08/11/11 8:30 PM ET
Cubs approaching deadline to sign Draft picks
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Baez, selected ninth overall in the First-Year Player Draft, hit .771 at Arlington Country Day School in Jacksonville, Fla. Negotiations have been ongoing and productive, according to a Cubs official, and an announcement could come on Monday. Baez also tipped his hand, saying on his Facebook page earlier this week, "Seven days until I start a new life, Chicago coming soon."
The Cubs already have a young shortstop on the big league roster in 21-year-old Starlin Castro, but Baez, a native of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, could switch to third base.
The Cubs also have yet to sign their second-round pick, Daniel Vogelbach, who has some power. The first baseman played at Bishop Verot High School in Ft. Myers, Fla., and has wowed fans and teammates with his tape-measure home runs, including a 508-foot shot at a showcase. He has a scholarship offer from the University of Florida, if the Cubs are unable to finalize a deal.
There were reports the Cubs had agreed to terms with Gretzky, a first baseman who played at Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, Calif., but that has not been finalized. An announcement could come before Monday's deadline.
Teams have until 11:01 p.m. CT on Monday to come to terms with their draftees, meaning official notification has to be in the Commissioner's Office when the clock strikes midnight that day. A team that does not sign its first- or second-round pick will receive a compensatory pick in the 2012 Draft. That selection will come at the same slot, plus one. In other words, if a team doesn't sign the No. 9 overall pick, it would receive the No. 10 pick -- technically 9A -- the following year. A team does not receive a 2012 pick if it does not come to terms with a selection made with a compensation pick this year.
The young Gretzky impressed Cubs scouting director Tim Wilken at a showcase last fall. Gretzky also worked out for the Cubs in Mesa, Ariz., before the Draft.
Another player yet to make a commitment is outfielder Shawon Dunston Jr., the son of the former Cubs shortstop, who is trying to decide between going to school at Vanderbilt or playing baseball.
The Cubs have signed eight of their top 22 picks, including outfielder Zeke DeVoss, who was picked in the third round out of Miami. He batted .294 in four games with the Mesa rookie team, and was hitting .268 in 15 games with Class A Boise. Neftali Rosario, a sixth-round selection out of Puerto Rico Baseball Academy High School, also has signed and was hitting .351 with three doubles, two triples and two homers in 14 games with the Mesa team.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.