Fan I hated Pujols. Until I saw the bit 60mins did on him.  And all the good things he does. I really gained some respect for the guy. but in that interview there was still some bitterness on his draft. and he felt he should have went higher. Which leads me to his current contract. What I believe of Pujols and after seeing that interview…. His contract wasnt about the money! the money was just a by product of the contract. Pujols wanted the biggest contract  to feed his ego he is the best baseball player. 

Jason Zenk
3 years 1 month ago

they still have the clip on cbs i just searched pujols 60 minutes. and just after 6 mins  they asked ablert what drives him he says he’s still “seething” how he was snubbed in that 99 draft. asked “you’ll never get over it huh?” albert replies “never never” 
 Back to Almora this kid just isnt happy to be a cub. So i only hope he has a change of heart. because that attitude can be a cancer. 

3 years 1 month ago

 The best thing the Cardinals did was not to sign pujols at his demands.  They gained salary flexibility and they will not have an albatross of a big contract stifling their ability to go after more reasonable talent.  What was interesting is the Carlos beltran actually had a better OPS last year than Pujols and came at a cheaper price.  Pujols price is why the Cubs did not look at either pujols or Fielder.

Jason Zenk
3 years 1 month ago

I completely agree with steve on Colvin. We had a Power hitting left handed bat in right field. ya he had a bad year….. but what did we get for him? Stewart! I would say the rocks came out on top with the 1. in 65 games with the rocks he is batting .305 avg .335obp and .626slg with 13 home runs. 40 rbi

JakeD
3 years 1 month ago

Ah, but my dad has not taken steroids! Or Rasmus could just be dumb I don’t really know.

schaddy24
3 years 1 month ago

Pujols is using being drafted late as his “chip on the shoulder”. Every player has something from their past the motivates them to play better every day. For many athletes (baseball, football, etc.) the chip is being drafted late, or not getting a scholarship offer from their favorite school, etc. I don’t think that Pujols is being a bad guy for dwelling on this, he’s simply using it as motivation.

As for Almora, all we can hope is that he grows up and loses the attitude. Keep in mind, he’s a high schooler. Most high school students don’t have the greatest attitudes. I understand that some prospects might not like the idea of playing for the Cubs because we never win it all, but Im sure that there are others who would love the opportunity to break the curse. I think its too early to pass judgement on his character. Should he have said those things on draft day? No, but the bridge with the organization is clearly not burned since we just signed him. All we can hope is that he cuts the attitude and that he grows into a successful big leaguer for us. Keep in mind, he’s a still a kid and he has all the talent in the world. Most of us would probably be cocky too if we had his skills at such a young age.

Jason Zenk
3 years 1 month ago

Can you imagine the head office and the team that brings a WS win to the Chicago Cubs……..  They would write their own pages in the history books! Everyone that had anything to do with it would be famous, even the bullpen catchers.. LOL

JustFatOlMe
3 years 1 month ago

Here we have a Cardinal fan talking nice,and you go and bring that old crap up.

JakeD
3 years 1 month ago

I’m sorry it is my fault, not use to those kinds of them.

schaddy24
3 years 1 month ago

Hahaha it would be by far the largest championship celebration in sports history.

asovermann
3 years 1 month ago

It was a bad trade for sure, but I don’t think you can really count on Colvin to keep those numbers up. He’s still striking out 1/4 of every abs and walking only 4% of the time and his baibp is pretty dang lucky. At the same time though, last year his was very much unlucky. I’d much rather be seeing him in the OF over Dejesus though!

TheWrongGuy
3 years 1 month ago

I agree about pitching prospects. yet I must disagree a bit about the Cubs strategy in the long run or pitching. I believe they will for the now at the major league level look for fillers to serve as starting pitching while the minors are develop our pitching prospects. With the exception of this year and last year we were BAD at drafting pitching and signing pitching yet with the the last 2 drafts things are looking MUCH better. I do agree for the now in trading for pitching prospects (Matt Garza/Ryan Dempster). You have to trade good pitching to get good pitching(prospects).

I like the possible trade with the Dodgers (Nathan Eovaldi/Zach Lee/Allen Webster). I also think Tim Federowicz would be in a deal with the Dodgers as he was drafted be Theo himself. Yet I feel if a deal is done with the Dodgers Zach Lee must be in the deal. He has a good attacking the batter approach (Bulldog mentality), on the mound.