The San Diego Padres signed their top draft pick CJ Abrams on Thursday, and saved a significant amount of money while making the important deal.
CJ Abrams has officially joined the San Diego Padres.
San Diego’s top pick in last week’s 2019 MLB Draft agreed to a contract with the team on Thursday, bypassing his original plan to play college baseball at the University of Alabama in favor of going directly into the MLB system.
Not only did A.J. Preller and company lock down their biggest recruit from the draft, but they also negotiated a deal that got him under contract for below the expected value.
According to MLB.com, Abrams agreed to a $5.2 million signing bonus to join San Diego. That’s more than $500,000 below the value he was alotted as the sixth pick in the draft.
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Perhaps the 18-year-old’s desire to be a major leaguer sooner rather than later helped with the negotiations.
“I just want to get to the bigs as fast as I can,” Abrams said when he was formally introduced at a press conference before Saturday night’s game.
He was one of four draft picks who were in attendance at PETCO Park, along with Joshua Mears, Matt Brash and Logan Driscoll.
As for Abrams, he’s already being talked up by Preller, who referred to him as a “premium talent” and said, “We think he’s just scratching the surface of what he can do.”
He’ll find out now as the Georgia native will report to San Diego Padres minicamp on Monday. He’ll stay at his natural position of shortstop—where he intends on playing, though Preller and others have continued to push the idea of Abrams moving to center field or second base.
But that’s a problem for the future. Right now, Padres fans can be encouraged by the fact that CJ Abrams wants to be a Padre, and was willing to leave a half million dollars on the table instead of trying to get a ton of money out of the team when he hasn’t proven anything yet.
It shows he’s passionate about making it to the big leagues, and that he’s willing to be a team player, no pun intended. San Diego has high hopes for Abrams (as they would for any first-round draft pick), and he seems like he’s equally enthusiastic about his new team. After all, giving up a college commitment can’t have been an easy decision.
“As soon as I can, I want to get out here in San Diego,” Abrams told the press conference crowd. “There’s nowhere else I want to be.”
For the latest San Diego Padres 2019 draft updates, continue following the Draft category at Friars on Base.