...and the final shoe dropped.
Though this recruiting class will still produce some gems - OF Jeren Kendall, for one, would have been a top 3 round pick had he been less firm in his commitment to the Dores - 5 of our top 6 recruits have signed with the teams that drafted them. Cease joins Toussaint, Sheffield, Reed, and Diaz as new money turncoats whose names we will instantly forget after reading this article.
While Cease fell to the 6th round due to injury concerns - he'll undergo Tommy John surgery later this month - going to the Cubs was my nightmare scenario, as Chicago went under slot on both its first and 2nd round picks, giving them approximately $1.7 million in additional slot space for their remaining top 10 rounders.
They upped their offer to $1.5 million, and, honestly, what kid who's about to go under the knife and runs the risk of not returning to form is going to turn down that insurance policy? He signed yesterday, according to Jim Callis.
6th-rder Dylan Cease has signed w/@Cubs for $1.5 million. Pick value at 169 was $269,500. More in a second. @MLBDraft
In case you're thinking $1.5 mil is a tad high for a 6th rounder, you're right, as Callis continued to tweet his astonishment at the deal, with the following:
Outstanding deal for Cease w/@Cubs considering he'll have TJ surgery on July 22. Georgia HS RHP, up to 97 before he hurt his elbow @MLBDraft
Cease's $1.5 mil bonus is fourth-highest ever for 6th-rder, most since restrictive draft rules came into play in 2012. @MLBDraft @Cubs
Nice @MLBDraft for @Cubs, get best college bat in Schwarber at 4, use savings to land Sands ($1.1 mil), Steele ($1 mil), Cease ($1.5 mil).
As of now, Cease ties for 34th-highest bonus in 2014 @MLBDraft at $1.5 mil despite impending TJ. Tied for 11th among HS P this year. @Cubs
Again, that makes FIVE 2014 commits lost to the draft. I can't remember another class that was decimated like this, but I might be wrong.
This is the polar opposite to our three most recent recruiting classes. The '11 class (which ended up being the first of our back to back #1 ranked recruiting classes when Beede turned down the dump truck full of money dropped on his door step by the Toronto Blue Jays) which had only 2 MLB signees. That year, we lost our #2 recruit, RHP Kevin Comer, to the Blue Jays in the supplemental first round, and our #4 recruit OF Shawon Dunston (11th round to the Cubs).
In 2012, we had similar luck, and managed to hold onto all of our top recruits save for 1B Matt Olson, who the Athletics took with pick #47 in the supplemental first round.
Last year? We kept the whole class.
The whole class.
So yes, if you were wondering why it seems like a disproportionate number of our commits won't be coming to campus, especially following a year in which we won the title... well... you're absolutely right.
This one stings a bit more than usual, as Cease is basically cloned from the stem cells of Walker Buehler, and I really wanted him to come to Nashville. Bah. We've got arms for days, so this won't hurt next year, but Corbs is going to have to work overtime to secure blood oaths from the '15 class, as we'll have to replace our entire rotation next year.
For more info on who remains in our 2014 class, check out my MLB draft preview from about a month ago.