The Cubs have signed their first-round selection Cade Horton with a $4.45MM signing bonus, per MLB.com’s Jim Callis (via Twitter). Horton’s deal comes in south of the slot value for the seventh overall selection, which is allotted $5.71MM.
By coming in under slot for Horton, Callis notes, the Cubs were able to use their savings to draft Jackson Ferris in the second round of the draft. That certainly counts as a win for Chicago, but Horton himself is no slouch. The athletic 20-year-old right-hander comes to the Cubs as a pitcher, but he was also a competent infielder with Oklahoma, though his offensive numbers don’t jump off the page. He hit .235/.323/.324 across 168 plate appearances while mostly playing third base.
But of course, the Cubs did not draft Horton as an infielder. On the hill for Oklahoma, Horton posted a 4.86 ERA over 14 outings (11 starts) totaling 53 2/3 innings during the NCAA regular season. Horton brings a power arsenal to Chicago. He throws heat in the upper nineties, which he complements with a wipeout slider that touches 90 mph.
Horton does come with an injury history, having missed his freshman season at OU because of Tommy John surgery. The Cubs may believe the best is yet to come with Horton as he continues to find his footing after surgery. He was particularly impressive during the College World Series, which no doubt raised his stock enough to put him into the first-round conversation.