According to a report from Jon Heyman, the Cubs and Kris Bryant are not close on deal and with the way the negotiations have gone so far, it could take right up to the July 12 deadline before he signs.
Heyman went into a little more detail than previous reports but this is not the first time it has been reported that Bryant might not sign until right before the deadline. Kris Bryant is a Scott Boras client (not officially, Boras is advising Bryant), so the delay is to be expected. Boras has a little leverage in these negotiations because Bryant has the option of returning to the University of San Diego for his senior season.
According to Jon Heyman’s report, the Cubs and Kris Bryant are “nowhere close to a deal according to people familiar with the talks.” Heyman pointed out that Bryant is looking for “something above the $6.7 million slot allotted for the No. 2 pick while it is believed the Cubs are thinking something close to the $6 million range.” The actual slot value for the Cubs’ first round pick is $6,708,400.
The Cubs are pointing toward the under-slot deal of $6.35 million that Mark Appel signed with the Astros, according to Heyman, as the reason they would like to sign Bryant for under his slot amount and just below what Appel signed.
Heyman reiterated previous reports that Bryant is looking for the top signing bonus in the draft.
The Cubs would not have selected Bryant without knowing what it would take to sign him knowing the importance of the pick for the organization going forward. While this is newsworthy because of what is involved, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have 16 days to wrap up the deal and get Bryant in the system … and if they cannot, the leeway they’ve been given to build an organization with sustained success will end abruptly.