The Pirates have agreed to sign third round draft choice Bubba Chandler to a $3MM contract, reports Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link). The deal is pending a physical. That shatters the $870.7K slot value associated with the #72 selection.
Of course, the main reason Chandler fell to 72nd overall was the high bonus required to dissuade him from a two-sport commitment (baseball and football) to Clemson University. Each of Baseball America, Keith Law of the Athletic, and Kiley McDaniel of ESPN slotted Chandler among the top 25 prospects in their pre-draft rankings. That suggests he was generally seen as a mid-late first round talent, and his bonus is commensurate with that status.
A two-way player during his Georgia high school career, Chandler is expected to focus on pitching full-time in pro ball. The righty draws praise for his athleticism, mid-90’s fastball and promising curveball, with McDaniel suggesting he has mid-rotation upside.
The Pirates’ ability to get overslot deals done with Chandler and Anthony Solometo (along with potential significant agreements for still-unsigned Lonnie White Jr. and Owen Kellington) reflects Pittsburgh’s overarching draft strategy. The Pirates cut an underslot agreement with first overall pick Henry Davis, allowing them to leverage their league-high bonus pool into likely agreements with a handful of well-regarded prep prospects on the draft’s second day.