Cubs might have trouble signing No. 1 pick Albert Almora
BY GORDON WITTENMYER Twitter: @GDubCub June 5, 2012 4:14PM
Updated: June 5, 2012 4:42PM
To hear new Cubs draft pick Albert Almora talk, he’s ready to sign but concentrating on college and is waiting only for the Cubs to negotiate with themselves to determine whether he’ll skip the University of Miami and go pro.
That or he’s having trouble reading ``advisor’’ Scott Boras’ draft-day media conference script.
``In my mind right now I trust my abilities, and I know what I can do on the field,’’ said the No. 6 overall draft pick during a conference call Tuesday. ``That’s not the priority right now.
``Right now we have to let the process play out and let the cards fall where they have to fall. I can’t control that. That’s something that Chicago has to talk to with their organization and come to an agreement.’’
That comment came after he was asked to clarify earlier comments in which he said his ``main priority now is college’’ but added, ``I guarantee I’m ready for major league baseball, but we’ll have to see what happens when it’s time.’’
MLB’s suggested bonus for that slot in the draft is $3.25 million. If the Cubs exceed that, it’ll come from what’s left of a $7.934 million allotment for their top 12 picks.
Under new restrictions in the collective bargaining agreement, if the Cubs exceed the larger total, they start paying heavy fines, up to loss of future draft picks.
Almora, a center fielder who has played for Team USA in more international tournaments than any other player, said he was ``overjoyed’’ when his name was called but didn’t spend a lot of time anticipating or projecting where in the draft he would be selected (even though Baseball America correctly projected him to be selected by the Cubs).
On being the first draft pick of Theo Epstein’s new Cubs front office: ``I’m just happy to be picked by a major league club,’’ he said. ``It’s something I’ve worked for my entire life. And I’m happy I got there.’’