The Cubs have agreed to sign fourth-round pick Carson Sands to a well-above-slot $1.1MM bonus, reports John Manuel of Baseball America (via Twitter). He was taken with the 109th overall pick, which came with a $480.6K slot allocation.
Chicago has also added fifth-rounder Justin Steele — also a high school lefty — on a $1MM bonus, tweets Jim Callis of MLB.com. His 139th overall draft slot came with a $359.9K allocation.
Baseball America and MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis both listed Sands as the 53rd-best talent available. The lefthander, who had been committed to Florida State, reportedly has boosted his fastball into the low-to-mid 90s and has decent secondary offerings that he can command.
ESPN.com’s Keith Law was somewhat less bullish on Sands, ranking Sands at 85th on his own top-100 list. But he had Steele higher than the other two observers just noted, placing him at 99th. Steele had been destined to play college ball for UCLA.
The extra cash needed to lock up Sands and Steele takes a big bite out of the approximately $1.5MM that the club saved by getting fourth-overall choice Kyle Schwarber to sign for less than his slot allocation. Sixth-rounder Dylan Cease has, like the two players just inked, been noted as a tough-sign prospect who will likely go above slot.